Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 10

Breaking down the fantasy expectations of today's injured players and gametime decisions, including Marshawn Lynch, Alshon Jeffery, Calvin Johnson, and others

NOTE: This column is a living document and will be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be immediately retweeting any breaking news with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following me at (@JeneBramel) and checking my timeline on Twitter on Sunday mornings.

marshawn lynch | abdomen | questionable | sunday night

Lynch was a late week addition to the injury report after feeling "a little something in his abdomen that was bothering him" according to Pete Carroll. It's apparently something that Lynch has dealt with before and not missed time, if Carroll's comments to the media on Friday can be believed, and both Carroll and Lynch think he'll be ready tonight. We've seen these situations go both ways with Lynch. Sometimes, muscle strains and back spasms keep him from a full workload. Other times, he's not limited at all. I'd lean toward the "not limited" side of the pendulum tonight, but am hoping to hear a reassuring early Sunday report.

Fantasy expectation: Consider Lynch a risk-reward play today. Both the unknown extent of his injury and tough matchup give him a lower ceiling than usual at home.

900 ET: The reassuring Sunday morning report didn't come. Both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport are tweeting concern for Lynch this morning, noting a source tells them Lynch is 50-50 to play tonight. I'd still narrowly lean toward him playing, but now believe there's likely to be limitations in his usage. If you plan to use him as your RB2 or flex, you must have a roster hedge should he be declared inactive.

930 ET: Mike Garafolo tweeted Lynch's injury is "in that lower abdomen, groin area." That's core abdominal aka sports hernia territory. It's an injury few running backs can effectively play through -- Adrian Peterson is the only back I can recall holding up over multiple weeks. Lynch may join that group, but this may become a lingering and limiting injury. I'd look for other options until Lynch proves himself capable of playing effectively.

alshon jeffery | groin | questionable | early sun start

Jeffery was added to the injury report on Thursday with a groin strain. While mid-week muscle strains in skill position players are always worrisome, Jeffery is a tough projection this week. Prior to the calf strain which cost him multiple weeks, we'd seen Jeffery play through more than one limiting hamstring strain effectively with minimal practice. The Bears sound optimistic Jeffery will be active today after what John Fox called a "good" Friday practice. Of course, we can't trust anything Fox says. Watch the pregame reports for news this morning.

Fantasy expecation: Long time readers know I'm always pessimistic on muscle strains, especially those that occur without sufficient time to rehab and treat. Jeffery may still be a top ten play this week, but there's reason to worry about his floor.


Teddy Bridgewater, Amari Cooper, and Latavius Murray will all play today and likely to see their usual workload.

Johnny Manziel is expected to start over Josh McCown.

Eddie Lacy will be active, but is likely to have only a small rotational role behind James Starks.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was clearly frustrated when discussing his shoulder injury this week and local media members continue to speculate he's yet to be cleared for contact.


calvin johnson | ankle | questionable | early sun start

Johnson has said all week he'll play against the Packers today, but the missed Friday practice and questionable listing leave room for a more concerning interpretation. Johnson has had two weeks to recover from his Week 8 injury and told reporters this injury isn't as bad as the high ankle sprain that cost him three games last year. I think Johnson will be active, but watch for any news from pregame warmups.

Fantasy expectation: Consider Johnson a boom-bust WR2 today.

matt forte | knee | questionable | early sun start

The Bears listed Forte questionable after allowing him to do limited conditioning work this week, but he's very unlikely to be active today. Forte confirmed his injury as an MCL sprain late this week and told reporters he struggled with inflammation last week and continued to have swelling this week. This isn't unexpected -- there's little reason for him to have had a PRP injection for an injury the team expected to heal in just two weeks.

Fantasy expectation: Forte is questionable for Week 11, too.

emmanuel sanders | ankle | questionable | late sun start

Sanders is listed questionable and has been called a game time decision today, but he's likely much closer to doubtful. Sanders tried to do some limited work on Friday but was "really sore" and couldn't do much. Gary Kubiak sounded pessimistic after practice, but said the team would re-evaluate Sanders on Saturday and again prior to game time on Sunday if necessary. He'll be limited at best today.

Fantasy expectation: Use Sanders only if you've no other options today or can find a reasonable late afternoon hedge.

900 ET: The pessimism on Sanders continues this morning. Ian Rapoport was told Sanders will have difficulty playing today. Keep him on your bench.

john brown | hamstring | questionable | sunday night

It was a surprise to see Brown manage only limited practices this week and be listed questionable after being healthy enough to dress -- though not play -- before the Cardinals' Week 9 bye. He's had three full weeks to recover from his hamstring strains and was expected to be full strength today. I think Brown is closer to probable, however, with the critical clue being his acknowledgement that he left Arizona during the bye week to spend time with family. That's not something a player who needs multiple daily treatment and rehab sessions for a limiting muscle strain would do.

Fantasy expectation: We won't know Brown's status with certainty until later this evening, but I think he's safe to use today.

allen hurns | foot / thigh | questionable | early sun start 

Hurns has multiple nagging injuries, but has played through them without issue thus far. However, Hurns has generally practiced on Thursday and Friday. This week, he managed only a limited Friday practice. There are signs the Jaguars may have been resting him and fully expecting to play him this week. Allen Robinson told reporters on Friday he had a "good feeling" Hurns would play today and Hurns himself said he was "feeling very confident" he'd be able to go. We'll have the benefit of the early game inactive list here, but expect Hurns to play today.

Fantasy expectation: If active, use Hurns as you normally would.

Best of luck in your fantasy contests this weekend. I'll be back on Monday morning to review all the Week 10 injuries in the Injury Rounds column. Follow on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.