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August 23, 2019

Fantasy football injuries (and holdouts): Mixed reports on Ezekiel Elliott, updates on Cam Newton, Melvin Gordon and more

NFL Fantasy football
102218_Melvin-Gordon_usat Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon dives into the end zone for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.

The majority of the world's fantasy football drafts will be taking place over the next two weeks, making staying informed on injuries and holdouts more important than ever.

Without further ado, here's the latest news we could find on a bevy of important players:

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

Dallas offered Zeke a contract that would make him "one of the two highest paid running backs" in the league. 

There continues to be a slew of mixed reports out there, as some surmise a deal could come as soon as this weekend, while others, like Marshall Faulk, don't think so — Faulk said he was going to Cabo to train with Elliott.

Another report says Elliott is booked to return from Mexico Saturday — but that would obviously make Faulk's statements moot. 

Who knows.

The Cowboys have leverage, as Elliott is still entrenched in his rookie deal with no way out of it. He can be fined $40,000 a day if he continues not to report. However, with the season fast approaching there could be enough pressure on both sides to get Elliott to suit up. As everyone reading this already knows, he's a top 3 or 4 pick if he is ready to start the season.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers

Gordon's situation is much less optimistic than Gordon's. According to NFL.com, the Chargers and Gordon are in a total stalemate and there is a very real possibility it drags on into the season. 

Which makes Austin Ekeler instantly more valuable and pushes Gordon down the totem pole into the mid-rounds (assuming he plays at all). 

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers

Newton was a case study Thursday night in why not to play your franchise quarterback — at all — in the preseason. Unlike so many NFL teams this summer, Carolina trotted Newton out there for the third preseason game and he left with a foot injury that is thankfully being called "not serious."

The X-rays were negative and it was called a left foot sprain. There may be no effect on his fantasy draft value if he is indeed able to return in Week 1.

Odell Beckham Jr., Browns

OBJ will not play in Friday's preseason game due to what is being called a hip injury. He has been practicing and is expected to be on the field when the regular season arrives.

Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

Not much to report on the Luck front. Indy continues to be careful as the QB has not practiced since July (with a calf injury), though he has been a participant in preseason walk throughs.

D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks

The speedy rookie had minor knee surgery this offseason but according to Seattle coach Pete Carroll, there is a "real chance" he is ready for the regular season. Metcalf remains a potential sleeper and keeper pick in the right circumstance with a lack of other weapons for Russell Wilson in Seattle.

Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys

Cooper is in quite a bit of pain as he attempts to prepare for the 2019 season. He says he anticipates his heal to be pain free by Week 1 — but says that even if it is not he will play through the pain. Whether this effects his value fantasy-wise is a wait and see.

Jordan Reed, Redskins

Reed suffered yet another concussion in Thursday night's preseason game. He is in the protocol and his return timetable is unknown.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers

Good news came for the Niners as McKinnon started partaking in individual drills in practice. The RB is working his way back from a torn ACL. The next step is team drills for McKinnon, who is a draftable player but could start the season inactive for a couple weeks as he returns to playing form.

Kenyon Drake, RB, Dolphins

Drake is out of his walking boot (foot injury) — which is good news for his status to play sometime soon but is still seeing his fantasy draft stock lessening as a timetable is yet to reveal itself.

Will Fuller V, Keke Coutee, WR, Texans

The duo slated to line up next to DeAndre Hopkins is fighting minor injury woes as the season approaches. First Fuller, who has missed some practice time due to "workload" management seems like something that is not worthy of concern. Coutee, however, has an ankle injury and is unable to practice. Each of these wideouts is draftable and both should be monitored.

Anthony Miller, WR, Bears

Many expect Miller to break out this season but it may take a bit, as he works his way back from an ankle injury. In addition, he hasn't had time to build chemistry with quarterback Mitch Trubisky — perhaps making him a player to avoid in your draft.

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Packers

The Packers' wideout left Thursday's preseason games on crutches, which could wind up being a huge deal for the Packers' No. 3 and 4 receivers Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling — each vying for position on Green Bay's depth chart. Keep an eye on how the WR hierarchy shapes up in Green Bay.


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