This week within the damage mailbag, Virginia Zakas guides us via George Kittle’s historical past of success when taking part in via damage, Michael Godwin’s “real” damage designation, Michael Thomas’ probabilities of taking part in and extra!

George Kittle is harm already. What to do with him? – Steve H.

Kittle is already battling an damage, this time to his groin. He has a regarding damage historical past over the past three seasons that features a number of knee sprains, hamstring strains, a foot fracture, and a 2021 calf pressure that landed him on IR. The complicated factor about Kittle is that he generally performs very effectively via accidents and instantly upon returning, even when he isn’t 100%. When he’s wholesome he’s a transparent high 3 tight finish, however he’s missed 13 video games over the past three seasons. He simply isn’t very reliable.

If Kittle is lively in Week 1 I believe you must begin him in fantasy codecs, because the tight finish place is skinny and he comes with a lot upside. Groin strains (and actually all decrease physique muscular strains) result in an elevated total Injury Risk and a lower in efficiency if a participant returns inside every week. Currently Kittle comes with a High Injury Risk (45%) and a Below Average HPF (46%). HPF is our Health Performance Factor, which basically gauges how a participant will carry out via an damage. Our algorithm thinks we’ll see about 46% of  your typical Kittle efficiency if he performs this week (in two weeks, if stories are higher, he might be a lot greater; this quantity will get higher with correct therapeutic). That’s not a good way to start out off the season, however I nonetheless imagine he could be a high 5 tight finish this 12 months if he lets this heal correctly.

I’m anticipating JK Dobbins to be restricted Week 1, however can we count on him to be 90-100% in some unspecified time in the future throughout the season? What about by week 3-4? – Michael Okay.

JK Dobbins had surgical procedure a few 12 months in the past after struggling a torn ACL with further harm to the LCL. These multi-ligament knee accidents include an extended and extra sophisticated restoration, so it isn’t shocking that his Week 1 standing stays murky. During an interview on Wednesday, Lamar Jackson was requested about Dobbins. He stated, “Hopefully, he’ll be out in a couple of weeks.

While the Ravens haven’t revealed once they count on him to play, Dobbins was not positioned on the reserve/PUP listing, which might have sidelined him the primary 4 video games. That signifies they count on him again this month, however it will not be Week 1. In the movies we now have seen of Dobbins training he doesn’t seem to completely belief that knee but when he’s making exhausting cuts. This is regular, however it’s going to be robust to play and be efficient whereas he continues to enhance his energy and regain his confidence.

So what does all of this imply for the remainder of the season? I wouldn’t be stunned if Dobbins misses the primary 2-3 video games. I’m anticipating a sluggish begin to his season, after which a a lot stronger second half. He will not be 100% till 2023, however he ought to get shut.

How is Drake London doing, is he going to play? – Brody F.

London injured his proper knee throughout the first preseason sport nearly a month in the past. By video there didn’t look like something vital based mostly on the mechanism of damage, however he hasn’t been cleared to completely follow but. The Falcons have stated he’s “progressing” and so they received’t make a remaining resolution till Saturday. I believe there’s a very good likelihood he performs as he was in a position to get in restricted classes Wednesday and Thursday, however we simply don’t know what we’re going to get from him but. He has additionally missed out on precious reps all through coaching camp, which is particularly vital for a rookie.

Should I begin Chris Godwin or wait a couple of weeks? – David M.

I imagine Godwin is extra uncertain than questionable for Week 1, and doubtlessly for a couple of extra weeks after that. Even if he’s lively I might maintain off on beginning him, if doable. Godwin has but to take part in a contact follow and hasn’t reached the 9 month mark following surgical procedure. That received’t occur till October. It’s essential to succeed in this level in restoration as the speed of re-tearing the ACL drops considerably.

Godwin was listed as a full participant on Wednesday, which led to optimism that he was able to go. That was extra of a walk-through although, and he didn’t follow Thursday. He’s simply not prepared, and that’s okay. As I’ve stated all alongside, Godwin’s projections present a sluggish begin to the season with a a lot stronger second half. That is, if he can keep away from a compensatory damage like a hamstring pressure. A majority of extensive receivers aren’t in a position to match their pre-injury stage within the first 12 months again from a torn ACL, however the second 12 months is rather more promising. The outliers are usually elite receivers (like Chris Godwin), however I might nonetheless give him extra time earlier than beginning him.

Any particulars/timeline on Diontae Johnson’s shoulder damage? Will he be again to a typical efficiency stage this 12 months? – Mason B.

Johnson suffered a sprain to his left shoulder throughout the Steelers remaining preseason sport. According to the Inside Injuries algorithm he received’t attain his Healthy to Return Date till Week 2, however his numbers aren’t too dangerous proper now. Johnson was in a position to get in a restricted follow to start out the week and has a very good shot at taking part in. He comes with a High Injury Risk (32%) however an Above Average HPF. Part of the rationale for that High Injury Risk is the hip flexor damage he suffered early on at coaching camp plus the various accidents from the final two seasons.

Our projections present that Johnson’s HPF will enhance considerably in two weeks, however his Injury Risk will stay High via at the very least the primary half of the season. I’m not anticipating this shoulder damage to have an effect on him for quite a lot of weeks.

What’s the outlook on Michael Thomas? – Wesley McCabe

The final two years have been a rollercoaster for Michael Thomas. It all began with a left excessive ankle sprain in 2020 that he later aggravated, leading to simply seven video games performed. Thomas then lastly had surgical procedure to restore the deltoid ligament the next summer time and missed the whole 2021 season recovering, additionally requiring a follow-up process. He was cleared at the beginning of coaching camp this 12 months and the ankle gave the impression to be steadily bettering every week. Now he has been sidelined with a hamstring pressure. These tender tissue accidents to the decrease physique are widespread when getting back from such a severe surgical procedure and prolonged layoff, however it does improve his total Injury Risk, which was already High. Thomas now comes with a 24% Injury Risk.

I’m anticipating Thomas to be cleared to play in Week 1, however he comes with vital danger. Just as a result of somebody is taking part in doesn’t imply they are going to be wholesome sufficient to carry out at a excessive stage. These hamstring accidents may be particularly difficult for extensive receivers as a result of it’s an explosive muscle. Thomas is simply 29 years outdated and will have some large weeks, however I don’t see him as a reliable fantasy possibility every week. Consider him a WR3/flex play with WR2 upside when he’s really wholesome.

What can we count on from James Robinson? – Thomas B.

The Jaguars plan to play James Robinson in Week 1. Robinson suffered a torn Achilles in Week 16 and is about 9 months faraway from surgical procedure. This is on the early finish of the common return to play time, which is about 9-12 months. Of course it’s going to be nice to see Robinson again on the sector, however as soon as once more I’ll remind you that being cleared to play doesn’t equal acting at their pre-injury stage. We have but to see a operating again really return to 100% following this damage.

It is particularly difficult for operating backs as a result of it impacts explosiveness. Robinson ought to slowly get higher and extra highly effective because the season goes on, however I’m not assured he’ll ever be the identical participant he was earlier than the damage. According to our algorithm he begins the season with a High Injury Risk (34%) and a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor – 64%). I wouldn’t have him in beginning fantasy lineups till he proves he’s wholesome sufficient and can see sufficient touches to offer worth.

(Top photograph: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports; Chris Godwin photograph by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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