We are now entering the sixth week of the 2022 NFL season. Daily practice reports are becoming longer and longer as injury updates pour in. Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen once again did not play last week due to a lingering hamstring injury.
What is the latest on Allen’s status, and should fantasy football managers be prepared to be without him for yet another week?
Keenan Allen Injury Update
After seeing consecutive seasons shortened by serious injuries early in his career, Allen has been remarkably healthy for the better part of the past five seasons. Unfortunately, that came to end in Week 1, as he strained his hamstring and hasn’t played since.
Allen has now missed more games in 2022 than he missed from 2017 to 2021 combined.
The Chargers did hold a practice on Wednesday, but there was no official practice report, as one was not required since the Chargers play Monday night.
The good news is that Allen was present at this unofficial practice. We won’t know his actual activity level or how involved he was, but his taking the field at all is an improvement upon the past four weeks.
Chargers team reporter Hayley Elwood reported that head coach Brandon Staley said Allen would “be out in individual period today but is still considered day-to-day.” Without an official practice, it’s anyone’s guess as to what he actually did.
Staley categorizing Allen as “day-to-day” is definitely not what anyone wants to hear. At the same time, Allen hasn’t appeared particularly close to practicing over any of the past four weeks, so getting out there at all has to be viewed as a positive sign.
Normally, if a player practices on Wednesday, it’s a great sign for his potential availability. The Chargers’ first “official” practice of the week isn’t technically until tomorrow, so Allen participating a day early is even more encouraging.
Mike Williams Smashed Last Week as the WR1
With or without Allen, Mike Williams has appeared volatile. He caught eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Williams followed that up with a vanishing act in Week 3, catching just one pass for a 15-yard score.
However, Williams finally put together consecutive huge games in Weeks 4 and 5. He caught seven passes for 120 yards in Week 4 and 10 for 134 in Week 5. Williams didn’t score, but 24 targets across two games is what we love to see.
Even if Allen returns this week, Williams is still a weekly must-start for fantasy managers. Josh Palmer’s play has not been at the level many expected, and Jalen Guyton is done for the season. Justin Herbert can and will funnel targets to Allen, Williams, and Austin Ekeler.
Will Keenan Allen Play This Sunday?
Given how early it is in the week and before an official practice has even occurred, we are mostly flying blind right now.
Hamstring strains are tricky. Allen could be recovered enough to get in three limited practices, but still not fully ready to play in an actual game.
My guess is that Allen will, in fact, be limited all week, and will draw a questionable tag on Saturday. Unless we get a report indicating that Allen is likely to play, this will place fantasy managers in a precarious position.
Check back throughout the week for updates on Allen’s status. There’s no need to make any moves yet, but if Allen’s status is legitimately up in the air, fantasy managers wanting to roll the dice on his game-time status would be wise to put someone like DeAndre Carter or Joshua Kelley on their bench as a pivot option in case Allen doesn’t play.
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