Just three games remain in the 2014 NFL regular season, but for fantasy football players, it is playoff time or bust. Whether your postseason journey has already begun, or is set to kick off, we've got you covered with the week 15 fantasy football injury roundup.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Injury Roundup
There is no other place to begin other than Charlotte, where Panthers QB Cam Newton is expected to remain hospitalized overnight after sustaining injuries in an automobile accident early Tuesday afternoon. The 25-year-old is reported to have suffered two minor fractures in his lower back, but thankfully avoided any serious or life-threatening injuries. Newton's week 15 status is obviously in doubt, leaving Derek Anderson in position to start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Anderson started week 1 against Tampa, leading the Panthers to a season-opening win over those same Bucs in Tampa, while Newton was hampered by a preseason rib injury. Having endured a physically demanding year in the form of offseason ankle surgery and the aforementioned rib ailment, in addition to a multitude of hard hits throughout this season, it stands to reason to believe that the Panthers could entertain the thought of shutting Newton down for the final three games of the year. Carolina is 4-8-1, and although they are coming off a resounding 41-10 beating of the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers are still facing stacked odds as far as postseason plans go. Newton's injury is believed to be similar to the one suffered by Tony Romo which forced the Cowboys' signal-caller to miss time earlier this season. For now, consider Newton doubtful for week 15, and begin making other plans at the quarterback position for the fantasy playoffs. In the meantime, here's to a speedy recovery for Cam Newton.
Cam Newton is looking like a doubt for week 15 after sustaining injuries in an auto accident on Tuesday.
The Arizona Cardinals just can't catch a break, can they? Having already been plagued by a plethora of injuries throughout the season, RB Andre Ellington was placed on injured reserve Monday after the team elected to send its rising star in for sports hernia surgery. Ellington was unable to suit up against Kansas City in week 14, and Arizona is likely acting with the best interests of the 25-year-old back at heart. Kerwynn Williams saw the most extensive action of his young career last Sunday, and turned in a 19 carry, 100 yard performance. Stepfan Taylor will also factor into the equation as the Cardinals look to solidify their standing in the NFC over the next three weeks without several key players.
Another week 14 injury question mark whose season is now over is Titans QB Zach Mettenberger. The rookie from LSU re-injured the shoulder that he initially hurt in the week 13 loss at Houston. Mettenberger was shaken up once again in the 4th quarter of his team's 36-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, and a Monday MRI confirmed that his shoulder was damaged even worse this time around. A grade III sprain of the AC joint is the diagnosis, and now the 23-year-old is likely to be shut down for the season's final three games, though coach Ken Whisenhunt insists his quarterback is "week-to-week." The good news is that he does not need surgery, and should be able to compete for the starting job at full-strength this spring and summer. Mettenberger showed that he has the ability to be a quick healer as he made a phenomenal recovery from a torn ACL sustained late in November 2013 in his final collegiate game, only to be running at his pro day at LSU less than four months later. Jake Locker figures to get the nod for Tennessee, with Charlie Whitehurst in reserve. Neither player offers much real life or fantasy promise. Andre Elington's injury-riddled 2014 season is officially over.
Percy Harvin had his best day as a New York Jet, putting together a 6-124-1 line before suffering an ankle injury that left the former Viking and Seahawk requiring the aid of crutches after the game. Harvin shined against the Vikings, the team that drafted him in the first round five years ago. However, Jets coach Rex Ryan did not sound confident regarding Harvin's week 15 status, saying the former Florida Gator's chances of suiting up this weekend do not look good at the moment. Jeremy Kerley would see a boost in targets should Harvin be sidelined for any amount of time, though it is hard to consider any Jet skill player not named Chris Ivory a viable fantasy option at this time. The good news for Harvin is that the nature of the injury is believed to be a 'low' ankle sprain, an injury that heals quicker than that of the dreaded 'high' variety.
Andre Johnson suffered a concussion during Houston's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 14, and is now in the league's protocol for head injuries. Expect the veteran's status to remain touch-and-go throughout the week, as the Texans find themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff race, with divisional hopes still alive for the time being. With Johnson sidelined, DeAndre Hopkins should continue to serve as Ryan Fitzpatrick's preferred target in the passing game. Andre Johnson finds himself in the league's concussion protocol heading into week 15.
Julius Thomas (ankle) looks more likely to play this week, though owners will want to continue to monitor his status and have an alternative option in place just to be sure. Roddy White (ankle) was able to go in Green Bay on Monday night, though Julio Jones (hip) appeared to get knicked up towards the end of the Falcons' loss to the Packers. Nick Foles (collarbone) is inching closer to a return, which should make for an interesting quarterback controversy of sorts as Eagles coach Chip Kelly must eventually decide whether to re-insert Foles as the team's starter or stick with Mark Sanchez, who struggled in Philly's week 14 loss to Seattle. Reggie Wayne is battling numerous ailments, including a torn triceps per his coach, Chuck Pagano. Colt McCoy (neck) is uncertain for week 15, and if he is unable to go, the door for Robert Griffin III to take over the reigns at quarterback could re-open in the nation's capital. Both Rashad Jennings (ankle) and Torrey Smith (knee) will hope to be more involved this week after being relegated to limited roles in week 14 due to their injuries.
Keep it locked on Fantasy Knuckleheads for all the latest news and updates as fantasy football playoff action heats up. Good luck this week.