Now that the first three preseason games have been played, we have seen which players who were injured during 2011 have returned to full health, and which ones are still in the process of healing. For this final preseason injury report, I have removed the players who have managed to play in all three preseason games without a recurrence of last year's issues. Players like Peyton Manning who still have questions surrounding their recovery remain on the report below (even though he's played in all three preseason games).
Of course, there have been a number of notable new injuries during preseason - from Matthew Stafford's sore non-throwing hand to Sebastian Janikowski's sore leg - and these are recorded below in this final edition of the preseason injury report.
I hope that all of your drafts go well this weekend and that 2012 is your best year ever playing fantasy football! Good luck - MW.
ARI: The Cardinals' Kevin Kolb said Monday, April 16, that it was more than three weeks after the season when he felt normal again after battling a concussion. "To be honest with you, when I first went home it was still pretty severe," Kolb said. "It kind of worried me because I figured once I got away from the game it would clear up pretty fast. But it didn't and I stayed in contact with our guys here. Within three or four days after that three-week period it was fine. I was glad to be feeling back to normal." From a fantasy perspective, a history of concussions (such as Kolb has in his background) is worrisome as the league is being very careful with treating concussions, holding players out for weeks at a time - that's doubly true with players who have a prior history of concussions. Kolb returned to 11-on-11 practice at Cardinals training camp Wednesday, August 8. Kolb was shaken up on a Hall of Fame Game hit by Saints DT Sedrick Ellis, but only suffered contusions. He is considered fully healthy as of the first full week of preseason games. On August 8, head coach Ken Whisenhunt characterized Kolb's rib injury as "minor". Kolb started against the Chiefs on August 10, with 1/5 for 21 yards passing. A report on August 14 indicated that John Skelton is in the lead for the starting job in Arizona, but that is not confirmed by the team as of the 14th. The team announced August 20 that Skelton will start in the third preseason game. As of August 29, the Cardinals still have not named their regular season starter, saying the decision would be made in practices the last week of August.
ARI: The Cardinals' John Skelton suffered from swelling in his knee late last season due to a bursal sac problem - he had to have fluid drained before the season finale against Seattle and fainted during the procedure. However, no surgery was necessary to address the injury - doctors advised Skelton that rest would cure the condition. Kevin Kolb got the initial first-team snap of training camp on July 25, 2012 and is expected to rotate with Skelton during training camp as their competition for the starting job is played out. A report on August 14 indicated that Skelton is in the lead for the starting job, but that is not confirmed by the team as of the 14th. Skelton will start in the third preseason game, which may be an indication that he is the leader for the top job during 2012, but he hasn't done much to solidify his claim here. The Cardinals' QB situation is muddled as of August 21. As of August 29, the Cardinals still have not named their regular season starter, saying the decision would be made in practices the last week of August.
DAL: The Cowboys' Tony Romo suffered from a hand injury at the end of the 2011 season, but he has since recovered from the problem and looks good to go for 2012. He started the preseason opener and put up 3/6 for 30 yards passing at Oakland. However, the Cowboys receiving corps is banged up with Dez Bryant (knee/patella tendonitis), Austin Miles (hamstring issues), and Jason Witten (spleen injury) all out for at least the rest of preseason (and perhaps several weeks longer for Witten). Romo has a gimpy crew of targets entering regular season, folks.
DEN: The Broncos' Peyton Manning is reportedly healthy and ready to start under center for the Broncos after missing all of he 2011 season due to a series of neck problems/four surgical procedures on the neck. Manning was one of the first players to arrive for voluntary workouts Monday, April 16, 2011. Bronco WR Eric Decker commented on Manning's throws during the workouts on April 16th, saying: "The guy's still throwing the ball a long time, throwing it great, hitting you in the right spot," Decker said. "He's such a perfectionist." As of June 4, 2012 reports out of Broncos' OTAs indicated that Manning is throwing the deep ball very well and his throwing arm strength looks recovered. On June 13, 2012 there was a conflicting report that indicated Manning is still trying to regain top velocity on deep throws but that he looks sharp on short- and intermediate-range throws. A July 3, 2012 report indicated that Manning is somewhere between 85-90% recovered regarding his arm strength, but also added that he may never regain his top form. Manning said on July 13 that he is happy with his rehabilitation, to the point where he feels like an NFL quarterback again. "It has been exciting for me to be back on the field," Manning said. "When you're injured, it's not fun. You're kind of quarantined. It's nice to be able to kind of get the reins cut off, being able to participate in OTAs, minicamp." Manning added he still has more rehabilitation ahead and has "stopped giving percentages" regarding how healthy he is, but his goal remains to participate fully in training camp, preseason and the regular season. Reports out of Denver on the first day of training camp (July 26), indicated that Manning was "impeccable" and that his throwing exhibition was impressive - however, not a lot of deep balls were thrown during the session. Manning started the first preseason game at Chicago, and had a night of mixed results, going 4/7 for 44 yards passing with one interception thrown. He reportedly looked a little rusty in his first game back under center. In the second preseason game August 18, Manning put up 16/23 for 177 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions. Manning was outstanding in the third preseason game with 10/12 for 122 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions.
DET: The Lions' Matthew Stafford suffered a broken blood vein in his left (non-throwing) hand during the preseason game Saturday, August 25. The injury isn't considered serious and won't affect his availability for the regular season opener.
MIA: The Dolphins' David Garrard had back surgery in October 2011 to fix a herniated disk. On February 15, 2012 Garrard indicated that he expected to be "fully healed" from his back surgery by early April, 2012. He was signed by Miami on Monday, March 19 and the team has declared their QB contest is 'open', meaning Matt Moore, Garrard or rookie Ryan Tannehill could win the job in training camp. On May 24, 2012 Garrard stated that he considered himself a candidate to win the starting job in Miami, despite owner Stephen Ross's comments that Matt Moore would likely be the starting QB week one of the regular season. Early word out of Miami (on July 22, 2012) is that Garrard is the slight favorite to win the starting job as of the opening of training camp. However, on August 10 we learned that Garrard had a minor knee surgery this past week - he will be out indefinitely (but for reportedly at least several weeks) as he rehabs from the procedure. Ryan Tannehill was named the starter in MIA on August 20.
NE: The Patriots' Tom Brady aggravated a pre-existing left shoulder sprain during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on February 5, 2012. He did finish the game, and the injury isn't expected to have lingering effects into the 2012 preseason. Brady reportedly completed 26-of-29 passes during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills Thursday, July 27 - he is playing well to open training camp. Brady went 4/7 for 30 yards passing in the preseason opener vs. New Orleans. Brady was a healthy scratch for the MNF preseason game August 20. He threw 13/20 for 127 yards, one TD and one interception at Tampa Bay in the third preseason game.
