Fantasy Injury Updates Week 16: News on Trevor Lawrence, Ja’Marr Chase, Zack Moss affecting waiver moves

The season of giving is reaching its busiest point and unfortunately, the NFL’s gift doesn’t come with a return receipt. We’ve received plenty of headaches from the many injuries that have been thrown at us this year, but they’re coming fast and furious now as the regular season comes to a close. Last week’s victims include Trevor Lawrence, Ja’Marr Chase, Zack Moss, Michael Pittman Jr., Keaton Mitchell, and Jayden Reed (and that’s only among the players who actually played). There’s another boatload of ailments to detail in the coming days, clouding the Week 16 waiver wire picture, upcoming fantasy matchups, and our minds in the race to the finish. Happy holiday, indeed.

Below, we’ll give you the latest news on these key players and break down how their injuries could potentially affect the Week 16 fantasy landscape.

For news on banged-up WRs Keenan AllenChristian WatsonNico Collins, and Tyreek Hillgo here. For updates on ailing RBs Jonathan Taylor, Josh JacobsBrian Robinson Jr.Alexander MattisonRhamondre Stevenson, and Isiah Pachecoclick here. For the latest on Chris Olave‘s TNF status, click here.

WEEK 16 FANTASY: Top waiver pickups | FAAB budget planner

Trevor Lawrence injury update, Week 16 fantasy outlook

Lawrence suffered a double whammy on Sunday night, losing the game and potentially his ability to play in Week 16. The QB entered the league’s concussion protocol following the contest, a 23-7 Ravens’ win that dropped Jacksonville into a three-way tie for the AFC South division lead. It’s unclear when the apparent concussion occurred, considering Lawrence finished the game and wasn’t placed in the protocol until after its conclusion. Whether that is a good sign for his ability to be cleared remains to be seen. 

The third-year QB has avoided his fair share of injury concerns this season. While he’s come close to missing action, Lawrence has managed to maintain his impressive streak of starting every game since being drafted in 2021. Unfortunately for Lawrence, toughness isn’t going to get him through the five steps he’ll need to clear in order to play on Sunday. If he can’t waltz his way through this situation, C.J. Beathard would be in line to start. Regardless, get ready for a week filled with plenty of questions. Let us have this dance. 

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Ja’Marr Chase injury update, Week 16 fantasy outlook

UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday evening that Chase will miss “some time,” starting with this Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.

Chase fell victim to a shoulder injury late in the Bengals’ overtime win over the Vikings, continuing what’s been a weird season in Cincinnati. It doesn’t bode well for his chances of playing in Week 16, considering the star WR was almost instantly out of pads and into street clothes. However, the diagnosis was cause for some optimism, with HC Zac Taylor saying Chase has a sprained AC joint and will be day-to-day.

The biggest issue for the WR is that he left the game and attempted to come back, only to leave in clear discomfort. Despite playing a day earlier than usual, the Bengals aren’t being afforded an extra day of rest since they’ll be taking on the Steelers in another Saturday showcase. With the Bengals fighting for their playoff lives, we’ll assume Chase plays, but how effective he can be with this injury remains to be seen. At the very least, fantasy owners can cling to that hope. Otherwise, they’re looking at a big Tee Higgins game while being left to decide whether Trenton Irwin, Tyler Boyd, or Andrei Iosivas is the best Chase replacement. We’d favor Boyd and pick him up wherever he’s available.

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Zack Moss injury update, Week 16 fantasy outlook

UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon that Moss plans to try to play in Atlanta in Week 16.

Moss’ latest stint in the realm of fantasy relevance has likely come to a quick close. The RB was forced out of action during Saturday’s win over the Steelers with an arm injury. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said X-rays were negative, but Moss was struggling to grip the ball — resulting in his absence. Jonathan Taylor (thumb) has a realistic chance of returning against the Falcons in Week 16, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, meaning that Moss’ availability might not matter from a fantasy perspective going forward. 

The Colts’ RB carousel is certainly worth watching as the week unfolds, with the range of outcomes being all over the place. It could be anywhere from a Taylor-led backfield to a split with Moss or even a big workload for Trey Sermon. Without Taylor and Moss, Sermon finds himself in starting territory at the RB spot and certainly worthy of a waiver claim. However, fantasy owners might not want to waste their priority given some of the other options that might be out there. Regardless, Sermon and Tyler Goodson should be on your radar early in the week. 

Michael Pittman Jr. injury update, Week 16 fantasy outlook

Pittman was torching the Steelers’ secondary on Saturday in Indianapolis, hauling in four catches (five targets) for 78 yards before being forced out halfway through the second quarter. The WR took a huge hit from Damontae Kazee, who was ejected for the hit that gave Pittman a concussion. He didn’t return and is now at the mercy of the protocol heading into a big Week 16 game. The Colts had no problems marching to victory anyway, but they need their WR1 in order to make the playoffs. 

Injuries were a problem for the Colts against a physical Steelers team, but escaping with a win put them in a good spot with two very winnable games up next on the schedule against the Falcons and Raiders. If Pittman can’t clear the protocol in time, we should expect a little more of D.J. Montgomery, who caught a touchdown and was second on the team in receiving yards Saturday (48). While the Colts could also elect to lean more on their running game if everyone manages to get healthy, they’d also benefit from getting the rookie Josh Downs more involved. He’s been quiet since going on a heater in October. The best course of action is for Pittman to clear the protocol, but having only a week to clear protocol after the hit he took seems a bit ambitious. 

Keaton Mitchell injury update

UPDATE: An MRI confirmed that Mitchell suffered a torn ACL, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport

Mitchell (knee) likely suffered a season-ending knee injury, according to Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh. The team expects to have an update on Monday, but the feeling isn’t a positive one for the rookie. He was eventually carted to the locker room with the significant injury, in what is another big blow to the Ravens’ backfield. The team already lost JK Dobbins (Achilles) for the year and is now going to be without their standout speedster. That once again leaves Gus Edwards and Justice Hill as the lone healthy RBs, though Melvin Gordon III is going to be added to the active roster.

The loss of Mitchell will certainly be felt by the Ravens, but not so much for fantasy owners, who likely only used the RB as a deep-league flex option. Baltimore’s rushing attack will rely a little more on Lamar Jackson down the stretch and throughout the postseason now. 

Jayden Reed injury update, Week 16 fantasy outlook

Reed left late in the fourth quarter with a toe injury after hauling in six-of-eight targets for 52 yards and a touchdown before his departure. It was yet another solid fantasy day for the rookie WR but another disappointing result on the scoreboard for the Packers, who dropped a second straight game and fell to 6-8. Reed has been steady in his first season, turning in a fringe top-25 fantasy season at the position. If the toe injury keeps him out, things will get even tougher for the Green Bay pass-catchers, who are a battered bunch this time of year. 

With Christian Watson (hamstring) already out, the Packers need their receivers to get back on the field with their playoff hopes hanging on by a thread. With just three games to go, Green Bay is in a six-team race for the last two spots but trails by a game in the standings. Reed remains in flex territory if he plays. Depending on how the news shakes out, Dontayvion Wicks is likely to be the best fantasy option, especially considering Romeo Doubs’ inefficiency. 

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