It’s always a challenge to navigate through injuries in fantasy football. The RB position has several players dealing with issues. The time to set Week 13 lineups is near. What are the latest fantasy injury updates on Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, and Kareem Hunt?
Latest News and Injury Updates Impacting Fantasy
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
Two weeks ago, Aaron Jones went down with an ugly-looking knee injury. Given the way it looked, combined with Jones’ reaction to the injury, it sure felt like he was going to be done for the season. Fortunately, Jones escaped with an MCL sprain.
Last week, Jones was able to stretch with the team but did not officially practice at all. He did not play on Thanksgiving.
To begin this week, it was more of the same. Jones did not practice, remaining inside with the rehab group, according to Rob Demovsky.
Wednesday practices do not mean much this late in the season. However, when players have previously missed a game, they usually practice on the Wednesday before they return. Jones logging a DNP does not bode well for his chances.
Furthermore, we’ve already seen Jones attempt to return too soon from a hamstring strain, which sidelined him even longer than expected. As a result, look for the Packers to be extra cautious with their top running back.
Even if Jones is able to return to a limited practice on Thursday or Friday, which is not something I expect anyway, fantasy managers should prepare to be without him once again.
With Jones out, AJ Dillon will operate as the lead back. But he’s got an injury of his own …
Thursday Update: Jones remained absent from practice on Thursday. He is almost certainly not going to play this week.
AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
Last week, Dillon got the start with Jones inactive. However, he played just 52% of the snaps. Dillon was his usual inefficient self, carrying the ball 14 times for 43 yards. He salvaged his fantasy outing with three catches for 38 yards.
Whenever Jones misses time, Dillon operates as the lead back, but it’s never exciting for fantasy purposes. He’s just a volume-based RB3. That is what fantasy managers can expect from Dillon this week against a strong Kansas City Chiefs defense. Of course, that is if Dillon is able to go, himself.
Dillon was on the injury report last week with a groin issue. He was able to get in a couple of limited practices before ultimately suiting up. Notably, he did not miss a practice.
Although it is only Wednesday, it’s been six days since the Packers played. In theory, Dillon should be able to practice. The fact that he didn’t is a little bit concerning.
If there’s any good news, it’s not a new injury for Dillon. He’s still managing a groin injury he’s played through for two weeks now.
It sounds as if the decision to hold Dillon out of practice was more precautionary than anything else, according to Matt LaFleur, per Tom Silverstein.
I’m optimistic the Packers are choosing to use the extended time between games to allow Dillon to heal. He’s been playing through the injury and hasn’t looked to be significantly hampered by it. As long as Dillon returns to a limited session on Thursday, he should be good to go for Sunday.
In the event Jones and Dillon are both out, Patrick Taylor would be the lead back. The Packers would have to sign at least one, if not two backs to put behind Taylor. Neither would be even remotely fantasy-relevant.
Thursday Update: Dillon returned to a limited practice, putting him on track to play Sunday.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
Last week, Kareem Hunt played just 26% of the offensive snaps. While he hasn’t played more than 44% all season, the 26% number was surprisingly low. Perhaps now we know why. Hunt is currently dealing with a groin injury. He did not practice on Wednesday.
Currently, we don’t know any specifics about Hunt’s injury. If he gets in a limited practice on Thursday or Friday, that probably puts him on track to play.
However, Hunt’s status doesn’t really have my of a fantasy impact. He is nowhere near fantasy-relevant as long as Jerome Ford remains healthy.
Hunt operated as the lead back while Ford was nursing an ankle sprain. But once Ford fully recovered, Ford was right back in the lead role, which is clearly what the Cleveland Browns want.
Hunt is averaging just 3.21 ypc on the season. He’s only had useful fantasy games when he’s scored, which is something he did for five consecutive games from Weeks 6-10.
Outside of the touchdowns, Hunt just doesn’t offer much. The once-great receiving back offers nothing in the passing game. He has a total of nine catches on the season and hasn’t caught a single one in three of his last four games.
If Hunt can’t go, Pierre Strong Jr. will run as the RB2 behind Hunt. He would not be on the fantasy radar, either.
Thursday Update: Hunt returned to a limited practice, putting him on track to play Sunday.
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