OAK: The Raiders' Matt Leinart was placed on IR November 30, 2011 due to his broken collarbone. Surgery was performed in early December to repair the fracture (suffered while Leinart was with Houston) - he was signed by the Raiders to compete for the #2 quarterback job behind Carson Palmer on May 2, 2012. Leinart played extensively in the Monday Night Football preseason opener vs. Dallas, posting 11/16 for 98 yards passing, and he posted 5/8 for 66 yards vs. Arizona in the second preseason game. Leinart didn't appear in the third preseason game.
PHI: The Eagles' Mike Kafka will be limited for up to three weeks according to head coach Andy Reid on August 11 - Kafka fractured his left hand in the preseason game Thursday, August 9 and will not be able to fully participate for three weeks. Kafka was able to take a few reps in practice Monday, August 27. It was his first time on the field since suffering a fractured left hand on August 9.
PHI: The Eagles' Michael Vick underwent X-rays on his thumb after the first preseason game but they were negative. He banged his throwing hand on a helmet but avoided seriously injuring his thumb according to reports out of Philadelphia. On Monday, August 13 Vick looked sharp in practice - he seems to have no lingering effects from the dinged thumb. However, in the second MNF preseason game, Vick took a hard shot to his ribs/chest area and had to be attended to by trainers. He had x-rays of the area which came back negative for broken ribs - however, he is definitely bruised and the team has scheduled MRI and CT scans for Tuesday, 8/21/12. "He's sore," coach Andy Reid said. "He got a good shot there. The precautionary measure is to see if it's involving cartilage there." Vick didn't play in the third preseason game - Nick Foles got the start - on Thursday August 23 Vick indicated that he was 80% healthy and that he expects to start the first game of regular season.Vick was back at practice for the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, August 28, but still sore due to the hit he took to the ribs vs. the Patriots. "Still sore," he commented after practice "Feels a lot better. ... Working through it." Vick will wear a new Kevlar flak jacket for the season opener designed to cover more of his torso than ever before - he's battling to get back in the action for Philadelphia as of August 29. Vick stated on Monday, August 27 that his thumb injury has fully healed.
PIT: The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger spent the offseason recovering from foot, ankle, shoulder and thumb injuries sustained during 2011. As of February 15, 2012, Roethlisberger indicated that he was training to strengthen his throwing shoulder, and that the other injures were healed. As of May 9, 2012, Roethlisberger was working with new OC Todd Haley to learn the Steelers' new offense and appears to be past the numerous injuries he sustained during 2011. Reports out of OTAs on June 28, 2012 indicated that Roethlisberger has adapted to the new offensive scheme of Todd Haley very well - he appears to be fully healthy on the eve of training camp. However, the called nothing but running plays during the first full practice in pads on July 28, 2012 - there may be more rushes than expected in Pittsburgh this year under Haley. We learned on July 31 that Roethlisberger's throwing shoulder has a partial rotator cuff tear - now Roethlisberger's work to strengthen his throwing shoulder during the offseason is more relevant. On August 4 the team revealed that Roethlisberger is suffering from a sprained ankle injured during Saturday's practice. Roethlisberger threw 7/8 for 49 yards passing at Philadelphia to open preseason, and posted 5/9 for 81 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Indianapolis SUnday, August 19. Roethlisberger tossed 17/24 for 169 yards and one TD in the third preseason game at Buffalo. His throwing shoulder has held up during preseason.
STL: The Rams' Sam Bradford missed weeks 15-17 last season due to a nagging ankle injury. As of March 29, 2012, Bradford was declared healthy by new head coach Jeff Fisher: "Sam finished his rehab probably about a month ago," head coach Jeff Fisher said. "The ankle lingered a little bit in the offseason. He's in good shape now." It appears that Bradford will be good to go for OTAs/training camp. On July 5, 2012 Bradford stated that the ankle "feels good" but that there are days when it isn't 100%. Bradford reiterated the not-100% analysis on July 14, saying "I would say there's still days where it's not 100 percent, but I really haven't had any major setbacks." On August 5, Bradford indicated that the ankle was [b]"as good as its going to feel"[/b] - "It's close," Bradford said. "I think it's as good as it's going to feel. It's something that we're managing right now. I've been able to take every snap so far without any setbacks and I think that's a positive sign." Bradford threw 7/9 for 57 yards at Indianapolis in the preseason opener, following up with 6/9 for 102 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Kansas City in the second preseason game. Bradford completed just 6/17 for 64 yards in the Rams' third preseason game - he reportedly doesn't look comfortable in the pocket entering regular season.
SEA: The Seahawks' Matt Flynn missed the third preseason game due to a sore throwing-arm elbow. Flynn reportedly tried to throw in pre-game warm-ups, but was still in pain and could not go. Russell Wilson had a strong game with Flynn absent, leading the team to a 44-14 win with 13/19 for 185 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Wilson has since won the starting job in Seattle.
Ex-SEA Now-BUF: The Seahawks' Tarvaris Jackson played through an injured pectoral muscle for most of the 2011 season (he was injured in early October). Reports on February 23rd indicated that he did not need surgery to repair the muscle. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said on March 4, 2012 that he believes Jackson can improve his play next season because he will not have to deal with the pectoral injury that affected his play this past season. However, the team added Matt Flynn from Green Bay in free agency and drafted Russell Wilson in April so it appears that Jackson's time under center in Seattle is likely to end soon. Jackson is set to start training camp as the team's starting QB, but observers widely expect Flynn to be the week 1 regular season starter. On July 28, Jackson took the first snaps under center opening training camp. However, Matt Flynn started the first preseason game and will start the second - rumors are that Jackson is on the trading block as of August 14. He was traded to Buffalo in the final week of August and is now Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup.
