Brandon LaFell Injury Updates

Raiders WR Jordy Nelson is in danger of missing Sunday's game against the Cardinals after suffering a knee bruise last weekend, HC Jon Gruden said. The 33-year-old Nelson has no reason to push through this injury in Oakland's lost season. The Raiders will also be without WR Martavis Bryant (knee), leaving Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts atop the depth chart.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) has been ruled out for Saturday night's game against the Texans. We don't have any details on his injury -- or whether he'll be back for Week 17. C.J. Uzomah will step in as Cincinnati's lead TE but would be a desperation fantasy play. Eifert's absence keeps Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd on the WR3 radar, despite the return of A.J. Green.

Bengals WR Brandon LaFell is back at practice less than a week after tearing a ligament in his hand. He's expected to play in Cincinnati's 3rd preseason game. Opting against surgery, LaFell will attempt to play through the injury. We'll see how it impacts a guy who's struggled with drops even when at 100%. Insider Paul Dehner believes LaFell will open the season as the Bengals' #2 WR before giving way to rookie Tyler Boyd "somewhere in the Week 6-8 range." We'd rather take a shot on Boyd late in fantasy drafts, but neither guy will be a starting fantasy option early on this season.

Bengals WR Brandon LaFell has a torn ligament in his hand, according to insider Mike Garafolo. Surgery is reportedly still on the table, but LaFell could also opt to rehab the injury and play through it. HC Marvin Lewis, meanwhile, still believes LaFell could be ready by Week 1. Cincinnati isn't exactly forthcoming when it comes to injuries, so fantasy owners shouldn't be banking on that. LaFell isn't worth rostering in standard leagues. Rookie Tyler Boyd, meanwhile, becomes the odds-on favorite to finish 2nd among Bengals WRs in targets. He could even be #2 on the entire team if TE Tyler Eifert's ankle injury costs him significant regular-season time. Boyd's stock is on the rise.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (foot) is questionable for Sunday's game in Miami after putting in limited practices all week. We'll watch his status for the early kickoff, but LaFell's disappointing production should make him easier to pass over. The injuries to LaFell, Edelman and Amendola add fantasy intrigue to WR Keshawn Martin.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman suffered a Jones fracture in Sunday's win over the Giants, according to insider Mike Garafolo.  It's the same exact injury that cost Cowboys WR Dez Bryant 6 weeks earlier this season.  Six weeks would sideline Edelman until Week 17.  New England is likely targeting a return in the postseason (a 1st-round bye would give him 8 weeks to heal up).  Edelman currently leads the Patriots with 61 catches and sits 2nd in receiving yards and TDs.  It's another big blow to an offense that lost RB Dion Lewis and is banged-up on the offensive line.  WR Danny Amendola figures to see the biggest spike in targets with Edelman out.  He looks like at least a weekly WR3 the rest of the way.  WR Brandon LaFell and TE Rob Gronkowski will also likely see more action.  We'll see if WR Aaron Dobson, TE Scott Chandler, RB James White and/or RB Brandon Bolden can emerge as fantasy assets.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (foot) has been placed on the PUP list to open the season.  That knocks him out for at least the first 6 games.  New England still hasn't provided any details on LaFell's injury, but he's been sidelined the entire offseason.  He's not a lock to make an impact at any point this season and isn't worth rostering outside of deep leagues.  The Patriots will begin the season with Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Chris Harper behind Julian Edelman, who is still dealing with a leg injury.

Patriots HC Bill Belichick said WR Aaron Dobson reported to camp in "great" shape and "put himself in a great position."  Belichick rarely singles players out like this.  And his comments are especially intriguing because WR Brandon LaFell has been sidelined by a foot injury for most of the offseason.  Foot and hip injuries limited Dobson to 3 catches in 4 appearances last year.  But he just turned 24, was a 2nd-round pick and goes 6'3, 205 pounds with above-average athleticism.  Dobson is still only draftable in deep fantasy leagues for now, but stick him on your watch list.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell told the Sirius XM NFL Radio audience Wednesday that the left foot that had been in a walking boot is doing well. "Just a few lingering injuries that happened in the late part of the regular season that I just played through throughout the playoffs," LaFell said. "Finally got some time off to let my body heal up properly; I’m out of the boot now and I’m just looking forward to starting camp.” Sounds like LaFell didn't have any surgery and doesn't expect the issue(s) to linger. We'll see how healthy he is when camp opens, but there seems no reason to worry if he starts practicing without limitations.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell was spotted with a walking boot on his left foot this weekend.  He hasn't been participating in the team's recent workouts, according to insider Shalise Manza Young.  Of course, the Patriots haven't provided any update on LaFell's status.  He played all 16 games last year and never appeared on the injury report with a foot issue.  We'll see if he's able to get on the field for the start of training camp next month.  LaFell ranked 23rd among WRs in fantasy points last year and, if healthy, should be a solid WR3 again in 2015

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) put in a limited practice Wednesday after missing the season's final 2 games with the injury. But Edelman told the team website that he's ready to play. “Any time you don’t get to go out and play with your teammates it’s really tough,” he said. “But all that’s in the past, and I’m looking forward to today and preparing for the Ravens, getting ready for this playoff game.” WR Brandon LaFell (toe), RB LeGarrette Blount (illness) and RB Jonas Gray (ankle) were all limited Wednesday as well. None of the 4 seems in danger of missing Saturday afternoon's game, however. We'll certainly keep an eye on their status heading into the weekend.

Panthers WR Steve Smith has been diagnosed with a sprained PCL.  HC Ron Rivera called him "highly doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Falcons.  Sprained knees are usually multi-week injuries, so Smith is far from a lock to be ready for the start of the playoffs.  Carolina can at least earn a 1st-round bye with a win this weekend.  That win will need to come with Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn and Domenik Hixon as the top 3 WRs.

Panthers WR Brandon LaFell was held out of Wednesday's practice after being diagnosed with a concussion.  LaFell reportedly sustained the head injury in last week's game but passed protocol and was allowed to re-enter.  That would suggest that he at least has a chance to be cleared in time for this Sunday's game against the Redskins.  We'll continue to update his status.


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