An injury can be equally devastating whether you are a starting RB or a backup. Some RBs are holding on by a thread on fantasy football rosters, and injury news is breaking hourly. What are the latest fantasy injury updates on Travis Etienne Jr., D’Ernest Johnson, and Rico Dowdle?
RB Injury Updates
Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville’s RB Etienne has been leading the Jaguars’ backfield all season. He is currently the RB3 in fantasy football, and he has been an integral cog in the offense. Etienne only has three finishes outside the top 22, and he has five weeks where he finished in the top five. He has been a dual threat for the Jaguars, with 771 yards rushing and 346 yards receiving.
Etienne has been dealing with a rib issue lately, and although he had a decent game in Week 13, some of the effects of the rib injury were apparent. Etienne finished with the season’s second-fewest rushing attempts and third-fewest rushing yards. He still closed out the week as RB12, but it was evident that he didn’t look quite right.
On Wednesday, Etienne was a limited participant in practice, and it is unclear if it was just a veteran rest day or if he is battling the resurgence of the rib issue. His snap percentage played has slowly been decreasing over the last few weeks, so fantasy managers must keep an ear out to see if he gets back to practice this week.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
With Etienne still battling a rib injury, the Jaguars must be prepared in the backfield if he ends up missing time. Throw in the fact that QB Trevor Lawrence might miss a couple of weeks due to his high ankle sprain, giving C.J. Beathard the start, and Jacksonville knows that the efficiency of the run game will be vital in their winning games.
Johnson has been in the RB room all year but has only recently begun to creep up the depth chart as the backup to Etienne. Rookie Tank Bigsby has quietly faded as the season progressed, and Johnson’s playing time has increased.
Johnson played over 30% of the snaps in Week 12 and Week 13, which is the highest of the season. Clearly, the Jags view him as Etienne’s backup. Unfortunately, Johnson looks to be bothered by his knee lately, and he was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. If Johnson cannot play this week against Cleveland, Bigsby becomes a part of the conversation again.
Rico Dowdle, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard has been the Dallas Cowboys’ RB1 this season. The RB13 on the season is averaging 67% of the RB carries for Dallas and has managed 737 yards on the ground and 248 yards receiving. Backing up Pollard this season has been Dowdle.
Dowdle has had some success of his own this year; he has two fantasy finishes in the top 20, which is excellent for a backup RB who has only played 20% of the snaps. Dowdle finished as the RB43 in the Week 13 win over Seattle. Even though he has had a couple of solid weeks, Dowdle’s fantasy value remains tied to the potential of a Pollard injury, and he remains a must-roster backup for Pollard’s managers.
Dowdle has been dealing with an ankle injury over the past four weeks and was limited at practice on Wednesday. This seems to be part of the usual maintenance he has been going through while dealing with the injury. I expect to see Dowdle on the field backing up Pollard again this week against Philadelphia.
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