ARI: The Cardinals' Chris Wells described his arthroscopic right knee surgery Tuesday, January 24, 2012 "as just a scope," and he said the procedure went as expected. He was at the team's facilities Friday, January 27, to start the rehab process. Wells should be able to participate in offseason work if his rehab goes as planned. However, on May 22, 2012 Sean Howard, the agent for Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells, said his client underwent "a clean-out procedure" and not microfracture surgery, which would have required extensive rehab. "He's in shape and looks good," Howard said. "The doctors and the Cardinals have decided to play it safe. Rather than rush him back, the consensus opinion was to let him heal." The team is still expecting Wells to be ready for training camp in late July. As of June 1, 2012 it's reportedly uncertain how long Wells will be out as he rehabs from his recent knee surgery. As of June 15, 2012, it appears that the Cardinals may limit what Wells and Ryan Williams do at the start of training camp and then increase their workload as camp goes on. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said on June 14, 2012: "He's got to work himself back to being ready," Whisenhunt said. "We've done the right thing with Beanie as far as the offseason and making sure he is healthy." Whisenhunt also said that Wells should "bust his tail" because other backs have looked good in OTAs. Wells opened training camp on the PUP list, and he estimated himself at 75% healthy as of July 26, 2012. It is unclear when we may see Wells on the field as of the end of July. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the move was not unexpected, and he doesn't anticipate Wells being on PUP for an extended time. On July 30, head coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that Wells may practice next week. Wells could also see action before the end of the preseason, according to Whisenhunt. Wells was removed from the team's physically unable to perform list and cleared to begin practicing with the team on August 7. Neither Wells nor Williams played in the preseason opener at Kansas City. Wells missed the second preseason game, but may appear in the third contest - multiple sources out of Arizona have described him as tentative in his running and have concerns about his cutting abilities. He isn't looking 100% healed as of August 21. Wells posted six rushes for 12 yards at Tennessee in the third preseason game (a 2.0 yards per carry average).
ARI: The Cardinals' second-year running back Ryan Williams tore his patella tendon and sustained meniscus cartilage damage on August 19, 2011, and was placed on IR for the 2011 season. Williams is already running and cutting on his surgically repaired knee according to reports on May 7, 2012. Williams seems to be ahead of schedule in his rehab and said, "I am running and cutting and doing things I didn't think I'd be doing this early. I'm not worried about it." As of June 1, 2012 Williams hopes to begin practicing the following week. Williams is rehabbing from the knee injury that caused him to miss his entire rookie season in 2011. As of June 15, 2012, it appears that the Cardinals may limit what Chris Wells and Williams do at the start of training camp and then increase their workload as camp goes on. Williams avoided the PUP list to start camp (July 25), but he has been limited during the first week of practices as expected. Williams has been running in team drills as of July 30, and took a hard shot from Adrian Wilson on a play but bounced up with no visible problem - an encouraging sign that his rehabilitation is on track. However, Williams said August 3 that he would not play in the first preseason game because he did not think the risk was worth it to play in while rehabbing knee. He said there is a chance he plays in the second preseason game. Williams did appear in the second preseason game on August 17, and ran well with 5/25/1 rushing to his credit. He's looking like the favorite to lead the Cardinal's rushing attack as of August 21. Williams ran 3/15/0 with one target for zero receptions at Tennessee in the third preseason game. He appears to have the inside track on the starting job in Arizona on the eve of regular season.
ATL: The Falcons' rookie fullback Bradie Ewing is out for the season after suffering a knee injury in Thursday night's exhibition season opener against Baltimore, according to head coach Mike Smith. "Unfortunately, we have to announce that Bradie Ewing will miss the entire season after sustaining a knee injury in last night's contest," Smith said in a statement Friday August 10. "As a result, we will be placing him on injured reserve tomorrow. Bradie is a talented player and I know he and our training staff will do everything they can to ensure a full recovery."
ATL: The Falcons Jason Snelling underwent surgery to wire his broken jaw Monday, January 9, 2012. "Well I just got back from the Dr. and it looks like I will be eating Jello and apple sauce next couple weeks," Snelling said. Atlanta resigned Snelling to a new contract on Thursday, March 8, 2012 - it appears that the jaw is not an issue heading into 2012. Snelling didn't see any work in the preseason opener vs. Baltimore, and also missed the second preseason game due to an somewhat-mysterious lower right leg injury - the Falcons haven't released details about the exact nature of the injury which has cost Snelling roughly three weeks of training camp as of August 21. He missed the third preseason game at Miami.
CAR: The Panthers' Jonathan Stewart was carted off the field Sunday night 8/26/12 - ankle injury of unknown severity but potentially serious. Further evaluations ongoing Monday 8/27. "It looked like he had a twisted ankle, sprained it a little bit," head coach Ron Rivera said after the game. "We're going to be very careful with it obviously. We got X-rays, completely negative... I'll tell you right now, he's not going to play on Thursday (at Pittsburgh)."
CHI: The Bears' Matt Forte suffered a knee injury at the end of the 2011 season, but was recovered enough to be medically cleared to play in the 2012 Pro Bowl (cleared on January 19, 2012). On July 16 2012 he signed a four year, $32 million contract extension and is set as the lead back on the eve of training camp. He did suffer a minor thumb injury during the first week of training camp, but quickly returned to practices - as of early August the thumb doesn't appear to be a major issue. He was in uniform but didn't play in the (very rainy) season opener vs. Denver. He was held out as a precautionary measure. He posted 4/16/0 rushing and had one target for zero receptions vs. Washington during the second preseason game. At the Giants in week three of preseason Forte handled 10/39/0 rushing and had two targets for zero receptions.
CIN: The Bengals' BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed seven times for 22 yards and caught an 18-yard pass in the preseason opener, but ended up with undefined soreness in a foot. As of August 12, he is expected to miss the second preseason game as he works the soreness out of his appendage. Green-Ellis did miss the second preseason game 8/16/12. As of August 27, Green-Ellis is expected to be ready for the start of regular season but will be held out of the final preseason game (as most starters are).
CIN: The Bengals' Bernard Scott suffered a hand injury that may keep him out of the second preseason game - he's missing practices as of August 13. Scott did miss the second and third preseason games - as of August 28, head coach Marvin Lewis stated that Scott will be cleared to return to action after his "hardware" is removed and doctors OK his return. Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel indicates that he believes Scott had a pin inserted in his broken hand - Scott may or may not be able to play in week one once the pin is removed.
CLE: The Browns' rookie running back Trent Richardson is expected to be a full participant in the team's rookie minicamp, despite an early-February arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. The Browns agreed to a four-year, $20.5 million contract with Richardson on July 23, 2012. Unfortunately, the left knee flared up badly enough for Richardson to miss practice on August 7 - he was subsequently scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews on August 9. UPDATE: Head coach Pat Shurmur said August 9 that Richardson's surgery was successful and that the running back is expected to be ready to play in the Browns' regular-season opener against the Eagles on September 9. "We anticipate that Trent will make a speedy recovery," Shurmur said Thursday August 9. As of August 20, Richardson was expected to practice prior to the third preseason game - he should be available for week one of the regular season at this rate of recovery. A report on August 24 indicated that Richardson will likely be limited during week one of regular season - he'll probably take a few weeks to become ready for full-time duties on game day. Browns' general manager Tom Heckert said on August 26 that there is "a good chance" that Richardson will be able to play Week 1.
