Week 3 NFL injuries update: Cook, Ajayi, Mack out while Fournette, McCoy, Clement in doubt in rough week for RBs

It looks like Week 3 is going to be a tough road to manage when it comes to running backs in Fantasy leagues.

Three No. 1 options were ruled out Friday, with Vikings back Dalvin Cook not getting the chance to play in an excellent matchup against the Bills and Jay Ajayi and Marlon Mack both missing the Colts-Eagles game. The defending champs are also down Darren Sproles for the matchup, and while Corey Clement was expected to see lead-back duties, he himself popped up on the injury report on Friday and is questionable.

The injuries don't stop there. Jaguars back Leonard Fournette, who missed last week's win over the Patriots, is questionable after a week of limited practices. Teammate T.J. Yeldon is also questionable for the game, and if those injuries break the wrong way, Corey Grant could be in for a lot of work.

Bills back LeSean McCoy, a.k.a. the only hope Buffalo has of generating offense, is questionable as well after sustaining a rib injury in last week's loss to the Chargers. Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy would step up in his absence, but the Bills could abandon the run game entirely at some point in a game where they are expected to fall behind quickly.

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Colts at Eagles (-6.5)

The Colts are dealing with a ton of injuries, with three key players sidelined on each side of the ball. Jordan Wilkins should serve as the lead back with Mack out, while Eric Ebron will get the lion's share of the targets at tight end. T.Y. Hilton returned to a full practice on Friday and is good to go, as is tackle Denzelle Good, who missed the first two weeks. The Eagles are getting back quarterback Carson Wentz from a knee injury but have massive injuries issues around him on offense. Two key running backs are out, and Clement, who would get the lion's share of the work if healthy, popped up on the Friday injury report with a quad issue. Wendell Smallwood would be next man up at the position. Jeffery and Peters have a chance to play after being limited all week.

Bengals at Panthers (-3)

Mixon and Price are out as expected, with Giovani Bernard (knee) set to start at running back after practicing in full on Thursday and Friday. The Bengals don't have any easy answers on the offensive line, however. Johnson and Brown are two key members of the front seven who were limited in practice all week, but the team has quality depth if either play can't go. The Panthers remain without Olsen as he recovers from a foot injury, and they're still down a key member of the offensive line with Turner out. The Panthers are starting replacement players at both tackle spots already, so expect the line to have major issues with the Bengals' talented pass-rushers. Jackson managed a limited practice on Friday after being held out the rest of the week; Corn Elder would be thrust into a bigger role.

Titans at Jaguars (-9.5)

Mariota's status is up in the air once again after missing Week 2's win over the Texans as well as being limited all week in practice. The TItans do get left tackle Taylor Lewan back from a concussion, and right tackle Jack Conklin has a chance to make his season debut after a week of limited practices. Running back Derrick Henry was limited early in the week but practiced in full on Friday and is good to go. The Jaguars have questions at running back with Fournette limited all week and Yeldon getting in only two limited sessions. But the bigger issue could be at cornerback, where Ramsey and Hayden both popped up on the injury report for the first time as limited on Friday. Both are likely to play, but if they end up being held out, Tyler Patmon and/or Tre Herndon would be in for a lot more work. Corey Grant would likely get major play if the team's top two RBs can't go.

Saints at Falcons (-3)

The Saints come into this game mostly healthy up against a team with three key starters on IR in linebacker Deion Jones, safety Keanu Neal and guard Andy Levitre. The Falcons are still without Freeman, meaning Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith will handle the snaps at running back. The depth is being tested at defensive end opposite Vic Beasley with two guys hurt. Receiver Julio Jones (calf) had only one limited practice this week but avoided a final injury designation, as expected.

Broncos at Ravens (-5.5)

Veldheer and Marshall were upgraded to limited practices on Friday, improving the chances they'll be able to play in this matchup. Jones hasn't practiced all week. Case Keenum (knee) missed Wednesday's practice but was a full participant the rest of the week and is good to go. Hurst, the Ravens' first-round pick, remains sidelined. Stanley and Judon both practiced in full, making them likely to suit up for this game. Mosley could be a long shot to play after missing practice Wednesday and Friday, with Thursday's session just a limited workout. Pierce hasn't practiced all week and seems unlikely to play, and those injuries could make life easier for Broncos running backs in this game.

Giants at Texans (-6)

The Giants are still without Vernon, but edge linebacker Connor Barwin is good to go after missing practice early in the week with a knee injury. He practiced in full on Friday, as did tight end Evan Engram (ankle), who is good to go for this matchup. The Texans are pretty healthy despite potentially missing a few depth players on offense. Pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney was upgraded to a full practice on Friday and avoided a final injury designation. Receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller remained limited on Friday but avoided questionable tags.

Raiders at Dolphins (-3)

  • Raiders: DT P.J. Hall (ankle) OUT; CB Nick Nelson (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
  • Dolphins: S Reshad Jones (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE

Both these teams come into this matchup in good health after placing a key player on IR (Dolphins guard Josh Sitton, Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis) early in the season. The Raiders got limited practices from Marshawn Lynch (shoulder) and offensive linemen Rodney Hudson (ankle) and Gabe Jackson (pec), but all three avoided injury tags. The Dolphins roll into this matchup pretty healthy after listing 10 players on the injury report this week. Jones got in two limited practices before earning a questionable tag, and his absence would be a massive blow for a defense playing well in the first two weeks. 

