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.