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Fantasy RB Injury Update Week 16: Damien Harris, James Robinson injuries affect your fantasy playoffs

Fantasy RB Injury Update Week 16: Damien Harris, James Robinson injuries affect your fantasy playoffs
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against Budda Baker #32 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

We now approach Week 16, which serves as the fantasy football championship in most leagues. Every lineup decision could either be the one that wins you bragging rights, prizes, and all the glory — or sends you home packing with nothing. This is especially true with so many critical injuries to the RB position to watch out for. As a result, we now need to closely follow our Week 16 fantasy RB injury update. The statuses of key players like Damien Harris and James Robinson are up in the air and could determine your team’s future.

Fantasy RB Injury Update Week 16: The biggest injury question marks heading into Week 16

What is the latest on Myles Gaskin?

Updated December 24th, 2020: Myles Gaskin has been removed from the reserve list and should be active for their game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

A week after they were forced to start journeyman DeAndre Washington at running back, the Miami Dolphins got some reinforcements.

Both Salvon Ahmed and Matt Breida made their return to the field for the Dolphins in Week 15. Against the New England Patriots, Ahmed had a career day, rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Meanwhile, Breida added another 86 yards on 12 carries.

The Dolphins need to make sure they can consistently get close to that level of production from their backups. If they can, it will make Myles Gaskin’s absence easier to stomach. That’s hugely important, as we still don’t currently know when the Dolphins can expect Gaskin’s return.

Gaskin landed on the Dolphins’ reserve list after receiving a positive test on December 12th. If it takes him the standard two weeks to recover, he probably would not take the field until Week 17. With that said, it affects everyone differently, so Gaskin could be out even longer than that.

Until then, expect Ahmed to be Miami’s lead back, with Breida getting moderate snaps as well. Also watch for Washington, Patrick Laird, Malcolm Perry, and potentially even Lynn Bowden to be sprinkled in too.

The Dolphins are set to travel to Las Vegas this coming Saturday, to play the Raiders in primetime for a crucial matchup in the AFC wildcard race.

What is James Robinson’s status for Week 16?

Update, Sunday, December 27: James Robinson is inactive in Week 16

Robinson, unfortunately, had to leave the Jaguars’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens early after suffering an injury to his ankle. Before the injury, he totaled 43 all-purpose yards and a score on 19 combined touches.Following the New York Jets’ surprising upset of the Los Angeles Rams, the Jacksonville Jaguars are set to draft first. The odds of them retaining that first overall selection over these final two weeks might be improved without James Robinson.

James Robinson would not return to the game following the injury, but to be fair, he didn’t have a chance to. The injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter, so his inability to return doesn’t necessarily mean the injury was severe. In fact, he was listed as “questionable” to return to the game, as opposed to “doubtful” or “out.”

As of now, we are unsure as to James Robinson’s availability for Jacksonville’s Week 16 matchup with the Chicago Bears. That means this week’s practice reports will be very important to watch for Jacksonville.

If he remains on the fantasy RB injury update for Week 16, watch for Dare Ogunbowale to take his place. So far this season, Ogunbowale has gained 24 yards on four carries, as the Jaguars have been able to avoid RB injuries. Do-it-all rookie Laviska Shenault could also see some work on the ground with James Robinson out. He has 93 yards on 17 carries in 2020.

Who will be active for the Seahawks at RB in Week 16?

RB injuries continue to plague the Seattle Seahawks. After tearing his ACL in December of 2019, the Seahawks were without Rashaad Penny for a calendar year. Penny made his return Sunday against the Washington Football Team, but Seattle had another RB suffer a serious injury.

Undrafted rookie running back DeeJay Dallas, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks, was carted off the field. Dallas sustained an injury to his ankle, serious enough to require an air cast, in the second quarter of action.

Dallas would not return to the game. As of now, we don’t have any information as to the severity of the ankle injury, but it didn’t look good. We should know more following an MRI on either Monday or Tuesday, but a Week 16 return seems far-fetched currently.

If Dallas remains inactive, newly-returned running back Penny, alongside Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde, should fill the void.

