Barring a last-minute change, it appears that one elite tight end will miss his sixth straight game, while two other top options appear to be ready to go for Week 6. Here’s the latest information on the tight end injury front.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
Just when it looked like “Gronk Watch” was going to finally come to an end, the latest twist in this soap opera occurred. Despite being a full go in practice and reports earlier in the week that said he would play, Gronkowski has not been medically cleared by his own doctors. Any early optimism regarding his playing status has been replaced a general belief that he will not make his season debut against the Saints. He is officially listed as Questionable, so there’s always a chance of a last-second reversal, but you have to decide if it’s worth the risk to put Gronk in your lineup or not.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
His hamstring has been an issue in recent weeks, but he was a full go at practice this week and is Probable to face the Cardinals. Since sitting out Week 3, Davis has been in there for every game and looked rather explosive last week on a 64-yard touchdown reception against the Texans. This is a good matchup on paper, as the Cardinals are giving up the third-most fantasy points to TEs, so there’s no reason to sit Davis this week.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings
Olsen is the Panthers’ leading receiver and a top-15 fantasy TE. He also was spotted in a walking boot earlier this week, which obviously cut into his practice time. The issue, however, appears to be minor as he was back at it on Thursday and Friday, sans boot. He is Probable for today’s game and considering the Vikings are allowing the second-most fantasy points to TEs this season, you need to play Olsen.
Tight Ends in Deeper Leagues:
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Lewis has only played in part of one game this season because of a calf injury. He’s out again this week and has basically dropped clear off of the fantasy radar, if he hadn’t already.
Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks – Miller missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injury and wasn’t able to practice at all this week. Not really sure why he’s listed as questionable, as there’s no question in my mind you should just steer clear away.
Jordan Reed and Fred Davis, Washington Redskins – Reed missed last week’s game in Oakland because of a thigh injury, while Davis has been hobbled by an ankle injury. Both are probable to play tonight, but that doesn’t mean either will have any sort of fantasy impact. Reed has been more productive than Davis to this point, but any snaps Davis gets takes away from Reed’s opportunities. While I don’t think this is a timeshare, per se, there’s also not enough potential right now for Reed to provide enough fantasy value to merit much consideration.
Kellen Winslow, New York Jets – Winslow has been dealing with knee pain, but it doesn’t matter, as the tight end has been suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. In Winslow’s absence, Jeff Cumberland will become the starter with former New England Patriot Zach Sudfeld also expected to see time this week. Cumberland could be an option in deeper leagues down the road, but don’t bother this week.