With three running backs coming off the IR in recent weeks, Week 11 is relatively quiet for fantasy football injury updates in those terms. However, there are still some intriguing players, either on the verge of being eligible to return or set to be eligible in the coming weeks. Let’s take a look at when the likes of J.K. Dobbins, Marquise Brown, Cooper Kupp, Carson Wentz, Randall Cobb, and more may be eligible to return.
Latest Injury IR Updates: J.K. Dobbins and Marquise Brown Highlight Fantasy Options
J.K. Dobbins Injury Update
Dobbins returned from a torn ACL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring in Week 3. However, in Week 6, the Baltimore Ravens said Dobbins’ knee had flared up in their game against the Giants. He was then placed on the IR heading into Week 7, meaning Dobbins would have to miss a minimum of four games, which with the Ravens’ Week 10 bye, means he is out through Week 11 at least.
Last week, we got an update from head coach John Harbaugh that Dobbins’ surgery had been a success. This week, Dobbins himself gave an update on the Purple Playbook show, saying that he “didn’t get reinjured” and that he didn’t hurt himself. Dobbins stated that he didn’t feel like himself. A further inspection revealed there was scar tissue making him not feel like himself.
Dobbins went on to add that he “could have still played, but I’d rather be 100 percent going into the playoffs towards the end of the year so I could really do what I really need to do to help the team win.”
The element of that statement from Dobbins which sparks a level of concern is the comment about the playoffs. With Kenyan Drake playing well and Gus Edwards also in the mix, the Ravens could slow play Dobbins’ return in the coming weeks. That could be a concern for fantasy managers, and this backfield mix will make it tough to trust Dobbins in the immediacy of his return.
The backfield is going to be one that is far more suited to Underdog Fantasy Best Ball tournaments than it is to conventional season-long fantasy. Trusting any of Drake, Edwards, or Dobbins will be tough while all three remain in the mix. The one with the most value will likely be the one who finds the end zone in a given week, but that could be hard to predict week-to-week.
Marquise Brown Injury Update
Update: Brown has been designated to return from IR, meaning he can start practicing in Week 11.
Brown is eligible to come off IR this week after suffering a non-surgical foot injury back in Week 6. Brown was placed on IR ahead of Week 7, meaning that he has now missed the required minimum of four games. Therefore, we could see Brown back in practice as early as this week and potentially on the field against the San Francisco 49ers.
The initial prognosis of the injury suggested it could be a six-week absence. That would have put Brown in line to return in Week 14 after the Arizona Cardinals’ bye. However, with the Cardinals at 4-6 and their season in the balance, Arizona will want their WR2 back as soon as possible without risking further harm.
When head coach Kliff Kingsbury addressed the media on Monday, he told reporters that Brown is “getting close.” He added that he thought Brown was “getting to the point where he’s getting day-to-day.” However, Kingsbury said he wasn’t sure that Brown would be ready for this week. He finished by saying that Brown will definitely be back after the bye at the latest (Week 14).
That uncertainty makes it tough for fantasy managers. If you were holding onto Brown, hoping he could return with just a four-week absence, this is not ideal news. But if you’re looking at a playoff run, then Brown not returning until Week 14 could actually be perfect timing.
Cooper Kupp Injury Update
After we found out on Monday that Kupp could have a high ankle sprain, we got news on Tuesday that the Los Angeles Rams WR will undergo ankle surgery and be placed on IR. Therefore, we have a rough initial timeframe for Kupp, as he will now miss the next four games.
Kupp is at least out until Week 15, when he could potentially return for the Rams game in Green Bay. However, if the Rams’ season continues the way it is going (3-6), they may decide it’s not worth rushing him back.
This puts fantasy managers in a tough position. Do you try and sell Kupp now and take pennies on the dollar to boost your team in the short term? Or do you stash him on your bench or in an IR spot and hope he returns to help you in the fantasy playoffs?
If you are a team battling to keep your season alive, then you might look to sell for a contributor that can help you now. However, if you’re a team that is all but in the playoffs, you might consider offering a player from the back end of your roster to secure Kupp in the hope he can help you in the playoffs.
Carson Wentz Injury Update
Week 11 is when Carson Wentz could come off IR. However, the way that Taylor Heinicke has been performing in his absence, there’s no guarantee that Wentz will come back into a starting role.
If you’ve been stashing Wentz on your IR while awaiting his return, it will get hard when he returns. With no timeframe as to whether he could return to a starting role, you could simply be wasting a roster spot. The only place that Wentz is even worth considering as a stash is in 14-team or deeper Superflex formats.
Randall Cobb Injury Update
The Green Bay Packers are a little tight on time when it comes to Randall Cobb. The WR is eligible to return this week, but on a short week ahead of Thursday Night Football, they may not want to rush him without significant practice.
At his Monday media availability, head coach Matt LaFleur said that Cobb has a chance to play this week. Cobb will start the week participating in the team’s walkthrough, and his progress throughout the week will be intriguing to see. Even if he’s active, it will be hard for fantasy managers to trust him, with little clarity on how much he plays this week.
Other IR Players of Note Include DJ Chark, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow
We could see DJ Chark return this week, so it will be intriguing to see his status as the week goes on. Chark has a chance to slot straight back into a starting role opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown, with Josh Reynolds struggling with a back injury. Chark will not be someone fantasy managers can trust immediately, but he could be a contributor down the line.
The Las Vegas Raiders placed Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on IR ahead of Week 10. Both will be eligible to return in Week 14. Waller is the higher priority stash simply because he plays the position that comes at a higher premium. Fantasy managers will be hoping Waller can return and provide them a boost heading into the playoffs.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.