Week 2 is here and so are the injury reports around the NFL. As players mend from Week 1 and preseason setbacks, the NFL season rolls on whether they are ready or not. Running backs are some of the most oft-injured players on an NFL team. Having depth on an NFL or fantasy football roster is essential for success.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the running back injuries headed into Week 2. Will our fantasy backs be able to play? And should we be building up our depth on waivers before Sunday?
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Injury Updates for Top Fantasy Football RBs
Here is the latest news on fantasy-relevant running backs at the start of Week 2.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Editor’s Note: Austin Ekeler has been ruled out for Week 2.
Austin Ekeler has been nursing an ankle injury all week after the Los Angeles Chargers fell to the Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday. Ekeler is one of the top fantasy backs in the game, and the news this week is not great.
Ekeler was officially listed as doubtful for Sunday by the Chargers on Friday. Doubtful designations rarely end with the player seeing action that week, and I would fully expect that Ekeler will not suit up in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.
In his stead, Joshua Kelley will likely get the start for the Chargers. Kelley was able to tally 91 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in Week 1. He immediately becomes a strong fantasy option for managers who roster the fourth-year back. With Ekeler likely out, Kelley is a great start for your teams on Sunday.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
Editor’s Note: Aaron Jones is inactive for Week 2.
Packers’ RB Aaron Jones, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury, is not expected to play vs. the Falcons, per sources. The Packers promoted RB Patrick Taylor from their practice squad Saturday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2023
When the Green Bay Packers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons this weekend, they may be without one of the top-scoring fantasy players from Week 1. Aaron Jones had a dominant game last Sunday against the Chicago Bears. The running back totaled 127 yards from scrimmage and had two receiving touchdowns.
But Jones came up lame after crossing the goal line on his second touchdown catch with a hamstring injury. He did not finish the game. Jones could not practice this week and was officially listed as questionable for Week 2.
If Jones is unable to play on Sunday, AJ Dillon managers have an opportunity to reap the benefits. Dillon would likely start and see the majority of carries for the Pack in Jones’ absence. This decision may come down to game time, so be prepared as a fantasy manager if you have Jones currently in your lineup.
Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
Breece Hall did the most with his opportunities in the New York Jets’ Week 1 win against the Buffalo Bills. Hall carried the ball only 10 times, but he racked up 127 rushing yards, including an 83-yard scamper in the second quarter to set up a Jets field goal.
Hall is good to go again this week when the Jets play the Dallas Cowboys, but head coach Robert Saleh says he will remain on a pitch count. While the number of carries may be much lower than a full workload, Hall was able to do a lot with those opportunities in Week 1.
We will have to see if he can capitalize once again when the Jets play a stout Cowboys defense in Week 2.
James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Veteran running back James Conner has been dealing with a calf injury this week that has stopped him from fully participating in every practice. The back is one of the few top weapons the Cardinals have at their disposal, so Arizona could use him on the field on Sunday.
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Luckily, Conner was able to return and practice in full on Friday. The Cardinals did not give him an injury designation for Sunday, so the back should be good to go when the Cardinals face the New York Giants in their home opener in Glendale.
Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts
After missing Week 1 recovering from a broken arm, Zack Moss was able to practice in full on Friday. The Indianapolis Colts did not give the running back an injury designation, and he should suit up for the team when they travel to Texas to take on the Houston Texans.
With Colts running backs Jonathan Taylor and Evan Hull already ruled out, Moss and Deon Jackson are the top two options in the running back room. Jackson had an awful Week 1 from an efficiency standpoint, with 14 yards on 13 carries for the team. I would expect Moss to get a significant shot at lead-back duties in Week 2.
Kendre Miller, RB, New Orleans Saints
Kendre Miller has, once again, been limited all week for the New Orleans Saints. The rookie running back is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of Week 1 and puts his Week 2 status into question.
The Saints play on Monday night this week, so their official designations are not due until Saturday afternoon. But I would anticipate at least a questionable tag on Miller if he is not practicing in full again on Saturday. It is possible he plays Monday, but we may also have to wait another week until we see the rookie’s NFL debut.
De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins
Good news for Miami Dolphins fans. De’Von Achane has been able to practice in full and has no injury designation leading into the team’s Sunday night matchup in Foxborough against the New England Patriots.
Achane will be on the field for his NFL debut this Sunday after missing Week 1 with a shoulder injury. The rookie back will complement Raheem Mostert for the Dolphins in their divisional matchup with the Pats.
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