Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell looked like the featured player from this backfield in the season opener, but a rib injury appears to have put his status for the team’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the Minnesota Vikings in serious jeopardy.
How will Gainwell’s injury impact the fantasy football value of the other Eagles running backs heading into Week 2? Let’s take a closer look.
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Latest News Surrounding Kenneth Gainwell
The latest injury update on Gainwell doesn’t look very promising heading into their showdown with the Vikings on Thursday Night Football.
Nick Sirianni declined to address #Eagles’ injures, but S Reed Blankenship (ribs) and RB Kenny Gainwell (ribs) trending toward not being ready from what I’m hearing.
CB James Bradberry still in protocol. DT Fletcher Cox (ribs) should be ready.
Report released this afternoon.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) September 13, 2023
Will Gainwell Play This Week?
Editor’s Note: Gainwell has now been ruled out for the Eagles’ matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Gainwell did not participate in practice on Monday or Tuesday.
If he is a non-participant again on Wednesday, odds are he won’t be available for their primetime showdown on Thursday night.
We have no official confirmation at this moment, but when players fail to log any participation in practice for the entire week leading up to a game, it is generally not a promising sign.
What Does This Mean for D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, and Boston Scott’s Fantasy Ranking?
The Eagles gave Gainwell the bulk of the work from the running back position in their 25-20 victory over the New England Patriots in Week 1.
Gainwell saw 14 carries for 54 yards on the ground while touching the ball an additional four times in the passing game for an additional 20 yards.
Sure, his 74 total yards on 18 touches with no scores isn’t exactly earth-shattering production, but when you realize that D’Andre Swift and Boston Scott combined for four total touches for 13 yards, the leading role to start the season clearly favored Gainwell.
It is also worth mentioning that the Eagles decided to make running back Rashaad Penny — who the team signed this offseason in free agency — a healthy scratch for the season opener.
This means we are back at square one with very little idea as to how this backfield will shake out if Gainwell is inactive for Week 2.
One potential clue we may have got came during a post-game interview with Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni on Sunday where talked about Swift’s lack of involvement in the offense.
“I don’t ever want to come out of a game where D’Andre Swift has only two touches either,” Sirianni said after the game.
If Gainwell is unable to go in Week 2, expect Swift to see a significantly expanded role against the Vikings. He will be my highest-ranked RB from the Eagles backfield.
While I’m intrigued to see how Penny could look in this offense, Gainwell’s usage in the season opener and Penny’s inactive status don’t bode well for a huge role on Thursday.
It is entirely possible that Scott, a player whom the coaching staff trusts and who is familiar with this offensive system, could be the player with the most snaps if Gainwell is unavailable.
However, Swift is such a dynamic and efficient player with the ball in his hands, that I would prefer his upside in my lineup over Scott.