A few big-name pass-catchers found themselves among the ranks of the injured during last week’s action. George Kittle limped off the field following a big catch against the Seahawks, and in the Colts-Lions game, both T.Y. Hilton and Kenny Golladay left and didn’t return. Fantasy football owners are counting on these players midway through the season, and their timetables for return will surely have an influence on potential Week 9 waiver wire pickups and our Week 9 fantasy rankings.
George Kittle injury update
Kittle exited the 49ers’ loss to the Seahawks in the second half after suffering an apparent ankle injury while making a spectacular catch. Kittle limped to the locker room and didn’t return to action for the team.
Kittle has already missed some time this year with a knee injury, and it’s possible that this ankle malady may keep him out a game or two, as well. The 49ers are playing on Thursday night against the Packers in Week 9, so unless Kittle’s injury is minor, it seems likely that he’ll miss that contest and be re-evaluated ahead of the 49ers’ Week 10 game vs. the Saints.
It’s also worth noting that the 49ers are on bye in Week 11, so if Kittle’s injury is moderate, the 49ers could opt to sit him out through that week to ensure that he’s 100-percent healthy when he returns to the field.
If Kittle is out on the short week, Jordan Reed (knee) will have a chance to take over as the 49ers’ top tight end provided that he can make his return from IR. Reed has been dealing with an MCL injury and missed last week’s game against the Seahawks despite being deemed a game-time decision. If Reed isn’t quite ready, Ross Dwelley could be the top option at TE for the 49ers, but he wouldn’t be a recommended play despite grabbing a TD against the Seahawks.
For potential replacement options for Kittle, check out our Week 9 TE rankings.
WEEK 9 WAIVER WIRE: Top pickups
Kenny Golladay injury update
Golladay suffered a hip injury in the first half of the Lions’ loss to the Colts. He didn’t return to the game after halftime and was declared out for the remainder of the contest in the third quarter. At the point, the severity of his injury is unknown, so this will be something to watch moving forward.
If Golladay misses time with the injury, Marvin Jones will continue to be the No. 1 target for Matthew Stafford after he caught two TDs against a tough Colts defense. He’s definitely worth adding ahead of Detroit’s Week 9 against Minnesota’s pourous defense, and so is Marvin Hall, who led the Lions with 113 receiving yards in Golladay’s absence.
A deeper sleeper to watch would be rookie fifth-round pick Quintez Cephus. The former Wisconsin Badger had 10 targets in the first game of the season for the Lions when Golladay was out. Cephus hasn’t played much in recent weeks and was inactive on Sunday, but perhaps he will get another chance to prove himself in Golladay’s place if the talented pass-catcher misses time.
T.Y. Hilton injury update
Golladay wasn’t the only player to exit Sunday’s Lions-Colts game with an injury. The Colts lost Hilton to a groin injury late in the first half. Hilton has a history of nagging lower-body injuries and battled a hamstring injury during Colts camp this season. He could miss some time with the groin injury, though it’s unclear how much as of this writing.
If Hilton is out, the Colts will likely lean on Zach Pascal as their No. 1 receiver after he saw six targets against the Colts. That said, Philip Rivers has a penchant for spreading the ball around, and Indy has three tight ends that can catch passes (Trey Burton, Mo Alie-Cox, and Jack Doyle) as well as Nyheim Hines, who led the team in receiving and had two TDs against the Lions.
Trusting any Colts receiver doesn’t seem too appealing even if Hilton is out. That said, Pascal could be a flex play while rookie Michael Pittman Jr. may eventually get more targets as the season goes along.