Week 9 NFL Injury Tracker: Updates on Ezekiel Elliott, Keenan Allen, More Injuries
Corey Perrine/Getty Images. Pictured: Ezekiel Elliott
Week 8 saw the already depleted 49ers become even more hobbled after they lost both Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and George Kittle (foot) to long-term injuries.
We’re monitoring Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and Michael Thomas (hamstring/ankle) as the two stars inch closer to return, while the Seahawks’ backfield appears as though it will be depleted for a second straight week.
Be sure to check back throughout the week as the article is updated with the latest news!
NFL Week 9 Injury Tracker
Latest On NFL Injuries
Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (foot): Ridley was listed as “questionable” to play despite missing practice throughout this week, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Falcons are not optimistic about Ridley’s chances of playing in Week 9. He hasn’t been officially ruled out yet and he’ll have a chance to test his foot during pregame warmups, but Ridley feels like a long shot to play against the Broncos.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen (illness): Allen tested negative for COVID-19 after reporting a sore throat that landed him a “questionable” tag on Saturday. If Allen is able to pass another round of COVID-19 tests, he’ll be on the field against the Raiders.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring): Elliott had a strong workout on Saturday, and he now has a “good chance” to play in Week 9, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Elliott’s availability will be determined during his pregame warmups, but he is trending in the right direction.
Chargers WR Keenan Allen (illness): The Chargers added Allen to the team’s injury report today, listing the star receiver as questionable to play due to an illness. This is a situation worth keeping an eye on, especially after Los Angeles placed CB Brandon Facyson on the Reserve/COVID-19 List today after he missed Friday’s practice with an “illness”.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford (COVID-19 protocol): The news is better for Stafford, who was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List earlier this week after a close contact of his tested positive for the virus. Stafford has tested negative for COVID-19 throughout the week and he was activated from the reserve list today. He’ll have to pass one more test before being cleared to play, but he is trending in the right direction.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring): Earlier this week, team owner Jerry Jones expressed confidence when evaluating Zeke’s chances of playing in Week 9, but the team is now “preparing to be without” Elliott tomorrow, according to Michael Gehlken of Dallas Morning News.
Gehlken also notes the team elevated FB Sewo Olonilua from its practice squad to help fill in as backfield depth in the event Elliott is unable to go. For what it’s worth, the team still lists Zeke as questionable on its practice report.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle): While McCaffrey officially remains on injured reserve, the current expectation is that he will be activated sometime before Carolina’s Week 9 showdown with Kansas City, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Because teams are not required to report the practice participation level of players on IR, we don’t know what McCaffrey’s level of activity has been like this week. With that being said, he is now six weeks removed from suffering a high ankle sprain on Sep. 20, and his original recovery timeline was estimated as four-to-six weeks.
Seattle RBs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring): For the second week in a row, Seattle will be without its top two running backs with both Carson and Hyde having been ruled out for Week 9. Neither was able to get on the practice field this week, and their timelines are currently unclear. In Week 8, rookie Deejay Dallas carried the backfield load, rushing 18 times for 41 yards with a touchdown, adding 17 yards and a receiving touchdown through the air. Travis Homer was questionable heading into Week 8, and he may be a little more involved in Week 9 after getting through the week unscathed.
Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (finger): Listed questionable to play, Godwin is expected to be available this weekend, according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. Updating Godwin’s status today, Arians said, “I would anticipate him probably playing, just knowing how tough he is and knowing what it all means to him.” Godwin practiced all three days this week and was upgraded to full participation on Friday, his first full practice session since undergoing surgery on his left index finger on Oct. 27.
Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake (ankle): Before the Cardinals’ Week 8 bye, Drake was forced out of the Cardinals’ Week 7 showdown against the Seahawks due to an ankle injury. This week, he was unable to get on the practice field and has been officially ruled out for Week 9. Chase Edmonds is in line to serve as the lead back for Arizona against Miami with rookies Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Ward filling in as needed.
Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring): Thomas was able to practice in a limited fashion each day this week, and he is officially questionable to play in Week 9. Thomas has seemed to be close to a return for weeks now and there is “optimism” he’ll be able to play this week, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Elsewhere among the Saints receiving corps, Emmanuel Sanders was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 List yesterday and should be available to play on Sunday.
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (knee/illness): Jacobs was also listed on the Raiders’ Week 8 injury report with a knee injury, but he was able to play through it. This week, he added an illness to his injury designation and he’s officially questionable to play. While the Raiders have been hit by COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, it does not appear that Jacobs is infected with the virus, as he was back at practice on Friday after sitting out on Thursday. That would seem to rule out a positive test, meaning Jacobs should be available to play against the Chargers.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring): Elliott is questionable to play against the Steelers after getting in limited practice sessions throughout the week. Team owner Jerry Jones said he expects Elliott to play in Week 9, and there does not seem to be much concern over the status of the Cowboys’ lead back despite the questionable tag. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore did say the team would take a “wait and see” approach when determining Elliott’s workload this week, so it is possible that Elliott is limited, creating more work for backup Tony Pollard.
Packers RB Aaron Jones (calf): According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jones is expected to play tonight against San Francisco. Jones was labeled questionable to play on Green Bay’s game status report after being listed as a limited participant in practice throughout the week. Assuming Jones is indeed active tonight, he may have a limited role as he works his way back to full health.
