Jacksonville Jaguars RB Travis Etienne sustained an injury to his ribs in last week’s game. He was initially forced from the game but was able to return. Still dealing with the injury, is Etienne likely to play Monday night? Should fantasy football managers have a contingency plan in place?
Is Travis Etienne Going To Play Week 13?
One of the most frustrating aspects of fantasy is injuries. Even more frustrating is the impact game times have on fantasy managers’ ability to manage them.
With the Jaguars playing Monday night, fantasy managers will have to make a call on Etienne by Sunday morning. There’s no way of knowing for sure if Etienne will play. All we can do is make the best decisions possible based on the information we have.
Etienne left last week’s game with what was then described as a chest injury. He was able to return to the game. While he didn’t play particularly well, mustering up 56 yards on 20 carries, he did manage to score 12.6 fantasy points. If Etienne is playing, fantasy managers want him in the lineup.
When the Jaguars opened practice for the week on Thursday, Etienne was officially listed as having a rib injury. We don’t have any specifics on it, but it sounds as if he is dealing with bruised ribs. There’s a chance he has a fracture, but I doubt he would be playing if that were the case.
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The Jaguars easily could have held Etienne out of their first practice of the week. Instead, he got in a limited session.
It would have been nice to see Etienne manage a full practice on Friday or Saturday, but even three limited sessions put him on track to play.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported, “The Jaguars are optimistic that RB Travis Etienne (ribs) will be able to play Monday night.” The team listed him as questionable.
Optimism from the team doesn’t guarantee anything. But the vast majority of the time, these reports are correct.
I have Etienne on a team. I currently have no backup. Unless we hear otherwise, I am rolling him out there under the assumption he plays.
Potential Fantasy Options if Etienne Is Out Include D’Ernest Johnson and Tank Bigsby
Even though I’m willing to roll the dice on Etienne’s playing status without a backup on the roster, that doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you absolutely should not do that.
The reason I don’t have an alternative in place is because there aren’t any worthwhile options to add. If Etienne ends up not playing, I will put him on IR and pick someone up Monday night. For those of you without anyone you can easily drop, that is very much on the table.
If you do want to have the backup plan in place ahead of time, D’Ernest Johnson has emerged as the clear handcuff to Etienne. As of Saturday afternoon, Johnson is rostered in just 14% of Yahoo leagues. When Etienne exited the game last week, it was Johnson who handled seven carries and saw two targets. He would be in the RB18-24 range if Etienne were ruled out.
The desperation play would be the rookie. It goes without saying that in a scenario where Etienne doesn’t play, Johnson is not playing 100 percent of the snaps. Bigsby would get a chance and likely see 6-8 opportunities. Given the Jaguars’ lack of allegiance to either back, if Bigsby suddenly played well, he would likely earn the opportunity to stay on the field more than expected.
Even if Etienne were to sit, Bigsby would not be recommended start. He is purely a Hail Mary play, likely checking in somewhere in the RB40-48 range in a no-Etienne scenario.
If Johnson isn’t available, and you are starting at least three running backs, my recommendation would be to look at wide receiver to replace a potentially inactive Etienne. I would rather take a shot on Trenton Irwin or Zay Jones catching a touchdown than Bigsby being able to earn more work.
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