Whether it’s an ankle, knee, calf or toe, wide receivers across the league are dealing with an injury entering the bulk of Week 9’s action. Which ones should you be most concerned about? Athlon Sports has the latest information.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders
Jackson “tweaked” his ankle during practice this week, but he is listed as Probable is expected to start against Oakland. Jackson hasn’t done much in the past two games, but he’s the Eagles’ No. 1 wide receiver and needs to be in your lineup. He has clicked with Nick Foles, who will return to the lineup today, quite nicely and at worst, Jackson should provide WR3 production with the potential for much, much more because he is targeted so much.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
Colston actually missed practice on Friday because of a knee injury, so even though he is listed as Questionable, I would exercise caution with him. He will be a game-time decision for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, but his numbers in recent games also portray the picture of a wide receiver whose role is diminishing. Whether it’s injury-related or not, Colston has six catches on 11 targets for just 44 yards in his last three games combined. He also has just one touchdown reception all season, as Drew Brees has relied more on rookie Kenny Stills, the recently returned Lance Moore, and of course, tight end Jimmy Graham. The Jets' defense has done a decent job this season against the pass, so if you have another option, it may be best to leave Colston on your bench this week.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins vs. San Diego Chargers
Garcon was limited somewhat in practice this week by a calf injury, but he is Probable and should play against San Diego. He is Robert Griffin III’s No. 1 target, but the big plays have been few and far between this season. Garcon has 47 receptions (on 78 targets), but only four of those have gone for 20 yards or more, and he has just two touchdown receptions. As long as he plays, Garcon needs to be in your lineup and you just hope he breaks out at some point in the near future.
Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins
Coming off of the bye, Royal is still dealing with a toe injury that held him out of practice all week. He is listed as Questionable, but that was the same situation two weeks ago when he ended up playing and catching a touchdown against Jacksonville. Royal has cooled off considerably from his incredibly hot start, but he’s shown that he can come through in any week. Royal’s outlook is strictly that of a WR3/flex, and the 1 p.m. ET kickoff should give you plenty of time to make a decision about whether to put him in your lineup or not.
Greg Jennings, WR, Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys
Jennings missed practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury, but was a limited participant on both Thursday and Friday. He is Probable to play the Cowboys, but he also is coming off a game in which he caught just one pass for nine yards. Christian Ponder will get the start for the Vikings, but that really has nothing to do with Jennings, who hasn’t done much of anything in his first season with his new team. He has 25 catches for 336 yards and two touchdowns in seven games, but only 11 grabs for 84 yards and no scores in his last three combined. The only Viking offensive skill players you want in your lineup this week are Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph.
Miles Austin, WRs, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Austin missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injury and that’s when he was listed as Questionable. This week looks even less likely, as he’s Doubtful. The reality is that Austin has not caught a pass since Week 3 and has just 15 receptions with no touchdowns on the season. Dez Bryant is clearly the top target for Tony Romo, followed by tight end Jason Witten. After those two, Austin has been replaced by rookie Terrance Williams, who has a touchdown catch in four straight games. There’s really no reason to even keep Austin on your roster at this point.
James Jones, WRs, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears (Mon.)
Jones has missed the last two games with a sprained knee, but did finally return to practice this week, albeit in a limited capacity. He is listed as Questionable to play Monday night, which is an upgrade from last week’s Dobtful designation. With him playing in the final game of the week, Jones is probably too risky to count on this week, unless you have another Bear or Packer on your roster that you can plug in should Jones be ruled out prior to kickoff.