Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott leads the Week 5 injury report after suffering a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury during the second half of Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Also injured during Sunday’s slate of games were Dalvin Cook, Diontae Johnson, A.J. Green, Kyle Allen and more.
Here’s a recap of the biggest injuries to players across the league and how it could impact fantasy football:
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (ankle)
For a brief moment on Sunday, it felt like the NFL world came to a standstill while Prescott was carted off the field in a somber scene. He was injured with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter on a shotgun QB run up the middle on first-and-10 at the Giants’ 27-yard line. He was relieved by backup Andy Dalton, whom the Cowboys signed this offseason.
Managers who have Prescott rostered will need to find an immediate replacement on the waiver wire — which may not be an option in deeper leagues — or via trade for the rest of the season.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott scored on the drive in which Prescott was hurt after Dalton took over for Prescott with the ball on the Giants’ 18-yard line. The Cowboys’ next drives ended in a three-and-out, a fumble by Dalton and two field goals.
Dalton finished completing 9 of 11 attempts for 111 yards, zero touchdowns and one fumble. It’s likely Prescott’s absence will come as a significant detriment to the bevy of fantasy-relevant pass-catchers on the Cowboys, including wideouts Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, and to a lesser degree, tight end Dalton Schultz and Elliott.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (groin)
Cook exited Sunday night’s heart-wrenching, 27-26 loss to the Seahawks early in the second half with a groin injury. He later returned, but will undergo further imaging on Monday to assess the injury, per head coach Mike Zimmer.
While the issue doesn’t sound serious, any time a blue-chip running back exits a game is cause for concern. Cook finished with 17 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown and caught five-of-five passes for 24 yards (all of which came pre-injury).
If Cook were to miss any time, his backup Alexander Mattison would be an extremely valuable asset. Mattison finished with 20 carries for 112 yards and caught three-of-three passes for 24 yards in relief for Cook. Keep an eye on any injury updates throughout the week and consider placing a waiver claim on Mattison (40 percent rostered), whether or not you have Cook rostered.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (back)
Johnson had a hugely disappointing outing for fantasy, catching his one target for -2 yards. He injured his back and was ruled out for return. Meanwhile, 2020 second-rounder Chase Claypool had a fantastic showing and caught seven of 11 targets for 110 yards and a whopping three touchdowns. His stat line far eclipsed that of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who hauled in four of five targets for a paltry 28 yards.
In spite of the target split in this game, Claypool should be the No. 2 option behind Smith-Schuster moving forward. At just 16 percent rostership, the exciting rookie will be a very popular waiver add come Tuesday regardless of Johnson’s prognosis.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (hamstring)
Green saw one target before exiting at halftime with a hamstring injury. The wideout has been plagued with injuries throughout his career.
It’s worth keeping an eye on, but even if he were to return, it’s clear he does not have good chemistry with 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, who seems to favor fellow rookie Tee Higgins over Green as the Bengals’ No. 2. He also faces a brutal matchup on the road against the Colts’ stingy defense in Week 6. Green is droppable in shallower leagues at this point.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (hamstring)
Watkins exited during the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Raiders in what looked like a serious injury. He finished with two catches on two targets for 24 yards and a touchdown. Assuming he misses time, Mecole Hardman then Demarcus Robinson would be next on the Chiefs’ receiver depth chart behind Tyreek Hill. Hardman is the more appealing of the two, but at 40 percent rostered, he is not widely available heading into waivers. Robinson is one percent rostered and could be worth a look in a very deep league in Kansas City’s typically high-flying offense.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (ribs)
Mayfield was hit hard by Colts’ Justin Houston late in Sunday’s game and went into the medical tent. He returned quickly, however, and underwent X-rays on his ribs later on which were negative. He should be good to go next week in Pittsburgh and an okay start in two-quarterback or superflex formats.
Kyle Allen, QB, Washington Football Team (arm)
Allen suffered an arm injury during the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Rams and did not return. This was Allen’s first start for the Washington Football Team after 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins was benched earlier this week. He was relieved by second-string QB Alex Smith, who had not played in the NFL since suffering a very serious leg injury that nearly cost him his life.
Allen finished completing 9 of 13 attempts for 74 yards, and one rush for a 7-yard touchdown. Smith finished completing nine of 17 attempts for 37 yards.
It should go without saying that neither Allen nor Smith are start-worthy — even in two-quarterback leagues. Terry McLaurin was held to just three catches for 26 yards and Antonio Gibson was held to 11 carries for 27 yards and five catches for 24 yards. Their stock could take another hit with Haskins’ future with the team very uncertain.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (neck)
This is Eifert’s second straight week on the injury report. The Jaguars’ tight end suffered a concussion last week but was cleared to play. He suffered a neck injury this week against the Texans. Next up on Jacksonville’s depth chart are James O’Shaughnessy and Tyler Davis, neither of whom are worth picking up on waivers this week.