NFL Injury Analysis: Taylor to Miss Time

NFL Injury Analysis: Taylor to Miss Time

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

Jonathan Taylor

News broke quickly on Tuesday that the Colts running back will need surgery to address a thumb injury. Specifics surrounding the injury remain vague and it is unclear what will be addressed in surgery. The thumb is a complex digit made up of multiple joints. Bone, muscle, and the surrounding musculature can all be injured in a manner that would require surgical intervention. The associated timelines are highly dependent on the involved tissue. For example, both Jared Goff and Drew Brees underwent surgery to repair an injured thumb. However, Goff's injury was for a fractured thumb while Brees' procedure was needed to repair torn ligaments. Goff missed just one game while Brees was sidelined for five. The Colts have suggested Taylor will miss a "couple weeks," hinting the damage isn't extensive. However, fantasy managers will have to wait for a more detailed update to determine how long Taylor will be out. Zack Moss returns to fantasy relevance with the injury. 

Chris Olave

The Saints wide receiver made an early exit in the team's loss to the Falcons after suffering a concussion. Olave has now suffered at least three concussions, having sustained one while at Ohio State and another last season. The injury sustained last year cost Olave one game. The effects of multiple concussions are cumulative, meaning the signs and symptoms often worsen with each successive injury. Given his injury history, it seems likely Olave sits for Week 13. He must complete the league's mandated return to play

Jonathan Taylor

News broke quickly on Tuesday that the Colts running back will need surgery to address a thumb injury. Specifics surrounding the injury remain vague and it is unclear what will be addressed in surgery. The thumb is a complex digit made up of multiple joints. Bone, muscle, and the surrounding musculature can all be injured in a manner that would require surgical intervention. The associated timelines are highly dependent on the involved tissue. For example, both Jared Goff and Drew Brees underwent surgery to repair an injured thumb. However, Goff's injury was for a fractured thumb while Brees' procedure was needed to repair torn ligaments. Goff missed just one game while Brees was sidelined for five. The Colts have suggested Taylor will miss a "couple weeks," hinting the damage isn't extensive. However, fantasy managers will have to wait for a more detailed update to determine how long Taylor will be out. Zack Moss returns to fantasy relevance with the injury. 

Chris Olave

The Saints wide receiver made an early exit in the team's loss to the Falcons after suffering a concussion. Olave has now suffered at least three concussions, having sustained one while at Ohio State and another last season. The injury sustained last year cost Olave one game. The effects of multiple concussions are cumulative, meaning the signs and symptoms often worsen with each successive injury. Given his injury history, it seems likely Olave sits for Week 13. He must complete the league's mandated return to play protocol before he will be eligible to return. With Michael Thomas already on the injured reserve with a "significant" knee injury and Rashid Shaheed expected to miss time with a quadriceps injury, Olave's absence would leave the New Orleans receiving corps extremely thin.  A.T. Perry, Lynn Bowden and Keith Kirkwood would be Derek Carr's primary targets against the Lions.

Kenneth Walker

Walker remains a question mark for Week 13 after missing Seattle's Thanksgiving night game against San Francisco with an oblique strain. He does not get the benefit of a few extra days of recovery as the Seahawks are once again playing on Thursday. While coach Pete Caroll has expressed optimism Walker will be available against the Cowboys, the early reports are not promising, as the running back did not practice Monday. He will now have two more chances to log some degree of practice, but things are trending toward a second straight absence. Zach Charbonnet would start should Walker sit.

Amari Cooper

The Browns receiver did not finish the team's loss to the Broncos after injuring his ribs. X-rays on the area were negative, and he is considered day-to-day. However, rib injuries don't always show up on initial X-rays and may not be seen until healing has occurred at the injury site. Even then, a rib contusion can be very painful and restricting, and Cooper is likely to enter Week 13 a bit limited. Additionally, the veteran receiver has struggled to produce when anyone besides Deshaun Watson has started at quarterback. In the five games Watson started and played more than 12 snaps, Cooper is averaging 12.0 fantasy points. In his other six starts, Cooper is averaging just 4.75 fantasy points, including last week's 1.6 points performance. With Watson out for the season and Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the concussion protocol, it looks as though PJ Walker will start at quarterback.

Turf Burns

De'Von AchaneThe decision to sit Achane for Week 12 appears to be a precautionary move by the team to ensure his long-term health and availability. Achane has missed five of Miami's last six gamed with a knee injury and logged just three snaps in his one game played. The Dolphins do have a favorable matchup in Week 13 with a Commanders defense that is surrendering an average of 18.0 points to opposing running backs. Look for Achane to gradually ramp up his level of participation in this week's practice and split carries with starter Raheem Mostert.

Joe Burrow: Burrow underwent surgery to repair the torn ligament in his wrist that prematurely ended his season. Fortunately, the recovery timeline should allow him to have a somewhat normal offseason, and he should be ready for training camp to start the 2024 season. Jake Browning will continue to start at quarterback for the Bengals.

Demario Douglas: The Patriots rookie receiver was removed from Sunday's game due to a head injury sustained after he was clotheslined during a punt return. The team stated he did not suffer a concussion and will not be subject to the concussion protocol. This is good news considering Douglas has already missed time this season with a concussion, though his status for Week 13 remains unclear.

Justin JeffersonThose who have been listening to me discuss the Jefferson situation were unsurprised when the Pro Bowl wideout did not dress for Week 12. Holding Jefferson out through the team's Week 13 bye always made sense considering the fickle nature of hamstring strains. The decision should allow Jefferson to return as close to 100 percent as possible and reduce the chances of an aggravation or re-injury. Hopefully those invested here were able to survive without their star receiver and are happy to welcome him back for the stretch run of the fantasy season.

Tee Higgins: The Bengals are hopeful Higgins will return in Week 13 after missing three straight outings with a hamstring strain. However, Cincinnati plays Jacksonville on Monday night, creating a precarious scenario for fantasy managers. Monitor his practice reps Thursday to get a better idea of whether he is on track to return, but it may be worth utilizing a healthier option who plays on Sunday.

Aaron Jones: The injury that kept Jones in street clothes on Thanksgiving has been confirmed as a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain of his knee. The MCL is a key component in lateral stability of the knee, but in most cases surgery is not required, as the ligament is capable of healing on its own. However, time remains a critical factor in the healing process and MCL injury usually takes several weeks to fully heal. This is particularly true for running backs who need a healthy MCL to withstand the valgus stress applied to the knee when making side cuts to find holes or avoid would-be tacklers. Like Walker, Jones's inability to partake in Monday's practice suggests a second straight absence is likely. AJ Dillon would start if Jones cannot play.

Baker Mayfield: The Buccaneers quarterback appears to have avoided any serious damage to his ailing ankle. Mayfield was injured in the team's loss to the Colts, but a subsequent MRI failed to show any significant damage to the joint. He reported lingering soreness Monday and is currently considered day-to-day. Look for Mayfield to be limited in the early portions of this week's practices and attempt to participate in the final days of preparation for the Panthers. If he is unable to rejoin his teammates at that time, then Tampa may opt to start Kyle Trask. If he is able to suit up, I would anticipate the ankle to be limiting, putting a cap on Mayfield's overall fantasy value.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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