2020 Season: 5 Biggest Week 4 Injuries


(Photo Credit: Erik Drost)

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

Each week, we will take a look at the 5 (or hopefully less!) biggest injuries in fantasy football. These are meant to be the injuries that had the most impact on a fantasy roster, not an NFL roster, so some injuries may be left off.

5 Biggest Week 4 Injuries

1. Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (Hamstring, Knee)

"I'm not sure how bad it is, but it looked pretty bad." That is what Anthony Lynn had to say about Austin Ekeler's hamstring injury that the star running back sustained Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Well, I got news for you, it is pretty bad. Not only did Ekeler injure his hamstring, but it seems he also hyper-extended his knee, a one-two punch that may knock him out for several weeks. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, Ekeler does not seem to be happy with this diagnosis, and is seeking a second opinion, which will delay his inevitable appearance on the NFL's Injured Reserve List. Joshua Kelley should be a must-add in any league where he is still available going into Week 5, though there are concerns that the rookie RB cannot handle the expanded workload. 

2. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb (Knee)

Just looking at the play where Chubb gets injured sends me into full panic mode. The fact that he never made it back into the game does not instill a ton of confidence in me either. While the Browns were "cautiously optimistic" Chubb did not tear his ACL, I fully expected the MRI to show a sprain and for Chubb to be week-to-week, likely missing 1-2 games a la Raheem Mostert. Unfortunately, the news today was even worse, and Chubb will miss 6 weeks with an MCL sprain. Fantasy managers with Kareem Hunt on their roster are likely already starting their stud Browns RB, but Chubb's absence could open up things even more for Hunt, which is a truly scary thought for everyone else.

3. New England Patriots RB Cam Newton (COVID-19)

As discussed in yesterday's Week 4 Sunday Morning Preview, Newton's positive COVID-19 test rocked the fantasy world for several hours on Saturday. While this was not technically an injury sustained in Week 4, it belongs here for a couple reasons. While at this point it is unlikely, there is a chance that there could be (unintentional) delayed community spread from Newton that crops up with positive tests in the lead up to Week 5. Even if that does not happen, Newton seems likely to be out Week 5, which could leave fantasy managers scrambling to find a replacement.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (Achilles)

This looked like the season that O.J Howard finally lived up to (or got the opportunity to live up to it, depending on how you feel about the former Alabama TE), with 2 out of 4 games with double-digit points (PPR format). Unfortunately, that all came to an abrupt end when Howard tore his Achilles in the second half of Tampa Bay's game against the Chargers. His season is over, and since it is probably too late to get Rob Gronkowski off of waivers, you are going to need to look elsewhere for a replacement.

5. Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins (Concussion)

Concussions are awful, but luckily for Akins, he should at worst miss next week's match-up against the Jacksonville JAGs. Which is a shame, since that should be a solid match-up, so keep an eye out for fellow TE Darren Fells as a streaming option.

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