DAL: The Cowboy's Phillip Tanner was placed on IR December 9, 2011 due to a hamstring injury. He was reported to be fully recovered as of May 23, 2012 - it appears Tanner will be ready for training camp. However, he suffered a broken hand during the first week of training camp - Tanner traveled to Dallas on August 4 to have surgery on his broken hand. Tanner played in the third preseason game with 2/2/0 rushing to his credit.
DEN: The Broncos' Ronnie Hillman left practice Wednesday, August 1, with a hamstring injury. As of August 7, Hillman had missed a week of practices - he was seen running sprints on the sidelines Monday August 6. Hillman missed the Thursday, August 9 preseason opener. Hillman did work in full-team practice sessions Saturday, August 11, for the first time since returning from his hamstring injury. He sat out the second preseason game due to aggravating his injury Tuesday, August 15 but is expected to play vs. San Francisco in the third preseason game. Hillman did make his preseason debut Sunday, August 26, against the 49ers. He had missed the first two preseason games due to his hamstring injury. Hillman had a team-high 10 carries for 29 yards, and he added a catch for four yards.
DEN: Broncos' RB Mario Fannin suffered a torn Achilles' tendon during a scrimmage Saturday, August 4, and is expected to miss the entire 2012 season.
DEN: The Broncos' Knowshon Moreno landed on IR Wednesday, November 16, 2011 due to a torn ACL in his right knee. He had surgery to repair the knee December 1, 2011, and on February 23, 2012 head coach John Fox stated that "He's had a great rehab. (Steve) "Greek" (Antonopulos), our trainer, does a great job. I see Knowshon in there just about every day down in rehab, so it's coming along quite nicely,". However, Moreno was arrested for DUI on February 1, 2012 and the team drafted rookie RB Ronnie Hillman in April. As of Friday, April 6 2012 there were reports that Moreno would likely miss training camp and start regular season on the PUP list - that's assuming that the team keeps Moreno on the roster. On May 26, 2012 it was reported that Moreno was struggling to stand out from the pack of backup running backs during the Broncos' late May OTA's - his roster spot appears to be in jeopardy. As of May 31, 2012 Moreno has been limited during organized team activities this offseason because he has not been cleared to take part in team drills. Moreno passed his training camp physical on July 27, 2012 but he is wearing a knee brace and not participating in team drills. He currently appears to be on the roster bubble. Moreno posted five carries for 20 yards and one catch for six yards Thursday, August 9 in the preseason opener vs. Chicago. He had one carry for -1 yard and one target for zero receptions vs. Seattle in the second preseason game. Moreno posted 5/16/0 rushing and had 2/26/0 receiving in the third preseason game vs. San Francisco.
DET: The Lions' Jahvid Best was cleared to resume working out on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 after being limited to just six games during the 2011 season after suffering a series of serious concussions during 2011. Best has a history of concussions stretching back to college, and given the league's new emphasis on handling concussions carefully, Best is at risk of missing multiple games if he suffers another brain trauma during 2012. On May 20, 2012, it was reported that Best will likely get clearance for full contact sometime in June and is expected to ready for the start of training camp. Best said on June 4, 2012 that he may try out some new helmets this season because of his past history with concussions. He added that he is feeling great and can't wait to get back on the field. On July 1, 2012 a report out of Detroit asserted that Best was expected to be 100% for training camp. GM Martin Mayhew is on the record expecting a "breakout" season from Best during 2012. However, Best opened training camp on the PUP list due to lingering after-effects from his concussion - he is still not cleared for contact as of July 29, 2012. "That (suffering another concussion) has not crossed my mind yet. Right now I'm waiting to be cleared," Best said on July 27. Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said August 2 that Best is not considered day-to-day and is expected to miss several weeks yet. The future of Best as a lead running back looks dimmer each week, friends. As of August 21, it looks like Best could be placed on the PUP list to begin regular season, which would cost him the first six weeks of games (at a minimum). He could even end up on the IR after his stay on PUP.
DET: The Lions' Jerome Harrison was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list on May 15, ending his 2012 season. He's recovering from having a brain tumor surgically removed.
DET: The Lions' Mikel Leshoure tore his left Achilles tendon on Monday, August 8, 2011. He landed on IR Sunday, August 14, and the injury was surgically repaired. On February 14, 2012 it was reported that Leshoure was in the final stages of his rehab, and might be ready for some level of participation in OTAs, with full participation in training camp. On March 28, coach Jim Schwartz stated: "I never like to put timetables on it," said Schwartz, "but I would be surprised if it [Leshoure's medical clearance to play] wasn't before [training camp]." However, Leshoure has since been arraigned for twice being arrested for possession of marijuana (February 18 and March 12, 2012). He pled guilty to a reduced charge of first offense, possession of marijuana on Friday, May 11 - Leshoure is widely expected to get a four-game NFL suspension due to the legal woes, though the league has yet to act as of mid-May. On May 20, 2012 Leshoure said he expects to be fully recovered by the start of the regular season. He hopes to be ready to participate once training camp starts and has been on schedule in his rehab. Leshoure did not participate in organized team activities Monday, June 4, because of his sore right ankle. Reports in early July indicated that Leshoure is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. Head coach Schwartz said on July 9, 2012 "We need to have the ability to pick up tough yardage, and I think that's something that Mikel can do for us." Leshoure tweaked his hamstring in practices on July 28, 2012 - "He grabbed his hamstring a little bit," coach Jim Schwartz said. "Where it turns out to be, we'll see, but again, if it's long-term, we'll let you know. Don't know.". As of August 7, Leshoure is getting closer to returning to action from the hamstring injury but remains day to day, according to head coach Jim Schwartz. Leshoure is running as part of his rehab program. He was still out of practices as of August 13 - he missed the second preseason game on August 17, but as of August 20 Leshoure had participated in two full practices with no issues - his status for the preseason game Saturday, August 25 is unclear as of August 21. A local report on August 22 indicated that Leshoure participated in his third straight practice Wednesday, August 22, and is expected to play in the third preseason game Saturday, August 25. Leshoure had five carries for one yard and one reception for six yards at Oakland in the third preseason game.
DET: The Lions' Kevin Smith returned to the NFL last year after multiple knee injuries. He filled in for the injured Mikel Leshoure (Achilles) and Jahvid Best (concussions) at the end of the 2011 season, but did have some problems with his ankles and knees at the very end of the season. The team did re-sign Smith on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 and he'll provide veteran insurance against further injury woes with Leshoure and Best - Leshoure is suspended for two games to open the regular season. Reports out of training camp indicate that Smith is playing well in the lead running back role as of July 29, 2012, as Best remains not cleared for physical contact and Leshoure was out of practices due to a tweaked hamstring. Smith posted 5/28/0 rushing in the Lions' preseason opener on August 10, and added 4/11/0 rushing and 3/28/0 receiving at Baltimore during week two of preseason. Smith did not practice Monday, August 27, due to an ankle sprain suffered in the preseason game Saturday, August 25. However, Smith is one of the few active running backs on the roster as of the last week of August - if he can get the ankle back near 100% he's slated as Detroit's starter in week one of regular season.
