Fantasy Football Week 6: What you missed Wednesday, with a busy injury report highlighted by Ty Montgomery, Travis Kelce, and Tom Brady
Chris Towers breaks down all the latest news from a busy Wednesday around the NFL.
What's this? Every Tuesday through Friday, Chris Towers will catch you up on the previous day's biggest news first thing in the morning. Here's what you missed Wednesday:
Ty Montgomery (ribs) was updated to a full practice
After sitting out Week 5, Montgomery appears to be making progress, though this designation could be a bit misleading – the Packers won't practice in full pads until Thursday. His true status for Week 6 against the Vikings will come into sharper focus based on how he does Thursday, and coach Mike McCarthy told reporters he isn't sure of what Montgomery's availability for Week 6 will be yet.
Keep a close eye on how Thursday goes, and not just if you're a Montgomery owner; Aaron Jones will be an RB2 for Sunday if Montgomery sits out.
Travis Kelce (concussion) did not practice Wednesday
Kelce needs to clear the concussion protocol in three days' time to be cleared for Week 6, and that feels like a long shot at this point. Andy Reid told reporters Kelce "feels pretty good," but given how strict the concussion protocol mandated by the league is, that's the only thing that matters. We'll monitor his progress through the week, but you need to start coming up with contingency plans at tight end if you've been relying on Kelce, because you don't want to get to Saturday and find yourself stuck without an alternative.
Kevin Hogan will start in Week 6
Hue Jackson gave DeShone Kizer a vote of confidence when he named him starter in the preseason, but Kizer has looked more limited than expected. His physical tools remain impressive, but he has been far too turnover prone, without enough tangible upside to justify living with the mistakes.
Enter Hogan, who impressed in Kizer's stead last week, passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns in relief against the Jets. In three appearances on the season, Hogan has completed 26 of 38 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns, though he was much less effective last season, throwing two interceptions with no touchdowns while averaging a paltry 4.0 yards per attempt. Even with J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus sidelined for the Texans, the Browns' offense isn't likely to do much in Week 6, and this QB change doesn't change that outlook much.
Rob Kelley (ankle) is not expected to play
The bye week wasn't enough to get Kelly healthy, as he has been unable to practice while stuck in a walking boot. Kelley was considered day to day earlier in the week, but Jay Gruden told reporters Wednesday Kelley is a long shot to play Sunday against the 49ers. We expect big things from Washington's offense, and Samaje Perine is expected to get most of the carries in Kelley's absence.
Perine hasn't impressed as a rookie, and Chris Thompson is probably the better bet if you must start one player here. However, both are worth considering, given the matchup.
Given that both suffered season-ending injuries on the same day last year, and then went down with injuries within hours of each other earlier this season, it makes sense to keep these two linked. Both were able to practice Wednesday, as they work their way back from injuries that held them out in Week 5.
- Carr was limited at practice Wednesday, just as he was last week, but coach Jack Del Rio told reporters earlier this week he expects to have Carr back for Sunday against the Chargers. We could know his status well before game time, but you'll want to monitor this one before making a decision, and you might want to lean away from Carr anyways – given the nature of his injury, it might make sense for the Raiders to slow the game down and rely on the running game to limit the hits he might take.
- Mariota's status will be determined later in the week, no matter how healthy he is, because the Titans don't play until Monday. If he ends up being a game-time decision, you'll need to come up with a definitive contingency plan, but wait until Thursday or Friday to make that call.
DeVante Parker (ankle) was held out of practice
Parker suffered the injury in Week 5, and was spotted on crutches leaving the stadium Sunday, but there was hope that he would be good to go for this week's matchup against the Falcons. That looks less certain after Wednesday, though he still has a couple of days to make enough progress to keep in your lineup.
If you were hoping Adam Gase might be willing or able to provide some insight, think again:
"I don't have an update that's going to help anybody," Gase said. "I'm kind of in a wait-and-see mode and last year, we went to the Baltimore game and I was told he was not going to play for a couple of weeks and he played on that Sunday. So, I just never count him out. We'll see how the week progresses."
Tyler Eifert will undergo season-ending back surgery
Eifert will undergo his third surgical procedure on his back, and his second this year, after meeting with experts Wednesday to determine the best course of action. He will undergo micro disk surgery Thursday, with an expected recovery timetable of four to six months, ending his season.
Back injuries are notoriously tough to come back from, and it's hard to see how the 2013 first-round pick ever gets back to full strength at this point. He will end up having played just 39 of 80 possible games in his first five seasons.
- Matthew Stafford is practicing in full… Stafford suffered hamstring and ankle injuries in Week 5, and the team was coy about his status Tuesday. However, it looks like this won't be an issue against the Saints this week.
- Jordy Nelson is dealing with a back injury… Nelson was a full participant in practice Wednesday, a good sign for his chances of playing. But this might at least provide an explanation for why, touchdowns aside, Nelson is off to a slow start.
- Tom Brady (shoulder) was unable to practice Wednesday… Brady has expressed plenty of confidence about his chances of playing Sunday, and we won't be worried until we have good reason to be. He's at the point in his career where missing a day or two of practice is hardly reason to fret.
- Rob Gronkowski (thigh) was held out of practice… Anyone who has followed the NFL for a few years knows that sitting out a day of practice for the Patriots is not necessarily a reason to be concerned. We still expect Gronk to play Sunday against the Jets, though if he doesn't get on the practice field by Friday, you'll need to at least consider another option heading into the weekend.
- Sam Bradford (knee) was unable to practice… He tried to play Monday, but clearly wasn't at full health. I wouldn't expect to see Bradford back on the field in Week 6.
- Matt Forte (toe) returned to practice… This could complicate things for Elijah McGuire, though Forte was just limited Wednesday. We'll keep an eye on his status, as well as Bilal Powell's, who did not practice Wednesday with a calf injury.
- Jordan Reed is not on the injury report… That's a first! Reed hasn't been himself this season, but he also entered Week 1 dealing with multiple issues. If he is truly healthy, you should expect big things from him.
- Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) did not practice… Sanu looks like a real threat to miss Sunday's game against the Falcons, which would mean more looks for Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper in the passing game.
- Willie Snead (hamstring) was limited at practice… Sean Payton declared Snead to be 100 percent coming out of the bye week, and then Snead was a limited participant in practice Wednesday. They may just be taking a cautious approach, though the bigger concern might be Snead's role, even if healthy; he was working with the second and third units at times in the preseason.
- Stefon Diggs (groin) is planning to play in Week 6… Diggs was unable to practice Wednesday, but he expects to play in Week 6. After watching him struggle through a one-catch game while dealing with the injury in Week 5, he looks like a risky start for Sunday against the Packers.
- Orleans Darkwa (calf) is not on the injury report… Darkwa looked solid in Week 5, rushing for 69 yards on eight carries, including a 23-yard touchdown. He should get the start in Week 6 against the Broncos, but won't be a reliable Fantasy option while splitting time with Wayne Gallman in a tough matchup.
- Carlos Hyde (calf) is not on the injury report… Given Kyle Shanahan's plan to go with a hot hand at running back, an injury to Hyde would just be another way for him to lose work. At least we don't have to worry about that, but he's still a risky play with Matt Breida looking like a potential vulture.
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