Packers (-3) at Redskins

Rodgers remained sidelined the entire week of practice, but he's expected to practice Saturday and play in Week 3 after following the same script last week. The Packers are down at least one corner and maybe two after House was limited in practice all week. Jones was also limited all week, meaning the secondary could be even more shorthanded for this matchup, Burks practiced in full all week but is still questionable to play. The Redskins are down a starting guard, but both starting tackles and the team's other starting guard practiced in full and avoided final injury designations. Corner Josh Norman (illness) was also upgraded to a full practice on Friday and is good to go.

Bills at Vikings (-16.5)

McCoy is questionable to play after being limited in practice all week, and it may make sense for the Bills to hold him out of what should be an ugly game rather than risk further injury. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin (hip) is good to go after full practices Thursday and Friday. The Vikings have their own RB concerns with Cook ruled out, and Latavius Murray should get the bulk of the work for Minnesota. The defense is also down a key player with edge rusher Everson Griffen ruled out. Against the Bills' Swiss cheese line, it may not matter.

49ers at Chiefs (-6.5)

Goodwin is questionable to return to action this week after being limited in practice all week. If he's sidelined, Dante Pettis would see a larger role in what figures to be a plus matchup. Corner Richard Sherman popped up on the injury report as not practicing Thursday with a heel injury, but he was back to a full practice Friday and is good to go. The Chiefs will likely remain without their top defensive back as Berry has yet to practice at all. Ware popped up on the injury report Friday as limited with a knee issue. The rest of the team is good to go, including key defensive lineman Chris Jones, who missed practice Wednesday with a groin injury.

Chargers at Rams (-7)

Barksdale remains sidelined after picking up an injury in the opener, and Bosa has yet to play as he recovers from a foot injury. Watt, Benjamin and Gates were all limited on Friday and could be out there for this matchup if they can avoid any setbacks. Running back Melvin Gordon suffered a neck injury in Week 2 but practiced in full all week and avoided a final injury designation. Zuerlein injured his groin in warmups last week and is expected to miss a few weeks. Barron has yet to play this year. Key defensive lineman Michael Brockers (shoulder) practiced in full on Friday and is good to go.

Bears (-5) at Cardinals

Bears depth corner Marcus Cooper picked up a hamstring injury during the week that caused him to miss practice Friday and be ruled out for this game. Houston-Carson was limited all week but will also be sidelined, but the Bears roll into this game relatively healthy. That's not the case for the Cardinals, who saw Smith downgraded to DNP on Friday before being ruled out. Fitzgerald missed practice Wednesday and was limited the rest of the week, but he figures to suit up for this game. Gresham and Golden practiced in full all week but were unable to avoid the questionable tag. Guard Mike Iupati (chest) and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (foot) were upgraded to a full practice Friday and are good to go.

Cowboys at Seahawks (-1.5)

The Collins injury will put the Cowboys' interior depth to the test on the defensive line, and the linebackers could also be without a key player after Lee managed just two limited sessions this week. Woods was limited all week after missing the first two games with a hamstring issue. Beasley first popped up on the injury report Thursday and has been limited since. The Seahawks are still without key players on both sides of the ball in Baldwin and Wright, though middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returns for this matchup after missing Week 2. Pocic played all of Week 2 but will miss this matchup, and Britt could also be sidelined after suffering an injury in Monday's loss. That could weaken an already mediocre Seattle offensive line.

Patriots (-7) at Lions

The Patriots will likely be down two key members of the defense with Flowers and Chung hurt, and the team's depth at safety could be stretched with two other players limited in practice all week. Gordon was also limited all week after coming over in a trade with the Browns, and Cannon was a limited participant the entire week as well. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is good to go after being listed as limited Thursday with an ankle injury. Jones and Roberts both popped up on the injury report for the first time Friday as being limited. If Jones can't go, that would open up more targets for Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay. Lang and Ansah have been limited all week. Slay was upgraded to limited Friday, improving his chances at playing in a matchup where he'll likely be sorely missed if sidelined.

Steelers (-1.5) at Buccaneers

  • Steelers: OT Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), G David DeCastro (hand), S Morgan Burnett (groin) DOUBTFUL
  • Buccaneers: DT Vita Vea (calf), DT Beau Allen (foot), CB Marcus Williams (hamstring) OUT; CB Brent Grimes (groin), S Chris Conte (knee) QUESTIONABLE

The Steelers are likely down the right side of their offensive line, though Gilbert was able to get in a limited practice on Saturday. Joe Haden practiced all week and is ready to return from his hamstring issue for this matchup. The Bucs are still going through injury issues on defense, with Vea ruled out despite being limited all week. Grimes practiced in full all week and seems ready to return from his groin injury. Receiver Chris Godwin and offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson were upgraded to full practice sessions on Saturday and are good to go.

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