GB: The Packers' Alex Green enters 2012 coming off a torn ACL/reconstructive left knee surgery on November 16, 2011. He is said to be making a "very quick" recovery (head coach Mike McCarthy said so on March 28, 2012). On May 10, Packers team physician, Dr. Pat McKenzie, said he was "hopeful" that Green will be ready for training camp. Green has been running since April 20 and has started cutting as of May 10. On June 10, 2012, Green said he is not sure if he will be ready to practice when training camp begins. Green could start camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list but it does not appear like the team believes he will start the season on the list. He has not been running at full speed at this point but has been able to do cutting drills. On June 19, Green said regarding his recovery in time for training camp: "That's the plan. That's the goal." He reportedly had no problem running all the routes required from running backs during minicamp in mid-June. Green got strong reviews from head coach Mike McCarthy on July 26: "When he hits it, he's top speed, when that crease or when he sees the opportunity for it to split," said McCarthy. "He's a powerful man, and he's got excellent leg drive and does a good job running behind his pads. I think he definitely can add to our running back group. It's great to have him back." Green eked out 3/3/0 rushing at San Diego in the preseason opener - Green Bay subsequently signed free agent Cedric Benson to bolster the running back stable. Green had 4/16/0 rushing during the second preseason game, during which neither Starks (turf toe) or Benson (newly arrived to the team) played. Green managed 5/10/0 rushing in the third preseason game at Cincinnati.
GB: The Packers' James Starks has been dealing with a turf toe injury (currently considered week-to-week) during training camp, and after a lack-luster week one preseason game the Packers signed veteran Cedric Benson to their roster on August 12 (one year deal). The path to touches has suddenly gotten a lot harder for Starks. Starks missed the second preseason and third preseason games due to his injury. He may be on the roster bubble as of the final week of August.
KC: The Chiefs' Jamaal Charles suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Sunday, September 18, 2011, and was placed on IR Wednesday, September 21. Charles took part in a football workout for the first time post-injury on Thursday, February 2, 2012. On May ninth, Charles commented on his rehab: "It made me stronger. It made me the person that I am today, I can't wait and I know how to take care of my body, how to eat right and do the right things and it's made me not want to wait to touch that field again. When I touch that field going out there, you're going to feel my pain; you're going to go through what I went through. That right there is going to be there for the rest of my career because I don't want to be out a whole year ever again. That point, at my stage, I'm 25 years old, I'm at the point in my life that I've got to win games ... That had me thinking a lot and made me a better player." The team expects Charles to be ready for training camp. On May 26, 2012 it was reported that the team has no concerns about Charles' status for training camp - he should be ready to go by July. Charles all but guaranteed Wednesday, June 13, 2012 that he would be cleared to participate when training camp begins next month. "I'm ready to put my cleats back on and punish everybody in my way," Charles said. Charles was officially cleared for full participation in training camp on July 27, 2012. Charles is expected to play in the team's preseason opener Friday, August 10, against the Arizona Cardinals. It will be the first true game action for Charles since going down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament last fall. Charles will also see reps in a scrimmage against Arizona Tuesday, August 7. He appears to be full go as of August 8, 2012. He posted 3/12/0 rushing and 1/11/0 receiving in the preseason opener vs. Arizona, following up with 3/17/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving at St. Louis during the second preseason game, and then posted 6/32/0 rushing with 1/7/0 receiving vs. Seattle in the third preseason contest.
KC: The Chiefs' Peyton Hillis battled through hamstring and elbow injuries to have a disappointing 2011 campaign (10 games played: 161/587/3 rushing for 3.6 yards per carry on average, with 22/130/0 receiving). He was allowed to leave Cleveland in free agency and signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs for $3 million on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. During June minicamp, Hillis handled all the first team reps while Jamaal Charles continued rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. Hillis and Charles reportedly took turns as featured running back on the first day of training camp practices, July 28 2012. Hillis put up 4/41/0 rushing and 1/11/1 receiving in the first preseason game vs. Arizona. Hillis put up 5/11/1 rushing at St. Louis in the second preseason contest. He had just 2/-1/0 rushing vs. Seattle - he wasn't hurt in the game, just under-utilized.
MIA: The Dolphins' Daniel Thomas said on June 10, 2012 that knee and hamstring injuries affected his play last season and took some of his burst away. "I know I've gotten better," he said. "The injuries affected me a lot last year. They messed my mind up. I lost the confidence I had. I didn't have the same burst I had earlier." Thomas also said his lack of leg drive was the reason he averaged only 1.9 yards on average after contact. Local reports on July 29, 2012 indicated that Thomas is in the lead for the #2 running back job behind Reggie Bush as of the start of training camp. He posted 2/-2/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving in the first preseason game vs. Tampa Bay, and added 1/1/1 rushing at Carolina in the second preseason contest. Thomas looked better vs. Atlanta, with 6/29/0 rushing which led the team that day.
MIN: The Vikings' Adrian Peterson suffered a torn MCL and ACL as well as meniscus damage in his left knee on Saturday, December 24, 2011. He had reconstructive knee surgery on December 30, 2011 and has aggressively rehabbed the injury this spring, starting to run on land in April. Peterson is optimistic that he'll be able to play in week one of the regular season, but so far the team's training staff isn't so sure: 'I love Adrian,' head team trainer Eric Sugarman said on May 9, 2012. 'But let's make this clear: I'm still not going to be quoted as saying he's going to play in the first game. That's not fair. I don't know that ... He'll keep throwing that out there. And good for him. That's great. That's obviously our goal, to get him playing the first game. But only if he's functionally safe to do it. This is our franchise. We can't be foolish about this.' Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday, July 3, RB Adrian Peterson (knee) is "right on course" in his recovery, but added the team will defer to doctors and trainers for any timetable. He also commented about Peterson's role early in the regular season, saying: "He's so valuable to our organization that we have to be smart. We'll tread lightly as far as Week 1 and how much he'll contribute on the field," said Frazier. "Even when we get to training camp, he's going to be chomping at the bit but we'll have to be smart." On July 27, the Vikings opened camp with Peterson on the active/PUP list. Coach Frazier indicated on July 29 that Peterson would see some action during preseason: "Ideally, you'd like to see him get some carries at some point in the preseason just for his benefit," said Frazier. "Where he can gain some confidence and get a feel for where he is and where he needs to be by the first game." Peterson reportedly took all the first-team reps in practice Sunday, August 12, in his first day back from the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list. RB Toby Gerhart was working with the second team. Stay tuned to see how Peterson's knee responds to the stresses of live practices during the upcoming week. As of August 20, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is not ready to declare him game ready. 'Probably haven't seen enough yet,' Musgrave said. 'We're going to put him through his paces today and tomorrow and the following day. Another week will be good for his development and our ability to assess his status.' It looks like we won't see Peterson in the third preseason contest on August 24. Peterson didn't play as expected - a report on August 23 indicated that Peterson has experienced no swelling in his left knee the day after practices, a positive sign that his knee is holding up to the stress of practicing (but he's still in a non-contact jersey). On August 27, we learned that Peterson was hit at practice for the first time Monday, August 27, at least just his upper body. "There were times there was nowhere to go and he had to run into people, and he responded well," head coach Leslie Frazier said. "That was good to see. There were some good, hard hits. Nothing to the ground, just guys thudding him." Heading into regular season, Peterson's recovery is progressing well.
