Coming out of Week 1, here are some of the most notable injury situations for which we have some pertinent information.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (leg): Martin entered the season healthy, fully recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained in Week 7 of the 2013 season that ultimately led to surgery to repair a torn labrum. The clean bill of health didn’t last long, however, as Martin suffered a left-leg injury in Week 1 that kept him out of the game late. Martin told the Tampa Bay Times that someone rolled on his leg, and he was sporting a wrap after the game. Coach Lovie Smith did not deliver an update on Martin’s status Monday.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (ankle): Gerhart sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Sunday’s game and it looked as if it might be the end of the day for him if not longer. To his credit, Gerhart was able to return although he acknowledged being “really sore” after the game. According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Gerhart is expected to play Sunday against Washington. Expect Gerhart’s practice activity to be limited leading up to the game but, as of now, it appears he will try to press through it. The question will be how effective of a runner he can be and there is the risk of an in-game setback. The bigger question may be just how Gerhart will hold up across a season. He has never held a feature role and he missed time last year with the Vikings as a result of a hamstring injury sustained after he replaced an injured Adrian Peterson. He already dealt with a hip flexor injury during training camp; now there’s the ankle injury. Time will tell.
Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and Brandon Marshall (ankle), WR, Chicago Bears: The Bears’ two top wide receivers each dealt with injury in the season opener; the next question is whether those will factor into games beyond that first outing. Marshall appeared to injure an ankle and left the game twice to get taping reinforcement but was able to return and finish out the game. There seems to be little concern about his availability for Week 2. His teammate Jeffery was not able to finish the game however after straining a hamstring, although coach Marc Trestman suggested he could have returned if necessary. As of Monday, Trestman had no additional updates leaving Jeffery’s practice status in question.
Shaun Hill, QB, St. Louis Rams (quadriceps): A strained left quadriceps, not a poor performance, sidelined Hill for the second half of Sunday’s game. Head coach Jeff Fisher said Hill was experiencing discomfort late in the first half and the decision was made at halftime to hold him out for the remainder of the game. His status will be day-to-day throughout the week, but if Hill is healthy enough to play, Fisher says he will indeed start. If Hill represented a significant running threat, the quad strain might be more of a concern, but that is not the case. Although pain associated with tightness in the thigh resulting from any bleeding or edema was enough to sideline Hill last Sunday, with treatment over the next few days, there’s a decent chance he’ll be ready to go this week.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (hamstring): Reed came into Week 1 with concerns about a sprained thumb suffered in the preseason. He exited the game early with concerns about a hamstring strain and how long it might linger. Reed, projected to be a top-10 fantasy tight end this season, had just one reception for 4 yards before departing due to injury. In fact, following the tackle after he made that reception, when Reed tried to get up and walk, the injury made itself apparent. Reed hopped on his right leg, unwilling to initially put his weight on the left leg. As he limped toward the bench, Reed instinctively reached around to the back of his upper left thigh, one of the universal hallmarks of a hamstring injury.
On Monday coach Jay Gruden labeled Reed’s hamstring strain as mild yet noted he “could miss some time.” According to ESPN’s John Keim, the team is still awaiting Reed’s MRI results. The greatest concern with even mild hamstring injuries is that they will turn into something more significant if a player attempts to do too much too soon. It certainly appears that backup plans are warranted for Reed, whether that ends up being for one week or longer.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (elbow): The Bengals have yet to confirm the nature of the injury to Eifert's right elbow or indicate how much time he might miss. Eifert was seen wearing a sling while standing on the sidelines Sunday after the injury occurred, and the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported it was a dislocated elbow. A dislocated elbow with no complications could result in approximately a four- to six-week absence; an associated fracture or extensive soft tissue trauma could require a longer recovery. Fantasy owners should seek other options.
Addendum: On Thursday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Bengals have placed Eifert on IR/designated to return. Under this designation, Eifert will be eligible to return to practice after six weeks and eligible to return to the active list after eight weeks. This means Eifert could potentially return to play in the Bengals' Thursday night game against the Browns on Nov. 6.