Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald


Chance of Injury in 2021: question mark 95%
Chance of Injury per Game: question mark 17.1%
Projected Games missed for 2021: question mark 4.2
Durability: question mark 3

Medium Risk


Vance McDonald Player Overview

What You Need To Know:

  • McDonald missed 2 games with a concussion in 2019.
  • When active, he made little headway with backup QBs Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. His 7.2 yards per catch easily set a career low.
  • 2020 doesn’t look like a bounce back year after the Steelers signed Eric Ebron to a 2-year deal.


McDonald rarely delivered in fantasy for an often unwatchable Pittsburgh offense last year.

Ben Roethlisberger went down in Week 2 with a season-ending elbow injury. Given awful play from backups Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, McDonald totaled only 38 catches, 273 yards and 3 scores across 14 games.

Yep — 7.2 yards per catch for someone with McDonald’s athleticism…

His lack of production is startling when you consider he ran the 9th most routes among TEs (394). According to Pro Football Focus,McDonald’s 0.60 yards per route run ranked last among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. Quite a departure from 2018 when he ranked 13th among 28 qualifiers. McDonald also tallied 12.2 yards per catch that year.

So, yes, poor QB play is the main reason why McDonald crossed 7 fantasy points just twice. It’s worth noting, though, that he missed 2 games due to a concussion. It’s the second such injury that’s been reported in his pro career.

With Roethlisberger back for his age-38 season, can we expect a rebound from McDonald?

New arrival

The answer might have been yes had Pittsburgh not signed former Colts and Lions TE Eric Ebron.

But they did. In the process, they handed over a 2-year, $12 million contract. That says they expect him to fill the lead role. After all, the 27-year-old is just a year removed from posting 66-750-13 as a year 1 Colt. Of course, that came alongside Andrew Luck, who abruptly retired last August.

If there’s an optimistic angle for McDonald, it’s the fact that Ebron’s coming off ankle surgery. He made only 11 appearances in 2019, although he’s expected to be 100% for t…

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Vance McDonald Injury History

Date League Injury Details
Dec 8, 2019 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 McDonald suffered a head injury in the third quarter during the team’s Week 14 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. He was inactive for the following game
Sep 22, 2019 NFL Shoulder A/C Joint Sprain McDonald left with a shoulder injury in the Steelers' loss to the 49ers on Week 3 game. He missed the following game
Jul 25, 2018 NFL Pedal Foot McDonald sustained an unspecified foot injury in a training camp practice, sat out the full preseason and then missed the regular-season opener.
Dec 10, 2017 NFL Shoulder McDonald suffered an unspecified shoulder injury in the 2nd half against the Ravens. He left that contest early and missed 1 more.
Nov 12, 2017 NFL Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2 McDonald returned to the game after injuring his right ankle against the Colts, but the issue would cost him the next 3 weeks.
Oct 22, 2017 NFL Knee Bruise McDonald suffered a knee bruise and missed 1 game.
Sep 14, 2017 NFL Back Lower Lumbar Muscle Spasms McDonald practiced Wednesday before sitting out the final 2 workouts and the Week 2 game with a back issue. He returned the following week.
Dec 11, 2016 NFL Shoulder McDonald suffered an unspecified right shoulder injury when he took a hard hit against the Jets. He landed on IR before the next game.
Sep 25, 2016 NFL Inguinal Hip Sprain McDonald took a hard hit to his hip and exited the game in the 2nd quarter. He sat out the rest of the day and missed the next 2 contests.
Dec 6, 2015 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 McDonald suffered a concussion in the 2nd quarter against the Bears. He missed 1 more game.
Nov 18, 2014 NFL Back Vertebral Disc Hernia McDonald suffered a back injury vs. the Giants or in practice just afterward. The issue worsened to the point that he landed on IR and required surgery for an unspecified disc issue.
Sep 14, 2014 NFL Knee Strain Grade 1 McDonald suffered an unspecified right knee injury that cost him 2 games. MRI and X-ray revealed no structural damage.
Dec 1, 2013 NFL Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2 McDonald left in the 1st half with a right ankle sprain but returned in the 2nd half and played the next game. He missed the game after that, though, amid 3 straight "questionable" designations.
Oct 13, 2012 Non-NFL Pedal Toe Turf Toe McDonald lost 3 games to a toe injury as a college senior.
Sep 4, 2010 Non-NFL Shoulder McDonald missed 2 games with an unspecified shoulder injury. He had 2 shoulder surgeries during his college career as well.