MIN: The Vikings' Toby Gerhart suffered a torn MCL in his knee during the 2011 season finale - the injury did not require surgery, though, and on April 11, 2012 Gerhart indicated that the knee was almost fully rehabilitated and that he would fully participate in offseason workouts. On May 3, Gerhart indicated that he is preparing the carry the load for Minnesota in the event that Adrian Peterson (torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus damage) can't play early in the year. "I'm preparing to be the guy,' Gerhart said. 'I try to do that every year. But this year it's a little more prevalent. I'm doing everything I can to be here, work hard, work with the new guys we have coming in. I'm pushing everybody and getting pushed by other guys. Preparing to be the guy, depending on whether Adrian comes back." On June 20, 2012, Gerhart reiterated that his slightly torn MCL feels 100 percent. Gerhart started taking first team snaps on July 27 as the Vikings opened training camp with Adrian Peterson on the PUP list. Gerhart will see extensive action in training camp/preseason. As Peterson was activated and practiced on August 12, Gerhart has started seeing more second-team work. On August 20, we learned that Peterson isn't yet considered game-ready: offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is not ready to put Peterson in a live game yet. "Probably haven't seen enough yet,Musgrave said. "We're going to put him through his paces today and tomorrow and the following day. Another week will be good for his development and our ability to assess his status." It appears that Peterson will not appear in the preseason game Friday, August 24. Gerhart ran for 6/18/0 during the contest.
NE: The Ex-Patriots' Joseph Addai was plagued by hamstring woes during 2011, but did end the season (weeks 15-17) on the playing field for Indianapolis. He was allowed to depart the team in free agency and signed an incentive-laden deal with the Patriots on May 5, 2012. He was released at the start of training camp (July 25) after failing his physical and reportedly "quitting" during his conditioning test. This may be the end of Addai's NFL career.
NE: The Patriots placed FB Spencer Larsen (undisclosed injury) on IR August 27 - his season is over.
NE: The Patriots' Shane Vereen had played well in the first two preseason games and looked over the hamstring woes that plagued him during is rookie season. However, he suffered a left foot injury of unspecified severity in the third preseason game - it is unclear if he'll be able to play in the regular season opener due to his latest injury issue with his foot.
NO: The Saints' Mark Ingram has undergone turf toe surgery (early January 2012) and then a second arthroscopic surgery since August 2010 on his left knee (May 4, 2012). The newest knee procedure should take about six weeks to heal, which means he may miss some OTA time but should be ready to participate in training camp. The series of knee operations is a red flag for potential fantasy owners, though. Stay tuned to see how well Ingram recovers from his latest surgical procedure. On June 6, 2012 he commented: "Just something, needed to have it fixed and went in and got it done," Ingram said. "A minor knee surgery, a little scope." Ingram asserted he'd be 100% for training camp. Reports on July 27, 2012 indicated that though Ingram is participating in practices the Saints are limiting his reps at the beginning of camp, though he reportedly looked good in the first session on July 26. A report on July 30 noted that Ingram was limited during practice Sunday, July 29. Ingram has been practicing one day and then limited the next day as he continues his rehab routine. Ingram did not play in the preseason game Thursday, August 9, because of knee and toe injuries, though he did participate in the Hall of Fame game in a limited role. He posted 5/13/0 rushing and 1/13/0 receiving vs. Jacksonville in New Orleans' third preseason game.
NO: The Saints' interim head coach Joe Vitt said on August 13 that Darren Sproles will not play in the Saints' third preseason game because of a knee injury. Vitt said Sproles would have been able to play if it was a regular season game. The Saints have an extra preseason game thanks to the Hall of Fame contest, so Sproles will miss what would be the second preseason game for 30 of the other teams - it's not considered a key part of the preseason for a veteran like Sproles. Reports on August 20 indicated that Sproles will be held out of practices leading up to and also the fourth preseason game for precautionary reasons - he is expected back in time for the regular season opener. Sproles said August 23 that his sore knee will not be a problem once the regular season starts. The team is being cautious with the running back. "If I had to play, I could. But this is the thing. They don't want to rush me right now. They see it as preseason games so there's no use in risking it."
NYG: The Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw struggled with a painful foot injury throughout the 2011 season. He has since undergone an injection of stem cells into his injured foot (March 8, 2012), which is expected to help heal the stress fracture. As of April 2, 2012, Bradshaw said he had an injection of bone marrow from his hip put into his foot to help the bone heal. He expects to rest for three months following the procedure. Bradshaw expects to miss most of the OTAs but hopes to be able to participate fully in training camp. Bradshaw was not a full participant at OTAs, saying on June 14 he wanted to "take it slow" after getting the bone marrow injection. The team expects him to be 100% for training camp. Bradshaw commented on July 27 that "I feel great. I've always said I felt better, but this year I feel great more than any year I've played in the NFL." He added, "Running-wise, I'm just light on my feet right now." He posted 4/12/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving in the first preseason game at Jacksonville. Bradshaw suffered a bruised hand in the second preseason game, but was already practicing with the team Monday, August 20. It appears that Bradshaw escaped serious injury and should be fine for regular season. On August 27, Bradshaw said he will be fine for the opener and will not need extra protection on his hand. "We didn't seem to know what happened at first, it just seems to be a swollen hand, inflamed, must have took a nice shot on a helmet. It's healing right, feels good and I'll be ready to go. My hand won't be a problem by the time the first game comes."
