Week 2 was an absolute bloodbath, especially at the quarterback position. We take a look at the early and active injury report for Week 3:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (elbow)
Big Ben is done for the season after injuring his throwing elbow in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks that will require surgery. With Roethligberger on the shelf, the Steelers are turning to backup Mason Rudolph, who acquitted himself nicely in emergency relief, throwing for 112 yards and two TDs on 12 of 19 passing. Still, this news throws a big wet blanket on the Steelers’ offense, although Juju Smith-Scheuster (5-84) and Vance McDonald (both TDs) worked will with Rudolph and now have the benefit of a full week of practice reps to stay on the same page. Rudolph gets a tough challenge, however, for his first career start, drawing the tough 49ers defense on the road.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (thumb)
Brees is expected to miss six weeks with a torn thumb ligament after catching his hand on Aaron Donald’s helmet early in Sunday’s loss to the Rams. Brees, who will have surgery to repair the thumb, has not missed more than two games in a season since 2003. It’s not quite as bad as the news out of Pittsburgh, but it’s devastating nonetheless for the prolific Saints passing attack. Teddy Bridgewater, who is no stranger to devastating injury himself, will take over the starting duties after replacing Brees on Sunday, but expect Taysom Hill to be a much larger presence in the offense going forward.
Trevor Siemian, QB, New York Jets (ankle)
Siemian didn’t even last a half as the replacement for Sam Darnold (mono) against the Browns on Monday night, tearing ligaments in his ankle after a hard tackle in the second quarter. Luke Falk, who completed 20 of 25 passes in a losing relief effort, will get the start against the Patriots on Sunday. Use the force, Luke. Use the force. On the bright side for the about-to-be 0-3 Jets, Darnold indicated in a radio interview Wednesday that he is targeting Week 5 against Philadelphia for his return. The Jets are on a bye in Week 4, so this Sunday might be the last game Darnold misses. Jamison Crowder owners, there is hope!
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (foot)
The Panthers confirmed Tuesday what the whole world knew last Thursday: Newton is hurting. When he didn’t keep on the 4th-and-1 near the Bucs’ goal line late in the Thursday night game, it was pretty apparent that something wasn’t right. Speculation was a shoulder injury, but it turns out it’s the foot injury he sustained in the preseason that re-surfaced. Newton didn’t practice Wednesday and probably won’t at all this week, leaving him on the doubtful side of the ledger to play Sunday. Undrafted free agent Kyle Allen will likely start against the Cardinals in Arizona. Add the Panthers pass-catchers to the growing list of players to shy away from in season-long and daily fantasy this week.
DeSean Jackson/Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (groin/calf)
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is labeling both his starting wide receivers as “day-to-day” after both were forced out of the Sunday night game in Atlanta with their injuries. It’s so bad for the Eagles after getting battered on Sunday that Pederson didn’t even run a regular practice on Wednesday, which may also indicate quarterback Carson Wentz’s ribs are still barking. This is certainly a situation to monitor heading into Sunday’s game against Detroit, but things are pointing toward a big Nelson Agholor game
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (knee)
Finally some good news in the Burgh. Conner declared himself ready to roll for Sunday’s game in San Francisco after exiting early Sunday with a knee issue. This is great news for the Steelers, who will lean on Conner heavily against the 49ers. How this affects waiver wire darling Jaylen Samuels remains to be seen, but he should remain active as the Steelers try to hide Mason Rudolph as much as possible.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (hamstring)
The rookie running back didn’t practice on Wednesday and could well be described as “iffy” for Sunday against the Bengals. Frank Gore is the next man up in what could be a pretty good spot against a lousy Bengals run defense.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns (concussion)
As expected, Njoku is not practicing Wednesday and is not looking good to clear protocol before Sunday night’s game against the Rams. Demetrius Harris would be your starter at tight end if Njoku remaims sidelined.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (concussion)
Shepard is getting closer to making his return to the lineup, potentially this week, which would be fantastic news for rookie QB Daniel Jones, who makes his first career start as the heir-apparent to the benched Eli Manning.