Will Ezekiel Elliott be active in Week 16?

Update, Sunday, December 27: Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be active in Week 16

A calf injury held Ezekiel Elliott out of practice all week ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ game with the San Francisco 49ers. He wasn’t even a limited participant for a single Cowboys’ practice, and as a result, missed the first game of his career.

Mike McCarthy originally expected Elliott to play but those plans changed as Elliott was unable to recover in time.

Tony Pollard filled in for Elliott and had an impressive game against the 49ers’ talented defensive front. Pollard gained 69 yards and scored two touchdowns — including the game-winner — on 12 carries.

After the game, reporters asked Elliott if he would return next week against the Eagles. “I’m not shutting it down,” Elliott said. “We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll see if I can get out there next week.”

Until then though, Elliott will be on the fantasy RB injury update for Week 16.

If he misses next week’s game, that would come as a major blow to fantasy owners everywhere. Many of whom, have already been disappointed by Elliott underperforming this year.

Fantasy RB Injury Update Week 16: AFC Players

Damien Harris, New England Patriots (Ankle)

Damien Harris missed the New England Patriots Week 15 matchup with the Miami Dolphins due to an ankle injury. He suffered the injury the week prior in a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

That absence further depleted a New England running back room that had already lost Rex Burkhead for the season.

The Patriots ran the risk of also being without James White, who had been a limited participant all week, but he suited up on Sunday. Without Damien Harris in the picture, White had an impressive game, but Sony Michel was the primary ball-carrier.

White gained just three yards on the ground but supplemented that with 52 receiving yards on four receptions. Meanwhile, Michel gained 74 yards on 10 carries.

If Damien Harris misses New England’s Week 16 Monday Night matchup with the Bills, watch for that split between Michel and White to continue.

Clyde Edwards Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (Leg/Hip)

Updated December 25th, 2020: Edwards-Helaire has been ruled out of Week 16.

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a leg injury late in Kansas City’s win over New Orleans. He was unable to put weight on his left leg on his way to the locker room.

Fortunately for the Chiefs, Helaire’s x-rays came back negative. Reid said the Chiefs will evaluate him further once they return to Kansas City.

Fantasy RB Updates: NFC Players

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (Ankle)

Updated December 24th, 2020: Raheem Mostert was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his 2020 season, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Fantasy owners are frustrated with what Raheem Mostert gave them this season. Not only has San Francisco’s running-back-by-committee approach hurt his production, but injuries have hampered it as well, much like Damien Harris in New England.

In the 49ers’ loss to the Cowboys, Mostert exited the game with an ankle injury and would not return. Backup running back Jeff Wilson also suffered an injury (hamstring) later in the game and would not return.

As of now, the 49ers haven’t informed the public as to how serious those injuries are. Though we will have a better idea once the 49ers release their practice reports.

Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (Toe)

Updated December 27th, 2020: Gibson is expected to play in Week 16.

Gibson missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices but finally made his return to the field on Friday. Unfortunately for Washington enough, that late return wasn’t enough for him to play Sunday.The Washington Football Team was without Antonio Gibson for their matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Gibson missed the game due to an injury he suffered on his toe.

As a result, the absence forced Washington to turn to Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic, who did an admirable job of filling in. However, that offense just isn’t the same without Gibson.

His return to practice on Friday is cause for optimism regarding a Week 16 return, but we’ll have to watch practice reports to make sure.

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (Ankle)

Updated December 24th, 2020: Akers suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Jets and will be sidelined for the Rams’ Week 16 matchup against the Seahawks as a result, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports.

Fantasy managers seeking to win a championship with Cam Akers in their lineups next week will need to pivot in another direction. Head Coach Sean McVay announced Monday night that Akers has a high ankle sprain and will miss next week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Akers suffered the injury during the Rams’ disappointing loss to the New York Jets. While he battled through it to finish the game, he’ll need the time to get it healed before the playoffs. I would not be surprised if he missed Week 17 as well.

Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown are the obvious candidates to carry the load in his absence and gain additional work.

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