All of these wide receivers are dealing with some sort of injury according to the Week 7 official team reports. However, in some cases, their injury may not be the biggest obstacle they face this week. Here’s the latest on several wide receiver injury situations across the NFL.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Johnson practiced fully and is Probable for today’s game in Kansas City, so it appears his shin injury isn’t that big of a deal at this point. Unfortunately, Johnson can’t seem to catch a break, as he will haveCase Keenum and not Matt Schaub as his quarterback. Keenum is making his first career NFL start, against the Chiefs, the top-scoring fantasy DST. Johnson is a bona fide WR1, even with Schaub’s struggles, but no one has any idea of what to expect with Keenum pulling the trigger. Brace yourselves Johnson owners; it could be a bumpy ride.
Julio Jones and Roddy White, WRs, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones’ (right) season is over after being placed on injured reserve during the Falcons’ bye week due to a foot injury he sustained in the Week 5 loss to the Jets. White, who has been basically invisible this season because of a high-ankle sprain, injured his hamstring in his last game. White has already been ruled Out this week, which will snap his streak of consecutive games played at 133. It also means that Matt Ryan will have as his starting wide receivers against the Bucs Harry Douglas and, most likely, Drew Davis. The Falcons signed free agent Brian Robiskie and added practice squad member Darius Johnson to the active roster this week to fill out its depth at the position. While it’s possible any one of these guys could burst on the scene and become an immediate, impact fantasy option, the guess here is that Douglas may become a legitimate WR2/WR3, as he and tight end Tony Gonzalez are clearly Ryan’s most established weapons. Unfortunately for Ryan owners, these two also may be his only weapons.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Johnson’s back injury prevented him from taking the field last week, but he is expected to return this week. His Probable designation on the injury report only reinforces this belief. Thad Lewis threw two touchdown passes in his Bills debut against Cincinnati, so perhaps Johnson can get some productive looks from his new quarterback against the Dolphins. That would be a welcome change, as Johnson has totaled three catches for 18 yards in his last two games. Hopefully you are not relying on Johnson as anything more than a WR3/flex.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
Williams is still dealing with a hamstring issue, but he was able to practice fully on Friday and is listed as Questionable. However, that’s the same designation he had before he was a late scratch last week against Philadelphia. At best, Williams is probably a WR3, so he’s probably not going to make or break your lineup. Still, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has put up decent numbers in his first two starts and gets a Falcons defense that has struggled stopping the pass. It’s an early game, so you should have plenty of time before deciding to stick with Williams or not this week.
Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Austin returned from a two-game absence last week and proceeded to catch nary a pass against Washington. Austin’s hamstring isn’t completely healed, as he missed practice on Friday, but he is Probable and is fully expected to suit up against the Eagles. While I would much rather have Terrance Williams than Austin at this point, this could be one of those weeks it doesn’t matter which Cowboy wide receiver you use. After all, the Eagles are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, so there could be enough to go around for Dez Bryant, Austin and Williams to post fantasy-relevant numbers. This also is good news for Tony Romo owners obviously.
Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Royal injured his toe this past Monday night against Indianapolis. He was spotted wearing a protective boot this week and didn’t practice at all. Even though he is listed as Questionable, he seems to be a longshot at best for this week. In fact, longshot may be the best word to describe his fantasy outlook as well. Rookie Keenan Allen has become the Chargers’ top wide receiver with Vincent Brown slotting in behind him. Royal got off to a ridiculous start, with 10 catches and five touchdowns in his first two games, but he’s had a total of eight receptions since then, including none against the Colts. I’m pretty sure Royal started on the waiver wire this season before catching fire. It’s probably time to return him there.