Antonio Gibson turf toe could complicate Washington backfield

Antonio Gibson turf toe could complicate Washington backfield: Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson was diagnosed with a “painful case” of turf toe, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The injury could at least force the rookie carrier to sit for Week 14 on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

During WFT’s eventual ending of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ undefeated season in a 23-17 win, Gibson left with the toe injury in the first quarter and did not return.

J.D. McKissic (78 scrimmage yards with 10 catches) and Peyton Barber (14 carries, 23 yards, 1 TD) took over split duties in his place.

Gibson has not yet been ruled out for any game moving forward. However, the fact that he didn’t return to a game in which Washington was actively trying to win against the previously undefeated Steelers signals it’s somewhat significant.

A Gibson absence would throw a significant hurdle for his fantasy football team managers as the playoffs start — as well as NFL bettors who were eyeing the upstart NFC East title contenders.

Antonio Gibson Injury: Fantasy Football Fallout

If Antonio Gibson’s toe injury keeps him sidelined, Washington would continue to roll with McKissic and Barber in a near 1-2 punch, filling in gaps with practice-squad or free-agent adds, or maybe just by giving wide receivers more run designs.

McKissic snared all 10 of his Week 13 targets, and a larger role with the check-down-heavy Alex Smith under center would make him the preferred running back in any format that rewards receptions.

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Barber, meanwhile, is inefficient but owns most of the between-the-tackles work. His touchdown dependence makes him much riskier week-to-week, though the right matchup could help.

Antonio Gibson Injury: Betting Fallout

As of Wednesday morning, the WFT-49ers tickets at PointsBet look like this:

  • Point Spread: 49ers -3 (-121)/WFT +3 (+100)
  • Total: 43.5 — Over 43.5 (-110)/Under 43.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: 49ers (-171)/WFT (+145)
  • Implied Totals: 49ers 23.25, Football Team 20.25

I’m skeptical about whether the risk of Gibson being inactive would move those lines significantly.

Washington Football Team RB J.D. McKissic caught 10 passes after Antonio Gibson’s injury in Week 13. (USA TODAY Sports)

Either way, I’m on board with the Under out of the gate. Even with Gibson in the lineup, this shapes up to be a slow-paced affair.

The 49ers have allowed just 3.9 yards per carry, which ranks them tied for 5th in the league. If Gibson can’t suit up, Washington will have plenty of trouble running up the gut, especially with Barber needing to fill that role on a more consistent basis.

They’ll probably find more success working to McKissic in the flats as a receiver.

Keep an eye on whether Washington gets a more favorable spread to cover. I would throw a mild bet on something like +4.5.

The Football Team still has plenty of ways to keep this game close, including the talented defensive line pestering San Francisco’s fill-in starting QB Nick Mullens.

Prepare for your Week 14 fantasy football and bets

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