Is Isiah Pacheco Playing Today? Latest Injury Updates, Fantasy Analysis, and More (December 31, 2023)

Will the Kansas City Chiefs have their RB1 available to help them bounce back this week? What’s the latest on Isiah Pacheco?

Any fantasy manager with a piece of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ offense this season has been at least slightly disappointed. Patrick Mahomes has not been his usual self, Travis Kelce looks human, and the carousel of WRs has limited any startable fantasy options among the pass catchers.

One of the only consistent fantasy football pieces has been RB Isiah Pacheco. However, Pacheco also has been battling injuries. Will he be available to play this weekend?

Is Isiah Pacheco Going To Play Week 17?

Pacheco is currently the RB19 on the season, with 805 yards rushing and seven TDs, and also has over 200 yards receiving.

The Chiefs RB1 left Monday’s game against Las Vegas early to get checked out for a head injury. It was determined that he had a concussion, and he did not return to the field, playing only 57% of the snaps.

It was incredibly disappointing since Pacheco had missed Weeks 14 and 15 due to a shoulder injury, and the Chiefs were looking for any sort of a spark to push them towards the playoffs.

Pacheco continued to proceed through the protocol, missing practice each day this week until Friday, when he logged a limited session.

On Friday, Chiefs HC Andy Reid expressed confidence that Pacheco would be able to play this week.

He was asked about playing La’Mical Perine or elevating players from the practice squad for the Week 17 matchup against the Bengals, and Reid expressed confidence in his backfield. “I don’t think we’re going to have to do that, but they’d be fine,” Reid said.

However, on Saturday, the Chiefs did elevate RB Keaontay Ingram from the practice squad, which might be a just-in-case move. Later that day, Ian Rapoport reported that Pacheco had cleared concussion protocol and was expected to play. 

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Playoff Predictor

He is still listed as questionable with a concussion and a shoulder injury, so fantasy managers will still have to check the list of inactives when it is released 90 minutes before kickoff.

The Chiefs are in the late window, so make sure to have a pivot available. Pacheco is RB52 in PFN’s Consensus Rankings this week.

Potential Fantasy Options If Pacheco Is Out Include Clyde Edwards-Helaire and La’Mical Perine

With Jerick McKinnon on IR, if Pacheco does suffer a setback, the pivot options are smaller than usual for Kansas City. The immediate option would be Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but he has been missing practice.

A bug has been going around the NFL, and Edwards-Helaire looks to be the latest one to catch it, as he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

The next move would be to La’Mical Perine, who has only played three games this season and is not a fantasy option for championship week.

If both Pacheco and Edwards-Helaire miss this week, I would see Mahomes putting the team on his back and significantly minimizing the impact of the running game. 

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