Things were going better than Andre Ellington’s fantasy owners could have hoped last Sunday. He was picking up nearly 6 yards a carry, and he had an early score on the books. Things then took a sudden turn for the worst as Ellington’s knee gave out. Ellington missed the rest of the game, and was diagnosed with a grade 1 PCL strain afterwards.
The PCL sprain is as much good news as it is bad news. Unfortunately knee sprains almost always mean a player will miss multiple weeks. This one is no different. The good news is that a grade 1 PCL sprain is one of the most mild knee injuries that you can have. This injury could have been much worse.
The Posterior Cruciate Ligament runs along the back of the knee and essentially acts to prevent a hyper-extension of the knee. PCL-only sprains are somewhat rare, as the ligament is usually only compromised in conjunction with other ligament tears. Ellington’s lucky in this case to have only injured the PCL. He’s also lucky that the injury is merely a grade one sprain. Ellington has admitted that the injury will keep him off the field for 2-3 weeks.
RB Andre Ellington said it could be 2 to 3 weeks but he’s going to take it day by day.
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) September 18, 2015
Had it been a grade 2 or 3 sprain, or had it involved the MCL or ACL, as non-contact injuries often times do, it could have landed him on IR.
Chris Johnson will get the starts as the lead back for as long as Ellington is out, but it’s rookie back David Johnson who has the long-term upside. For now, both have some value in DFS leagues, but David Johnson is the better long-term pickup in season long formats. Of course, if CJ2k goes out and dominates the Bears, well, then we’re back to square one. Most likely, Ellington will be back in the starting role in a few weeks. If they rush him back after only missing 2 weeks, look for the Cardinals to limit his touches, and don’t be surprised if Ellington is a bit tentative and hesitant making cuts. If he misses 3 weeks, expect him to be back at 100% in his Week 5 return against the Lions.