OAK: The Raiders' Darren McFadden said Tuesday, May 15, 2012 he is 100 percent after suffering a severe foot injury last season (he didn't play after week seven of the 2011 season). McFadden is not concerned with injuring the foot again. "It was just a freak thing, you know. I'm going out there and playing like it never happened," McFadden said. "I'm not going to worry about it. My thing is, just go out there and play hard. I can't control the things that happen when you go out there and get tackled, so I just go hard every play.' McFadden has stated that he wants to rush for 1,800 yards during 2012. On May 23rd, local reports indicated that he has showed no lingering effects during recent offseason workouts from the foot injury that forced him to miss the final nine games last season. On June 14, 2012, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said he is convinced that McFadden is nothing short of 100 percent and ready to pick up where he left off last season before a foot injury ended his season after only seven games. "He looks extremely good to me," Allen said. "He looks fast. He looks explosive. He knows what to do. He knows how to do it. And as we all know the key is, can we keep this guy healthy? And if we can, I would expect him to have a good year." McFadden looked explosive in the preseason opener on Monday Night Football, posting 2/20/0 rushing and 1/18/0 receiving in a cameo appearance. McFadden followed up with 9/34/0 rushing and 1/17/0 receiving at Arizona in the second preseason game - he looks ready to rock in regular season, friends. McFadden ran for 9/27/1 and added 2/11/0 receiving in the third preseason game vs. Detroit.
OAK: The Raiders' Mike Goodson said on March 31, 2012, that the hamstring injury that landed him on Injured Reserve in mid-November last season (while with the Carolina Panthers) has healed. "I've been working real hard ever since the injury, rehabbing and getting it back to 100 percent," Goodson said. "It's finally there, definitely." Goodson is expected to be the primary backup to Darren McFadden in Oakland this year. Goodson suffered a scary neck injury in the first week of August that included an ambulance ride, but a MRI of his neck came back for any serious injury and he is expected to resume practicing soon as of August 7. Goodson ran for 6/5/0 and added 2/12/0 receiving at Arizona in the second preseason game. He added 7/18/0 rushing vs. Detroit in the third preseason game.
PIT: The steelers' Baron Batch suffered a torn ACL on August 11, 2011, and was placed on IR, undergoing reconstructive knee surgery. As of March 26, 2012, he was reported to be cleared for offseason workouts, but then on May 4. 2012 we learned that Batch wasn't ready for practices yet. However, he was fully participating in training camp workouts as of July 29 - "I like the fact that there was no hesitation in his play," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "For a guy that's coming off a knee injury, I thought he moved with authority and trusted his knee." In the preseason opener at Philadelphia, Batch led the team with 19/41/0 rushing and had one target for zero receptions, and ran for 8/19/0 with 1/9/0 receiving vs. Indianapolis in week two of the preseason. Batch posted 7/33/0 rushing at Buffalo in the third preseason game.
PIT: The Steelers' Jonathan Dwyer suffered a broken foot in early December, and landed on the IR list December 8, 2011. As of May 18, 2012, Dwyer had begun running and cutting drills, and he looks set to come into training camp as the #2 running back behind Isaac Redman, while Rashard Mendenhall continues his rehabilitation from a torn ACL suffered on January 1, 2012. Dwyer sprained a shoulder in the first preseason game Thursday, August 9, but the injury is not considered serious as of August 10. Dwyer posted 2/40/0 rushing and 1/-2/0 receiving at Philadelphia in the preseason opener. Dwyer led the team in rushing vs. Indianapolis with 8/43/0 rushing. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said he liked how RB Jonathan Dwyer played in the third preseason game Saturday, August 25, especially the 33-yard pass he caught on a third down. 'That was a big time play, now,' Haley said on August 27. Given Isaac Redman's multiple dings, Dwyer may be a big part of the offensive mix in September. He had 5/1/0 rushing but 3/48/0 receiving all told at Buffalo in the third preseason game.
PIT: The Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the season finale on January 1, 2012. He was widely expected to start the 2012 season on the PUP list (Coach Mike Tomlin said he expected Mendenhall to start 2012 on the PUP list as of March 27, 2012). He may play at some point during 2012, but a lot depends on how his rehabilitation progresses. On July 12, Mendenhall said on his Twitter page that his torn anterior cruciate ligament has healed wonderfully, but no time frame for his return to the football field was mentioned. Mendenhall began training camp (July 25) on the PUP list - however, in a surprise move the Steelers activated Mendenhall from the PUP list on 8/17/12 - he must be further along in his rehabilitation than was believed earlier in the year. We'll see how the knee holds up to the stress of practicing during the final weeks of training camp. Reports after his activation indicate the team hopes he can start to contribute by around week five of the regular season, thus they removed him from the PUP list. On August 23, Mendenhall commented "To be real, I don't know when I'll be ready to play," Mendenhall said. "I'm just working with the training staff and doing what I can to get on the field."
PIT: The Steelers' Isaac Redman suffered a groin injury of unspecified severity on Wednesday, 8/15/12, but it was serious enough to warrant a MRI. This is a developing situation as of 8/15/12. On 8/17 Adam Schefter posted to tweet/WhoSay "Tests on Steelers RB Isaac Redman revealed a hip injury that will not require surgery but will prevent him from playing Sunday vs. Colts. Redman could return to practice as early as next week." Redman missed the second preseason game vs. the Colts as expected. On August 22, we learned that Redman is practicing again and, barring a setback, could start in week one of regular season. "I'm trying to do what I can do without triggering it [the hip injury], without making it worse," Redman said. "Hopefully, I can just keep getting better and better and not have a setback. We're just trying not to push it too hard." However, Redman missed practice Monday, August 27, due to an ankle injury, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. Redman is nursing multiple dings and aches heading into regular season.
SD: The Chargers' Ryan Mathews was held out of the week 17 game last season due to a calf injury, but he was later added to the AFC Pro Bowl Roster (January 22, 2012) - holding him out of the season finale was a precautionary move. The calf injury doesn't appear to be an issue entering the 2012 season. As of July 27, Mathews views himself as an every-down back for the Chargers - "I don't ever want to come off the field. I want to be the best guy for every situation," Mathews said. "I know I can handle a heavy workload and be that three-down back people believe I can be. That's what I've been preparing myself for all offseason." However, during the first series of the first preseason game, Mathews broke his clavicle - he'll be out 4-6 weeks, with a reduction in workload during September likely even in the best case scenario. Mathews is holding out hope that he'll be ready for Oakland in week one, but the majority of medical opinions as of August 14 are that he'll likely miss time in September before returning to action. As of August 28 Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel opined: "... until we hear that Mathews has been cleared for contact, expect him to take every bit of the 4-6 weeks to return."
