At this point in the 2020 NFL season, it seems that there are more injured running backs than healthy ones. Among the notable ones that could be hit with the dreaded “questionable” tag in Week 10 are Justin Jackson, David Johnson, Damien Harris, and David Montgomery. Fantasy football owners will want to start all of these players if they’re available, but if they’re not, start ’em, sit ’em decisions involving their handcuffs will make life difficult for many on Sunday.
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Is Justin Jackson playing this week?
According to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is leaning toward keeping Jackson out of practice all week because of his knee injury. If he doesn’t practice, the team will likely hold him out against the Dolphins on Sunday.
If Jackson doesn’t play in Week 10, which looks like the likely outcome at this point, the Chargers will rely on some combination of Kalen Ballage, Joshua Kelley, and Troymaine Pope to carry the load. Ballage was the backfield leader last week when Jackson was limited to three snaps, so he’s the slightly safer bet to be a high-end flex play. It’s tough to trust any of LA’s backs, as Pope was out last week with a concussion, so tread carefully.
Is David Johnson playing this week?
Johnson suffered a concussion against the Jaguars in Week 9 and missed Texans practice on Wednesday. Texans head coach Romeo Crennel said that Johnson’s status for Week 10 is “up in the air”, per Texans.com’s Deepi Sidhu, which doesn’t exactly paint a positive outlook of his potential availability.
Unless Johnson can clear concussion protocol in the coming days, he will be out against the Browns. If that happens, Duke Johnson would take over as the lead back for the Texans. Duke racked up 73 total yards and a TD while playing 81 percent of the Texans’ snaps in relief of David last week, so he can be trusted as a volume-based RB2 if David can’t suit up.
Is Damien Harris playing this week?
Harris (ankle, chest) was one of a whopping 16 Patriots to be limited at Wednesday’s practice. The ankle injury is less of a problem than the chest injury that caused him to exit early in the second half of the Patriots’ Monday Night Football win over the Jets, but the fact that he was at least practicing on the Wednesday of a short week is a good sign that he will be available against the Ravens.
Harris’ matchup is tough this week, and the potential return of Sony Michel (quad) and the presence of Rex Burkhead may cause him to lose a few carries, especially if the Patriots want to give him a little maintenance for these nagging injuries. Harris will draw flex consideration against the Ravens if he is healthy, but there’s plenty of reasons to avoid this potential fantasy bust in Week 10.
Is David Montgomery playing this week?
Montgomery is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after suffering a hit to the head in the Bears’ loss to the Titans in Week 9. His status for the upcoming week is uncertain at best even with the Bears playing a Monday night game against the Vikings.
The Bears are set to have their first practice of the week on Thursday, so that will give us a better window into what Montgomery’s status will be moving forward. If he can’t play, Ryan Nall and Cordarrelle Patterson will get a majority of the work at RB. Nall would be more of the workhorse, between-the-tackles option while Patterson may work more as a receiver and change-of-pace option. Both would be potential flex plays with Nall representing the higher volume upside if Montgomery can’t play.