Houston has an Achilles problem: Foster’s season done
What happened: Texans running back Arian Foster tore his right Achilles tendon late in Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. He’ll need surgery and a lengthy rehab before being able to return. More than 30% of NFL players never make it back to the playing field. Time will tell if he can get back.
Player/team outlook: This might be the end of the line for Foster with the Texans. He’s a dynamic all-purpose running back when he’s on the field, but injuries have resulted in him missing time in four of the last five seasons. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Houston goes in a different direction at the position in 2016.
Fantasy recommendation: Alfred Blue had his chance at the beginning of the season, but only did well in one of three games. Blue is the best option, but the Texans might also give Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk a shot at the job.
Jackson out of action in Tampa: WR to miss time with knee issue
What happened: Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson injured his knee during Sunday’s game against the Redskins and reports indicate he could miss a few weeks.
Player/team outlook: The injury is not only tough news for Jackson, but also hurts WR Mike Evans as he’ll likely see a lot more double coverage on him. It’s also not good for QB Jameis Winston, who needs as many reliable targets as he can find to help his development.
Fantasy recommendation: With Jackson being a low-level WR2 to WR3, the waiver wire should have possible pickups, including the likes of the Panthers’ Ted Ginn Jr., the Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett and the Texans’ Cecil Shorts III.
Gates closed? Chargers star TE dealing with MCL
What happened: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates wasn’t able to play on Sunday as he’s trying to work through an MCL issue. It’s unclear at the moment if he’ll be a go this week.
Player/team outlook: It’s been a tough season for Gates, who was suspended for the first four weeks and is now struggling with injury. San Diego is clearly better when he’s on the field and has to hope he can make it back very soon.
Fantasy recommendation: Anyone who had Gates from the beginning of the season should also have had his usual backup, Ladarius Green, as soon as news was out on the suspension. If not, there’s still a few crapshoot options out there, such as the Broncos’ Owen Daniels, the Falcons’ Jacob Tamme and the Dolphins’ Jordan Cameron.
Post-concussion: KC’s Maclin back to practice
What happened: Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin missed Week 7 after suffering a concussion. He’s returned to practice and looks like he’ll be able to go on Sunday in London.
Player/team outlook: Maclin has provided a huge upgrade at the WR spot for the Chiefs. Alex Smith is simply a better QB when he has Maclin as a target and KC, which has already been hit by the injury bug with the loss of Jamaal Charles, can’t afford any other starters out.
Fantasy recommendation: Get the waiver wire on speed dial if Maclin isn’t able to return this week. Besides the receivers mentioned above (Ginn Jr., Lockett, Shorts III) another option could be the Cowboys’ Cole Beasley, who might find himself more open if Dez Bryant is able to return this week.