Most of the top-tier tight ends are finally healthy, save for Evan Engram, who’s trending in the right direction for Week 15. But the back-end fantasy starters in the TE rankings still feature a number of question marks, including Jared Cook, Greg Olsen, Noah Fant, Gerald Everett and David Njoku. We have the latest news and mid-week injury updates on these six tight ends below.
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Jared Cook concussion update
Cook (concussion) was hit in the head on the second of his touchdown catches last Sunday and didn’t return to action. Payton said of Cook on Monday: “He had outstanding touchdowns last night. I don’t know if he remembers them.” There hasn’t yet been word of Cook clearing concussion protocol yet, so until that happens, his status for Monday night’s game against the Colts is in doubt.
If Cook sits out, Josh Hill will be the starter at TE while Taysom Hill will also get more action at that position. If you’re a Cook owner who’d like to play him this week, Josh Hill is an adequate fill-in that you can stash now and make the swap Monday night if needed.
Evan Engram injury news
Engram (foot) and Giants No. 2 TE Rhett Ellison (concussion) were both limited in New York’s practice Wednesday. Engram had returned to practice in a limited fashion last week before being ruled out ahead of Monday Night Football. But a limited practice Wednesday normally bodes well for playing Sunday. The Giants host the Dolphins at 1 p.m ET.
Assuming Engram returns, he should be plugged right back into fantasy lineups as a No. 1 TE. If Engram remained out, Ellison would take over top duties if he was healthy, or Kaden Smith would keep them if both were out.
Greg Olsen injury update
Olsen (concussion) returned to practice Wednesday in a limited fashion, only partaking in individual drills. Olsen remains in the league’s concussion protocol, while interim head coach Perry Fewell said it was “fun” to see Olsen back on the field.
Carolina will have a starting fantasy TE in its lineup this week against the Seahawks, who just allowed more than 100 yards to Tyler Higbee. If Olsen’s back, it’s him, and if he’s out, it’s Ian Thomas, who saw 10 targets a week ago in Olsen’s absence. Thomas would make for an excellent stream if Olsen is out.
Noah Fant injury status
Fant needed to be carted off in Sunday’s game due to a foot injury. He wasn’t able to participate in Denver’s practice Wednesday, although head coach Vic Fangio said the rookie’s outlook is “positive overall.”
Denver has a TE-friendly matchup Sunday against the Chiefs, but if Fant’s not out there, Jeff Heuerman isn’t an ideal pivot. He’d be a TD-or-bust play, but if you’re already relying on Fant, it might be the best you can do in the circumstances.
Is Gerald Everett playing Week 15?
Everett (knee) hasn’t returned to Rams practice yet after missing the last two games, two contests in which Tyler Higbee exceeded 100 yards. “His knee is making progress, but he’s not ready to get out there and practice with us yet,” Sean McVay told reporters Wednesday.
It looks like at least another week of Higbee as the main TE for L.A. The Rams take on the Cowboys, who have been below average at defending tight ends, so Higbee is a borderline fantasy start if Everett is still out in Week 15.
David Njoku injury update
Njoku was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice due to a previously unknown knee injury. Njoku only had one catch in his first game back Sunday against the Dolphins, and the Browns take on the Cardinals at 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday.
Njoku seems like an obvious play against the Cardinals, and as long as he looks healthy, he’s a fantasy starter this week. But be aware of the slight risk after he only played 21 snaps, about a third of Cleveland’s offensive plays, in Week 13. Njoku is the most talented TE the Browns have, so he’s the one to play against the Cardinals assuming he’s healthy.