For many fantasy football managers, this week might be the last chance they have to get into the fantasy playoffs. For others, it is a chance to play around with lineups and matchups and test the waters for the weeks moving forward. Unfortunately, several WRs are battling injuries in Week 14. Here are the most recent fantasy injury updates on Puka Nacua, Noah Brown, and Zay Jones.
WR Fantasy Injury Updates
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
We all thought Cooper Kupp would be the Los Angeles Rams WR that would win us fantasy championships this season, but it might be the rookie Nacua instead. The 177th pick in the NFL Draft is currently the WR9, with seven finishes in the top 13 this season. Nacua’s talent mixed with Kupp’s slow recovery from injury, has created a fantasy WR for the ages.
Last week, against a presumably tough Cleveland Browns defense, Nacua had 136 scrimmage yards and a TD. He had a fantastic 70-yard breakaway run that caused Kupp to jump for joy. Nacua was WR10 in Week 13. However, he did land awkwardly on his shoulder after one pass, and it looked like his day was finished.
#Rams WR Puka Nacua lands hard on his right shoulder on this play.
The rookie sensation is now in the locker room. pic.twitter.com/aUhzgH4QZF
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 3, 2023
Nacua was slow to get up, and later he was asked about it. He said, “I wasn’t breathing, and my shoulder didn’t feel like it was in the right place, but I was good though.” Nacua was limited in the Rams’ walkthrough on Wednesday due to the shoulder, but needless to say, he is tough. I expect him to play this week.
Editor’s note: Nacua was a full participant in practice on Thursday.
Noah Brown, WR, Houston Texans
The shiny new rookie WR Tank Dell has been having a phenomenal year. The WR17 on the season had become the favorite target of QB C.J. Stroud. Unfortunately, this week, Dell got rolled up during a TD run from RB Dameon Pierce and broke his left fibula. He underwent surgery this week and was placed on injured reserve.
With Dell out for the year, fantasy managers look to other receiving options in what has become an exciting Houston offense. Nico Collins becomes the WR1, but Brown quickly becomes the second option.
Brown missed Week 11 and Week 12 due to a knee injury but managed to return in Week 13. He only had two targets, as Collins got the majority of the work, but his target share should increase with Dell out of the mix. It is reported that he has not had any setbacks with his knee, but he was limited in practice today. This looks to be a maintenance precaution, but fantasy managers should monitor practice reports for the rest of the week.
Editor’s note: Brown was a full participant in practice on Thursday.
Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones has missed a lot of football this season. Battling a knee injury for the majority of the year, he has missed six games. He has been less than fantasy-relevant in the games he has played, outside of Week 1 when he finished as the WR18. Jones is currently the WR94 on the season.
With the loss of Christian Kirk, the opportunity for Jones to have a fantasy impact increases considerably. On Monday night, Kirk went down after his first catch and took his time getting up. It turned out to be a groin injury, and he will get core muscle surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. His fantasy season is over.
But for Jones to take advantage of Kirk’s bad luck, he needs to get on the field, and he was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Jones immediately becomes the WR2 for the Jags with Kirk out, and fantasy managers hope this is just a maintenance-limited session on Wednesday.
Remember that if Jones takes the field, he might not be catching passing from QB Trevor Lawrence. It might be C.J. Beathard under center while Lawrence deals with his high ankle sprain.
Editor’s note: Jones was a limited participant in practice on Thursday.
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