San Francisco may be without its tight end in Week 4, while New England is hoping to get more from theirs on Monday night. Those aren’t the only tight end injuries you need to know about before setting your lineup.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.)
Probable – Knee
Pretty much business as usual for Gronkowski – limited in practice, but listed as Probable. What could change, however, is Gronkowski’s snap count. After seeing that number drop in Week 2, Gronk played a season-high 42 of 73 offensive snaps last week in a game in which he caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. The big numbers owners were hoping for haven’t been there yet, but a breakout could be coming if Gronkowski’s time on the field keeps increasing.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Questionable – Ankle
Not surprisingly, Davis was held out of last week’s game against Arizona because of an ankle injury. Davis was limited in practice again and said earlier in the week that he would be a “game-time decision.” Davis’ owners could undoubtedly use him this week, especially with fewer replacement options available due to six teams being on bye, but the late kickoff doesn’t help. Most likely a decision on Davis will need to be made by his owners before the 49ers make theirs later this afternoon.
Delaine Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Questionable – Shoulder
Walker has been the Titans’ most productive pass-catcher thus far, so his Questionable designation is a little concerning. He injured his shoulder last week and apparently it was barking at him bad enough to limit his practice reps. While it would be somewhat of a mild surprise if Walker didn’t play, his owners need to accept the possibility of that exact scenario happening. At minimum, expectations for the productive tight end need to be lowered, especially considering Jake Locker’s own Questionable status due to a wrist injury.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Questionable – Hamstring
Antonio Gates is listed as Probable, but it’s his running mate Green who gets the Questionable tag this week. Green went from a limited practice participant on Thursday to merely a spectator on Friday, which is typically not a good sign. While Green’s talent and upside is obvious and certainly appealing, Gates remains the starter and currently is the No. 8 among his position in fantasy points. Even with six teams on bye, the safest course of action may be to just bench Green this week.
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders (London)
Probable – Knee
Clay’s knee continues to be an issue, as is his lack of production, but he’s Probable and will be out there today. With six teams on bye you may be forced to stick with Clay in your lineup, but if you have another option I would certainly consider going that route.
Already Ruled Out:
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – Rudolph underwent surgery for a sports hernia and is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks, and there’s a chance he could be placed on season-ending injured reserve. If you have room, I would hold onto Rudolph, but move forward as if he’s going to be out for 6-8 games.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Lewis is on the injured reserve/designated for return list because of a high ankle sprain. Unless you have an IR spot and/or are smitten with Lewis, there’s no reason to hold onto him or even stash him away.