As we move into the meat of Week 9, the RB injury report has some names on it that will worry fantasy football managers. Let’s take a look at the players we have question marks over this week, including D’Andre Swift, Gus Edwards, Damien Harris, James Conner, and more.
RB Injury Report Heading Into Week 9
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D’Andre Swift, DET | Ankle/Shoulder (Active)
Update: D’Andre Swift is active for the Detroit Lions.
It has been a strange few weeks for D’Andre Swift. Coming off the Detroit Lions Week 6 bye, he was held out of their Week 7 game. He was then a full participant in practice all week before playing in Week 8.
Despite head coach Dan Campbell saying that Swift felt “better this week than last” at his media availability Wednesday, the RB is listed as questionable on the Lions’ injury report.
This puts fantasy managers in a tough spot. When Swift is active, he’s extremely tough not to start. However, entering the weekend as questionable always meant he was likely to be limited at best, with Jamaal Williams handling the bulk of the work.
That was confirmed Saturday night by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who tweeted that Swift is expected to play in a limited capacity. Williams remains a solid starting option, While Swift sits as more of a Flex consideration, with his workload for the weekend uncertain.
Gus Edwards, BAL | Hamstring (Doubtful)
With Gus Edwards missing the first two days of practice in Week 9, there was real concern that this hamstring injury will see him held out of Monday Night Football. The Ravens did give him the doubtful tag, so there is still a chance. However, players tagged as doubtful rarely manage to suit up. Therefore, fantasy managers should be preparing to be without Edwards this week.
If Edwards is out, then Kenyan Drake would be expected to lead the backfield. He would likely be supported by a combination of Justice Hill and Mike Davis. Drake would hold the most fantasy value as an intriguing Flex option in 12-team leagues.
However, even as the lead back, his touches would likely be limited to between 10 and 15. That limits his ceiling, but there is enough floor to be an emergency starting option.
Damien Harris, NE | Ankle (Out)
Update: Damien Harris is inactive for the New England Patriots.
After missing the first two practices of the week with illness, Damien Harris was able to practice in a limited fashion on Friday. He was listed as questionable on the New England Patriots’ final injury report, so he had a chance to play Sunday. However, we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks that illnesses prove tricky for players.
On Saturday night, Schefter reported that Harris is unlikely to play this week. Therefore, Rhamondre Stevenson remains a solid starting option. Even if Harris does suit up, the uncertainty over how much he will be able to play this week means Stevenson remains a solid starting option for fantasy managers.
James Conner, ARI | Ribs (Active)
Update: James Conner is active for the Arizona Cardinals.
After missing the last three weeks as he deals with issues with his ribs, Conner enters Week 9 listed as questionable. It has been a roller coaster ride for Conner in recent weeks. He was ruled out after practice in Week 6 but was able to be a game-time decision in Week 7. Conner then seemingly suffered a setback on Friday in Week 8 and was ruled out after Friday’s practice.
Ahead of Week 9, Conner was a limited participant in practice all week before being listed as questionable. Before practice on Friday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters that Conner will be a game-time decision on Sunday. According to Schefter, Conner is likely to play, but the Cardinals will not make the final decision until they test him in pregame.
This situation is intriguing with the Cardinals. We’ve seen Eno Benjamin and Keaontay Ingram handling the workload in Conner’s absence. Benjamin has been the lead back, with Ingram as the secondary option. It’s tough to know what role Conner will have if he is active, but it’s unlikely to be a full workload.
If Conner is active, the decisions when it comes to the Cardinals’ backfield will be tough. We have no idea how the team will split work and who will handle the high-leverage goal-line touches. If he’s inactive, then Benjamin becomes a Flex option in 12-team leagues. It might be tough for any of the options to provide value if Conner is declared active, however.
All of this is further complicated by the Cardinals being just one of two late-afternoon kickoffs. Waiting until those inactives are announced to make decisions could hamstring fantasy managers. Therefore, it may be best to avoid this situation entirely if you can.
James Robinson, NYJ | Knee (Active)
Update: James Robinson is expected to play today for the New York Jets, per Mike Garafolo.
We saw James Robinson added to the injury report as questionable with a knee injury on Saturday. We do not have many details, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport retorted Sunday morning that there is optimism Robinson will suit up. However, the Jets want to see him warm up beforehand to be sure, so we may not find out for sure until 11 a.m. ET or later.
It will be tough to trust Robinson in fantasy lineups this week, even if he is active. We simply do not know how much workload the Jets will expose him to. This is a team that seems to believe it has a shot at a playoff run. Meanwhile, they are facing a juggernaut matchup with the Bills. Therefore, if the Bills get up big, we could see Robinson benched for rest purposes to protect him for the rest of the season.
This matchup is not great for Michael Carter, but the injury to Robinson, plus the six teams on a bye, will make it hard not to consider him a Flex option in 12-team leagues this week.
Jonathan Taylor, IND | Ankle (Out)
After three straight absences from practice this week, Jonathan Taylor was ruled out of the Indianapolis Colts Week 9 game against the New England Patriots. Taylor will now miss his third game in the last five weeks, frustrating fantasy managers, who will hope to have him back for Week 10.
With Taylor out and Nyheim Hines in Buffalo, Deon Jackson will be the lead back for the Colts. He will likely be supported by a combination of Zack Moss and whoever the Colts elevate from the practice squad. They currently have Phillip Lindsay, D’vonte Price, and Jordan Wilkins on the practice squad and could elevate either one or two of them this week.
In his one game as the starter in Week 6, Jackson starred. He had 42 rushing yards and a touchdown while adding 79 yards on 10 receptions. He’s a Flex option this week, but the matchup with the Patriots is somewhat tough, so expectations should be tempered.
Chuba Hubbard, CAR | Ankle (Out)
Despite being limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, Chuba Hubbard will not play in Week 9. He was absent from practice on Friday, and now the question will be whether he can get back on the field in Week 10.
With Hubbard out, D’Onta Foreman will be the lead back. In the last two weeks, Foreman has rushed for a total of 236 yards, with three touchdowns scored in Week 8. The matchup this week is not ideal, but with Hubbard out, Foreman should be a solid starting option.
J.D. McKissic, WAS | Neck (Out)
After not practicing all week with a neck injury, J.D. McKissic was ruled out for the Washington Commanders. This has limited fantasy relevance, with McKissic having been phased out of the offense in recent weeks. McKissic’s absence cements Antonio Gibson as a starting option in all league sizes.
Austin Ekeler, LAC | Abdomen (Cleared)
After a brief scare when he was listed as limited in practice Thursday, Austin Ekeler was a full participant on Friday and cleared to play in Week 9. Therefore, Ekeler remains good for fantasy managers to start as normal when the Chargers take on the Falcons.
Derrick Henry, TEN | Foot (Cleared)
When Derrick Henry was limited in practice on Wednesday with a foot injury, there was some concern. Henry was then absent from practice Thursday but assured reporters he was fine.
The Titans changed his status on the injury report from a foot injury to listing him as “not injury related – rest.” Therefore, Henry is an option that fantasy managers should look to start as normal in Week 9.