Austin decodes the injury report for fantasy managers | Ekeler’s Edge

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon discuss the injury report. As part of our Ask Austin segment of the show, a viewer asks for some insight from our RB1 on how to decipher the NFL’s weekly injury report, in order to know if you will need to make any roster moves on your squad. Want to ask Austin a question on the show? Simply email your question to askaustin@yahoosports.com. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.

Video Transcript

MATT HARMON: This is my favorite thing now, Austin, that I'm hosting a show with you. You popped up on the injury report with the abdomen, and people ask me like, any insight into this? I'm like, oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

AUSTIN EKELER: They found the back door.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, sure.

AUSTIN EKELER: They found the back door.

MATT HARMON: Typically how it goes is Austin files a report with me after every practice to let me know which body part's at 80% versus 90%, yeah, 100%. That's how it goes. I was like-- I made the joke, I was like, oh, we just had Rainn Wilson on the show. Maybe he laughed a little too hard. He's got a stitch in his side. I'm like, come on. Give me a break. What the hell do I know.

AUSTIN EKELER: That's a good one. That's a good one.

MATT HARMON: From Billy. Thanks for all your work on the show. Appreciate your insight and philosophy of bridging the gap between fantasy and real football players. A couple of weeks ago, you popped up on the injury report midweek, obviously addressing Austin here. Then close out the week off the report.

Traditionally, it felt like popping up midweek was a death sentence to players playing on Sunday. This year, it feels like the opposite, that they're actually more likely to play. I can think of a few guys who I panicked about midweek for my teams alone that ended up playing. You, Tyreek, Diontae Johnson, and this week with Jerick McKinnon. Am I imagining this? Is it just randomness, or is it part of a larger strategic trend that teams are applying to managing player health?

AUSTIN EKELER: Yeah. I mean, with the injury report it's so much information that's not put out to the public. I feel like when the reports come out, it's like the most vague thing that is going on with the actual injury. Or it's like-- like for me it was like, oh, abdomen. What does that mean?

Like, he's got something on the abdomen. Like, did I shred it in half? I got a bruised abdomen? Feeling sick in that area? I don't know. You don't really know how bad is it. So when it comes out like questionable or doubtful, like, really you don't-- you can listen to what the GM is putting out there or what the coach is putting out there.

But it really comes down to following it throughout the week and seeing, did that player practice? Were they limited, things like that. Which I think gives you the best indicator. Because there's not really much that comes out when it's-- for good reason, too. To protect us, and because there's some uncertainties. Some stuff we're like, oh, you know what? It's actually feeling better, I might actually be able to play through this.

And sometimes it's like the opposite, where it's like, oh, this is actually worse than we actually thought. And I'm not gonna be able to play through this. But like I said, follow through the week. Were they limited? Didn't practice, or were they full go? That's going to be your best indicator if they're going to play or not.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, each individual team manages the injury report really differently. I remember, actually, we talked about CMC earlier. He made a joke this year that he ended up being limited on the injury report. Like, there are like all these reports that he left the practice field.

He's like, I feel like I could go take a leak right now and like, I'd be listed on the injury report in the middle of practice or something like that. So every team manages it differently. It makes it difficult to track, but that is the job and it's just something that you just have to keep-- look, somebody gets on the injury report, just keep on tracking it, man.

Because there's no rhyme or reason to every single team doing everything the exact same way. And players' individual bodies, just like listeners. You out there, your individual bodies are all really different.