Fantasy Injury Updates: Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, Hayden Hurst, more affecting Week 12 start-sit calls

Fantasy Injury Updates: Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, Hayden Hurst, more affecting Week 12 start-sit calls

We’ve already had some notable pass-catchers be ruled out for Week 12 (DJ Chark, John Brown), and several more (Adam Thielen, Julio Jones, Brandon Aiyuk, Hayden Hurst, Jerry Jeudy, Mark Andrews) are dealing with injury issues and COVID, putting their statuses in question. Fantasy football owners will need updates ahead of their start ’em, sit ’em decisions, and we’ll be here throughout the day on Sunday providing you with the latest.

For news on banged-up RBs Austin Ekeler, Raheem Mostert, Myles Gaskin, Kalen Ballage, Giovani Bernard, Mark Ingram, and JK Dobbins, click here. For all the latest fantasy updates, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.

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Is Adam Thielen playing this week?

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Friday that Thielen (COVID) is not expected to play this week against the Panthers. 

If Thielen is indeed out, which is looking highly likely, Justin Jefferson would see more targets, but there’s no obvious backup WR who would also get more chances. If anything, Minnesota’s TEs and RBs would likely see more work in Thielen’s absence, giving Kirk Cousins an even lower ceiling than usual.

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Is Julio Jones playing this week?

Jones (hamstring) managed to get in limited practices early in the week, but after a missed practice on Friday, he’s listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. 

Jones has been dealing with hamstring issues virtually all season, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sit out this week. However, it seems clear he wants to play, so we won’t know for sure until Sunday morning. If Jones is out, both Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus would have WR3/flex potential in PPR leagues, with Gage having a higher floor and Zacheaus having a higher ceiling.

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Is Brandon Aiyuk playing this week?

Like Thielen, Aiyuk is on the COVID restriction list, and like Thielen, it’s also looking unlikely that he’ll suit up in Week 12. 

Considering the 49ers have a tough matchup with the Rams, it might be for the better that Aiyuk is sitting out. He wouldn’t be much more than a low-end flex, and with Deebo Samuel back, his touches would have been hard to predict. Richie James and Kendrick Bourne will play more with Aiyuk out, but neither is worth a spot in fantasy lineups.

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Is Jerry Jeudy playing this week?

Jeudy (ankle/Achilles’) was limited in practice all week, and despite his “questionable” tag, he’s expected to play on Sunday against the Saints. 

However, with practice-squad WR Kendall Hinton expected to start at QB for the Broncos after COVID complications wiped out their entire QB room, Jeudy is not a recommended play in any fantasy format. It’s possible he breaks a big play, but fantasy owners can’t rely on that happening, especially going against a decent Saints defense.


Is Hayden Hurst playing this week?

Hurst (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but he turned in a limited session on Friday and is “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. 

Hurst feels like a true game-time decision, but the limited practice is a good sign. If he’s out, Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham would split TE snaps for the Falcons, but neither is worth trusting in fantasy leagues. Hurst will be a low-end TE1 if he’s active, as he would likely see more targets if Julio Jones (hamstring) is out.

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Is Mark Andrews playing this week?

It’s tough to know what to expect from any Ravens’ players since they’ve been away from their facilities all week because of COVID, but Andrews (thigh) is listed as “questionable” for Tuesday’s game.

Whether he’s truly a game-time decision is unknown, but given all the other risks associated with that game, from the fact Robert Griffin III will be under center to the very real chance it won’t be played at all, Andrews probably isn’t worth holding out hope for. If you are going to wait out Andrews, then you should have Pittsburgh’s Vance McDonald ready as a desperation pivot (or Eric Ebron, if he’s available), as it’s unclear who Baltimore would play at TE. But, again, you’re still risking the game being postponed again, so the safe play is to find a TE from the Sunday or Monday games.