Green Bay’s depth at running back has been tested after A.J. Dillon and Jamaal Williams were both placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List earlier in the week, so they can certainly use any help Jones is able to offer tonight.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring): Although Zeke has now been limited in consecutive practices, his Week 9 status is not in doubt, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys coach said earlier today when describing the statuses of Elliott and DE Aldon Smith (knee), “I don’t see either injury of serious nature.”
Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (foot): Ridley was held out of practice Wednesday with a foot injury, but there is some hope that the star receiver avoided a long-term injury. Head coach Raheem Morris said he received “exciting” information regarding the injury from Ridley’s doctor and Morris classified Ridley’s status as “day-to-day.” For now, consider Ridley questionable to play in Week 9.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford (COVID-19 protocol): Stafford was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Wednesday after he was considered a “high-risk close contact” of a family member who has tested positive for the virus. Stafford’s last contact with this individual was on Monday and he still has a chance to play on Sunday after clearing the five-day isolation period, assuming he does not test positive for COVID-19 between now and then. If Stafford is unavailable, expect Chase Daniel or David Blough to get the start against Minnesota.
Packers RBs Aaron Jones (calf) and Jamaal Williams (COVID-19 protocol): Williams was designated as a “high-risk close contact” of backfield mate A.J. Dillon and placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Tuesday. As a result of this designation, Williams is required to isolate for five days. With the Packers slated to play on Thursday night this week, that means the Packers will be without Williams and Dillon against the 49ers.
Of course, Williams was filling in as the starter for Aaron Jones, who continues to work his way back from a calf injury. If Jones is unable to go in Week 9, Green Bay will be down to Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams — currently on the practice squad — at the position. Jones is considered questionable to play after being listed as a limited practice participant throughout this week.
Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder): A shoulder MRI on Monday revealed that he had reaggravated the injury that kept him out of the lineup in Weeks 5 and 6. Darnold will try to play through the injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. For now, consider Darnold questionable to play on Monday night against the Patriots.
Cowboys QB Andy Dalton (COVID-19): A concussion forced Dalton to miss the Cowboys’ Week 8 loss to the Eagles and he’ll also miss Week 9 after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Dalton is “not asymptomatic”, making his Week 10 outlook murky as well.
The Cowboys have not yet decided whether Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush will get the start this weekend against Pittsburgh, though it sounds as though the team will be moving on from Ben DiNucci, who started Week 8 in Dalton’s place.
49ers RB Tevin Coleman (knee) and WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring): Both Coleman and Samuel were ruled out for Week 9 by head coach Kyle Shanahan today. They’ll join Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and George Kittle (foot) on the sidelines as the depleted 49ers take on the Packers on Thursday night.
Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin (knee): The Dolphins made a curious move ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring DeAndre Washington from the Chiefs and adding depth to a running back room that already included Gaskin, Matt Breida, Jordan Howard, Patrick Laird and Salvon Ahmed. Miami’s intentions became a little clearer shortly after the deal was announced when it was revealed that Gaskin is expected to miss three weeks with a sprained MCL. It’s unclear which back will lead the backfield in Gaskin’s absence, though Breida has seen the most opportunity over the past few weeks.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (ankle): The Panthers have yet to activate McCaffrey from IR, but head coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday he is “very hopeful” that CMC will be able to play this week against the Chiefs. McCaffrey did practice today, but because he remains on IR, the Panthers were not required to specify whether he was a full or limited participant.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara (toe): Kamara was limited in today’s practice due to a toe injury that is not expected to jeopardize his Week 9 availability. Kamara compared the injury to a stubbed toe and added that he expects to play on Sunday.
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle): Ankle injuries have plagued Garoppolo’s entire 2020 campaign, starting in Week 2 when he was knocked out of the 49ers’ victory over the Jets late in the first half, resulting in two missed games through Week 4. In Week 8, Jimmy G suffered a high ankle sprain, which forced him to leave yesterday’s loss to Seattle after completing 11-of-16 passes for 84 yards and an interception.
Following his latest injury, Garoppolo is expected to miss at least six weeks. Nick Mullens relieved Garoppolo on Sunday to throw for 238 yards with two passing touchdowns.
49ers TE George Kittle (foot): Unfortunately, Garoppolo wasn’t the only Niners star to sustain an injury in Week 8. Kittle was also forced to leave the game in the second half after injuring his foot on a deep pass from Nick Mullens. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Kittle is expected to miss eight weeks after further testing revealed a broken bone in his foot.
Jordan Reed (knee) was designated for return from IR on Oct. 28, giving the 49ers 21 days from that date to activate him. If Reed is unable to go in Week 9, expect San Francisco to lean on Ross Dwelley at the position.
Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew (thumb): Last week, we learned Minshew had been playing through multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his thumb. Today, head coach Doug Marrone ruled Minshew out for Week 9, leaving rookie Jake Luton in line to get the start against Houston. Marrone added that he’s unsure when Minshew may be able to return to action
Lions WR Kenny Golladay (hip): After suffering a hip injury against the Colts yesterday, Golladay is a candidate to be placed on injured reserve, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Speaking to members of the media on Monday, head coach Matt Patricia described Golladay’s status as “day by day, week by week”. For now, consider Golladay highly doubtful to play in Week 9 and questionable beyond this week.