Week 14 of the NFL season could see the return of some big-name players off injured reserve. Guys like Julio Jones, Sam Darnold, and Chase Edmonds are all eligible to return this week. Each of them has been out for at least four weeks on IR, but does that mean they will be activated in time for the fantasy football playoffs? Here is the most recent fantasy injury news and updates for some players coming off IR.
Fantasy Injury Report and Updates: Will Julio Jones play in Week 14?
The Tennessee Titans are currently in the midst of one of the worst injury situations of any team in the NFL. Julio Jones has been on injured reserve since November 13 with a hamstring injury. In addition to Jones, the Titans have also lost A.J. Brown until at least Week 16 with a chest injury. Losing their top two passing options is difficult, but when combined with losing their future Hall of Fame running back Derrick Henry for the season, the situation becomes even more dire.
The good news? Tennessee announced yesterday [December 6] that they have opened the practice window for Jones. He could return against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14. The timing couldn’t be better for the Titans. They are coming off their bye week and are playing a defense that has allowed the eighth-most receiving yards in the NFL. In 12 games, the Jaguars are allowing 22.2 fantasy points per game against WRs.
We still do not know if Jones will practice this week and how he will feel if he does, but there is optimism that we could see the WR return. Head coach Mike Vrabel had this to say when talking about Jones and some of the other injured players trying to get back.
“Those guys have been working extremely hard to get back, which is what we ask everybody that isn’t participating,” Vrabel said. “And, I felt like the training staff, the weight staff, everybody involved, those particular players worked extremely hard. I think it’s beneficial.”
Will Sam Darnold return to help try and save Carolina’s season?
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is technically eligible to return from IR in Week 14. He has been out since Week 10 after suffering a crack in the scapula of his throwing shoulder. The injury reportedly occurred during the Panthers’ Week 8 game against the Atlanta Falcons, a contest in which Darnold also suffered a concussion.
Darnold reportedly played through the injury during the team’s Week 9 loss to the New England Patriots, where he threw 3 interceptions.
It wasn’t long after Darnold was placed on IR that the Panthers signed Cam Newton to the roster. While that went well his first week, Newton’s play has significantly declined since then. When Darnold was originally injured, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the injury could keep him sidelined anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Technically, that does mean he could come back in Week 14.
However, we have yet to receive any sort of indication or update that Darnold would be back at practice. We will continue to monitor for injury updates surrounding the Carolina QB.
Fantasy Injury Report and Updates: Is Chase Edmonds returning in Week 14?
Update 12/09/21: NFL reporter Albert Breer is reporting that the Cardinals have designated RB Chase Edmonds to return from IR.
The Arizona Cardinals currently boast one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL. With key players like DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray all having missed time recently, it looks like the team is finally going to be healthy again. Murray and Hopkins returned in Week 13, and now, head coach Kliff Kingsbury believes that RB Chase Edmonds will also see his return.
Edmonds had been placed on IR ahead of the Cardinals’ Week 10 matchup against the Panthers. In Edmonds’ absence, James Conner has turned into a workhorse back. Over the previous three games, Conner is averaging 22 touches for 112 yards, and he’s scored 5 touchdowns.
The situation with Edmonds and Conner in fantasy football is tricky. It was clearly a split backfield before the Edmonds injury and will likely continue to be after his return. Conner’s success in Edmonds’ absence will make it difficult for Kingsbury to justify taking away too many of his touches.
Nevertheless, if Edmonds returns and is in good shape, he is a startable RB option. The Arizona offense is in the top three in points scored per game and averages 124.4 rushing yards per contest.