We are now heading into fantasy football championships in most leagues, and there are still question marks surrounding IR injury updates for players like Derrick Henry and Calvin Ridley. Will either of them be making a triumphant return to help win your leagues?
Fantasy Injury IR Updates: Can Derrick Henry see the field in Week 17?
Henry was placed on IR at the beginning of November. He suffered a Jones fracture, which is a break between the base and the shaft of the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot. According to Heathline.com, the recovery time on a Jones fracture is around seven weeks.
While we heard murmurs of a potential Week 16 or 17 return for Henry, it is looking more like we could see him in Week 18. For the rare few that continue their fantasy playoffs into the last week of the season, this is good news. Henry coming off of IR to win your fantasy league is the stuff fairy tales are made of.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported earlier this week that Week 18 is viewed as a realistic target for Henry. Pelissero is one of the more plugged-in national reporters, so this is a promising sign for Titan fans.
“It sounds like Derrick Henry maybe gets back for Week 18,” Pelissero said. “He has a chance to knock off some of the rust before [the Titans] get into the playoffs after the significant foot injury he suffered earlier this season.”
With two games left in the regular season, Tennessee still has a lot to play for. They are only one game up on the surging Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South and are only one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC. If they want to remain competitive in the NFL standings, getting Henry some touches would not be a bad thing.
Their last two contests are against the Dolphins and Texans. They cannot afford a slip-up if they want to lock up the division.
Is Calvin Ridley ready to make his return?
When Ridley stepped away from football earlier this year due to mental health issues, he did not provide a timeline on a potential return. There has been very little news surrounding the Falcons WR in recent weeks. The reality is that fantasy managers and fans shouldn’t expect to see Ridley on the field again in 2021.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was once again asked at a recent press conference about Ridley and his return. Smith provided the same answer that he has given all season when asked the question.
“I’m sure the fans and some of the bots want to know. Same as it’s been. As soon as I get an update, you’ll have an update,” said Smith.
The Falcons are currently in a close fight for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. They are 7-8 and one game behind the Eagles and 49ers. Atlanta needs to win out and Philadelphia and San Francisco to struggle down the stretch in order to earn a postseason berth.
When it comes to fantasy, the Falcons finally seemed to realize that if they want to win, they need to get Kyle Pitts more involved. In their 20-16 victory over Detroit this past week, Pitts had 102 yards on 6 receptions.
Will he be able to do the same for fantasy managers this week against Buffalo? It’s unlikely, given the Bills defense is the third-best in the league against the tight end position, allowing an average of only 4.6 fantasy points per game.
Fantasy Injury IR Updates: Can Christian McCaffrey return this year?
Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey had an up-and-down season riddled with injuries. After missing five games due to a hamstring injury, McCaffrey returned and looked to be his old self, totaling 421 total yards and a touchdown on 68 touches. However, in a loss to the Miami Dolphins, McCaffrey was once again injured.
He suffered an ankle injury that at the time did not seem too serious. Yet, an MRI after the game revealed that McCaffrey would again need to be placed on IR. Because of the time it would take to recover, and because it was his second time on IR this season, McCaffrey cannot return again in 2021.
McCaffrey finished the season with 99 rushes for 442 yards and a touchdown and 37 receptions for 343 yards and a score in seven games. That’s a far cry from the season fantasy managers were expecting after drafting him at the top of Round 1.
Notable IR additions include Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin
Some other notable names were added to the IR this past week. Two fantasy-relevant names include Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Chris Godwin. Fournette is likely to miss the rest of the regular season, but there have been reports of a potential playoff return. As for Godwin, he will miss the rest of the year with an ACL injury.
Both Fournette and Godwin had been fantasy superstars and big parts of the Tampa Bay offense. At the time of his injury, Godwin led all Buccaneers pass catchers with 127 targets and 98 catches. He has 1,103 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. As for Fournette, he leads the Bucs with 812 total rushing yards and 8 rushing TDs. He was also the team’s fourth-leading receiver with 454 receiving yards and 2 more scores.