Another popular running back will play in Week 3 despite a foot injury, while another attempts to give it a go just a week after suffering a high ankle sprain. Those are just some of the running back injuries covered below.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
Probable – Foot
The torn tendon in his foot is still an issue, but Ellington has yet to miss a game and was even able to practice on a limited basis Thursday and Friday. After being Questionable last week, Ellington is listed as Probable, so he’s definitely a RB2/flex candidate. The only real question comes down to how many touches will Ellington get? Last week he totaled 101 yards on 16 touches (15 rush, 1 catch), but it was Jonathan Dwyer who got into the end zone. Dwyer has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list stemming from his recent arrest on assault charges, so he won’t be a factor anytime soon. Hopefully this will be the week that Arians trusts Ellington with a bigger workload.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins
Questionable – Ankle
From “out indefinitely” to practicing to Questionable. It’s already been quite the whirlwind for Charles and his owners, who watched their stud leave last week’s game against Denver in the Chiefs’ first series. Diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, Charles made a surprise return to practice on Thursday and was back at it on Friday. He’s listed as Questionable for this afternoon’s game, but no one really expected his shot of playing this week to be 50-50 in the first place after the initial prognosis. Still with the late kickoff and, more importantly, the presence of one Knile Davis, I would err on the side of caution when it comes to Charles this week and try and make do without him in your lineup.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Probable – Knee
Whatever Bell’s knee injury is, it was serious enough to limit him in practice the entire week. However, he did practice enough to earn the Proabable designation, so there should be no real trepidation in rolling Bell out today as your RB2/RB3/flex. After two games, Bell is seeing more touches than backfield mate Reggie Bush and today’s matchup with Green Bay could develop into a high-scoring affair.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Probable – Foot
Gerhart increased his practice participation each day this week, so he should be good to go today. He’s listed as Probable and maybe a matchup with the Colts will help Gerhart finally get on track. After two games, Gerhart has rushed for 50 yards on 25 carries (2.0 ypc). He’s no more than a “safe” flex option until he shows a little more consistent production.
RBs Already Ruled Out:
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints – Off to a terrific start (143 yards, 3 TDs), Ingram broke his hand last week and underwent surgery to repair the damage. He’s expected to miss at least a month. In the meantime, while Pierre Thomas’ role as the primary pass-catching back doesn’t figure to change, Khiry Robinson should see an increase in his workload. Thomas is already flex-worthy, especially in PPR leagues, but Robinson could enter that territory himself, if not higher, if he can step in and replace Ingram’s production.
Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers – Mathews is expected to miss at least a month after spraining his MCL last week. Danny Woodhead will maintain his role as a receiving threat out of the backfield while Donald Brown should get most of Mathews’ carries. If Brown is able to produce, he could develop into a reliable RB2/flex option.
Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins – Moreno is out at least a few weeks after dislocating his elbow early last week against Buffalo. He is hoping to return following the team’s Week 5 bye. For now, the starting job will go to Lamar Miller, who hurt his ankle against the Bills, but does not appear on the injury report. Miller’s stock dropped after Moreno exploded in Week 1, but he’ll get a second chance to show he’s capable of providing similar production.
Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns – Tate sprained his knee in Week 1 and hopes to return following the team’s Week 4 bye. In the meantime, rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell will handle the backfield duties. Both are averaging at least 4.8 yards per carry, but West is seeing the bulk of the carries, making him the more appealing fantasy option. Crowell is capable of flex production, but he’s also risky because of the uncertainty related to his workload.