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Is J.D. McKissic playing today vs. the Raiders?

Is J.D. McKissic playing today after spending all week on the injury report, and what should fantasy managers do in Week 13?

After delighting fantasy football managers last week, Washington Football Team RB J.D. McKissic suffered a concussion late in the game. Will he play in Week 13 after spending the week on Washington’s injury report? Let’s take a look at the latest regarding McKissic’s status, whether he will be active Sunday, and what fantasy managers should do.

Is J.D. McKissic playing in Week 13 despite spending the week on the injury report?

Concussions are always tricky for NFL players because of the protocol they have to clear to return. We have seen some players cleared during the week, others on Saturday, and even some on game day. Unfortunately, McKissic was unable to reach a point in the protocol where the decision could be pushed into Saturday or Sunday, and he was ruled out on Friday.

McKissic did not practice at all leading into Week 13, so the decision was not unexpected. However, with McKissic coming off a 2-touchdown performance, it is disappointing for fantasy managers.

Who will step up for Washington in McKissic’s place?

Washington has three running backs on their active roster. Those are McKissic, starting RB Antonio Gibson, and rookie Jaret Patterson. McKissic serves as a secondary option and a specialist receiver behind Gibson. Patterson is not suited to that role, so he will not be the primary replacement for McKissic.

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Instead, Washington elevated Wendell Smallwood from their practice squad on Saturday. Smallwood offers a better like-for-like replacement for McKissic than Patterson. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what role Smallwood plays and where he lines up on Sunday.

What should fantasy managers do?

From the point of view of McKissic, this is hopefully just a one-week absence. There is no certainty as concussions can linger, depending on the severity. Some players remain in the protocol for a matter of days, and others can be there for weeks. We have no indication where McKissic is in the protocol, so we will have to wait for next week to get an update.

McKissic’s absence does not really change much for Gibson. Their roles do eat into each other but not so significantly that Gibson now becomes a substantially better fantasy option this week. Gibson has been a solid RB2 overall this year but does have a boom-or-bust nature about him.

In terms of Smallwood, knowing what to do with him is tricky. McKissic is an RB3 overall this season and has been tough to trust. Smallwood is a lesser version of McKissic, which should not fill fantasy managers with much hope. Smallwood could be worth a speculative start in deeper formats, but it would be extremely speculative.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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