There are several prominent RBs on the COVID list right now, including James Conner, JK Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor, and Mark Ingram. All four of these players were slated to miss Week 12, but the Ravens game getting moved to Wednesday saved Dobbins and Ingram. Even so, fantasy football owners will still need to know all of their statuses ahead of Week 13 and key start ’em, sit ’em decisions. The NFL’s COVID policies have some little quirks in them and the COVID list can be a bit hard to understand, but here’s what we know about the statuses of these backs.
For updates on banged-up RBs, such as David Johnson, Todd Gurley, Myles Gaskin, and more, click here; for more on injured WRs, including Julio Jones, Brandon Aiyuk, Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Kenny Golladay, click here; for news on Lamar Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa, go here. For all the latest fantasy updates, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is James Conner playing this week?
As reported by NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala on Saturday, Conner tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the restricted list. He will miss the Steelers’ Week 12 game against the Ravens, assuming the Wednesday afternoon game happens, and his status for next Monday’s game against Washington will need to be monitored, as well.
In order for an asymptomatic player to return from the COVID list, he has to either isolate for 10 days or test negative for the virus twice consecutively separated by 24 or more hours. So, if Conner is asymptomatic, he could potentially return for Week 13, but it’s not guaranteed. If he is symptomatic, he won’t be able to play in Week 13, as the Steelers are playing just eight days after Conner’s initial positive test.
If Conner has to miss another game, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland would handle a bulk of the work in the backfield. Snell emerged as the starter in Week 1 when Conner exited with a minor injury, so he could end up working his way into RB2 territory against Washington. Both are worth owning, so if you need RB help, target them on the waiver wire.
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Are JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram playing this week?
Dobbins and Ingram tested positive for COVID on Nov. 23, but because Baltimore’s game was ultimately moved to Wednesday afternoon, both are eligible to play in Week 12. That means both will also be eligible to play in Baltimore’s Tuesday night game against the Cowboys in Week 13.
Again, it’s important to keep an eye on things in case any league protocols change, but for the time being, it seems that Dobbins and Ingram will play against both the Steelers and Cowboys. If, for whatever reason, they can’t, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill would be the committee for the Ravens, with Edwards likely to get the most carries. Dobbins should lead the team in carries when active.
Is Jonathan Taylor playing this week?
Taylor landed on the COVID list and missed the Colts’ Week 12 game against the Titans. The good news for Taylor’s fantasy owners is that the team’s top back was only deemed a high-risk contact, per Olivia Ray of WISH-TV, so provided that he doesn’t test positive for the virus in the coming days, he will be able to return ahead of the Colts’ Week 13 game against the Texans.
Taylor faces a great matchup against a Texans run defense that has allowed more rushing yards to RBs than any team in the league, so he could be a top-20 play if he’s active. That said, he’ll need to be monitored in case he does test positive this week. If he can’t play, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins would lead the way for the Colts. Neither has been consistent, but Hines has been more explosive than Wilkins most of the time this season.