SEA: The Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch was held out of last week's preseason game and has yet to return to practice with back spasms. According to Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel, "There's some reason for concern with Lynch, as he's previously experienced spasms severe enough to land him on the inactive list in pregame warm ups. However, this instance seems minor and there's no rush to bring Lynch back during the preseason."
SF: The 49ers' Frank Gore was slowed after the season due to an undisclosed illness - he skipped the Pro Bowl game due to "medical reasons". On May 8. 2012 Gore commented on his health: "I feel like I still got a lot left in my tank," Gore said. "I want to show it off that I still got a lot left in my tank and I can play at a high level. I will play at a high level as long as God blesses me to be healthy so I can go out and do something that I love." Gore was held out of the preseason opener for precautionary reasons. Gore put in a cameo in the second preseason game with 2/12/0 rushing and then sat down - "He looks as spry as ever. We're right on track with Frank.", head coach Harbaugh said after the game. Gore had two rushes for -4 yards at Denver in the third preseason game.
SF: The 49ers Jewel Hampton (foot injury) will begin the season on the Non-Football Injury list and miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
SF: The 49ers' Brandon Jacobs (knee injury in the second preseason game) might be available for the team's first regular season game of the year, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh Monday, August 20.
TB: The Buccaneers' LeGarrette Blount suffered a groin strain/injury during the second preseason game, but he had returned to practice as of Monday, August 20 - this doesn't appear to be a serious problem as of August 21. As of August 29 Blount has lost his starting job to Doug Martin but has been told he could win it back during regular season.
TB: The Buccaneers' Doug Martin has dealt with a hamstring injury over the last few weeks, it was revealed on June 6, 2012, but he was able to fully participate in organized team activities the first week of June. Martin was ahead of LeGarrette Blount during the first training camp practice (July 27), with Martin receiving the bulk of first team reps. He was reportedly "very impressive" during the first week of training camp practices and is becoming the clear-cut #1 running back as of July 29, 2012. However, Martin is being challenged by LeGarrette Blount after both players performed well in the first preseason game at Miami. Martin also played in the second preseason game (7/23/0 rushing) - the hamstring issue seems to be a thing of the past as of August 21. He was named the starter on August 24 and responded with 13/53/1 rushing and 3/12/0 receiving vs. New England in the third preseason game.
WAS: The Redskins' Roy Helu missed practice Monday, August 13, with Achilles' tendonitis, according to head coach Mike Shanahan. He missed the second preseason game, and a report on Monday August 20 indicated that Helu is now sidelined in practices due to soreness in both of his Achilles' tendons. Speculation as of August 21 is that Helu won't see action again until regular season, if then. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said on August 23 that Helu and Evan Royster (knee) will not play in the third preseason game Saturday, August 25, because of injuries.
WAS: The Redskins' Tim Hightower suffered a torn ACL in his left knee week seven of the 2011 season (October 23, 2011). He underwent reconstructive knee surgery and was re-signed by the Redskins as of May 13, 2012 (contract details undisclosed beyond the fact it is a one-year contract). Hightower did not participate in the organized team activities Monday, May 21, but did work with trainers on the sidelines. He is hopeful that he'll be ready for the start of regular season - his rehab continues as of late May, so hopefully Hightower won't suffer any setbacks in the process. A report on June 28, 2012 indicated that Hightower will get a shot at being the Redskins' starter week one, if he is healthy enough. However, on July 27 2012 head coach Mike Shanahan conceded after Friday's training camp practice that Tim Hightower reconstructed left knee is "not close to 100 percent." Hightower didn't play in the preseason opener at Buffalo. Hightower is questionable to play in the third preseason game as of August 20, but he did start participating in 11-on-11 drills as of August 16, 2012.
WAS: The Redskins' Evan Royster will miss the third preseason game due to his sore knee, according to coach Mike Shanahan on August 23. A MRI checked for structural damage but none was found - "I probably just cut a little too hard and caused some irritation," Royster commented.
ATL: The Falcon's Harry Douglas missed the first preseason game on Thursday, August 9 due to a rib injury he suffered in practice the prior Monday. He played in the second contest with Cincinnati, grabbing 3/27/0 during the game, and followed up with 3/20/0 receiving at Miami during the third exhibition.
BAL: The Ravens' Torrey Smith could "be out a few weeks," due to an ankle sprain according to head coach John Harbaugh's postgame update on Thursday, August 9. Smith saw three targets for 3/43/0 receiving at Atlanta on August 9 prior to the injury. He was held out of the second preseason game as a precautionary measure. Smith returned to action vs. Jacksonville August 23 with 8/103/0 receiving out of 11 targets - he looks good to go for regular season.
BUF: The Bills' Stevie Johnson is having "very minor" surgery on his groin Tuesday, May 1, 2012. He's expected to be fully recovered within weeks, though - this is not considered a big issue as of mid-May. Johnson did miss OTAs on May 29, 2012 as he continues his recovery from the groin surgery, but the absence was not a surprise. He is still on track to be ready for training camp. Johnson participated in some individual drills Friday, June 15, 2012. Johnson looked good but wasn't moving at full speed yet. On June 22nd, Johnson was reported to be "ramping up" his involvement in OTAs and was seen making several nice catches - he seems to be on track for full participation in training camp. On July 26, Johnson was reported to be fully participating in training camp - "I am still about the same (as OTAs)," said Johnson. "About 90-plus (percent). I never really say a hundred because nobody is perfect here. But I feel good about it. I do not feel anything in my groin so I am pretty good." Johnson was held out of practice for precautionary reasons Friday, August 3 as he continues to recover from the groin injury. Johnson said he felt good during the team's first preseason game Thursday, August 9. "The groin was good. It felt good. I didn't feel anything as far as a setback when I was running," Johnson said. He's passed a test on his way to regular season with the no-setback preseason game. Johnson saw two targets or 1/7/0 receiving vs. Minnesota in the third preseason game. Johnson led the team with 3/36/0 receiving vs. Pittsburgh.
BUF: The Bills' Marcus Easley was medically cleared to resume his football career on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 after missing the season due to a heart condition. Head coach Chan Gailey said at that time that Easley will be given a chance to compete for a roster spot during 2012, though he has missed two straight seasons since being drafted. Bills head coach Chan Gailey said on June 8, 2012, that he has been impressed with how WR Marcus Easley has performed during organized team activities this offseason. "His work ethic and the things he's done in the offseason to get ready to participate. He's been so strong and so good I haven't had to say a word to him. He is an upbeat guy. He knows he's got to fight an uphill battle to get into the fray, but I think he can," Gailey said. Easley caught 1/11/0 (one target) in the preseason opener vs. Washington. He didn't catch a pass at Minnesota. Easley had one catch for three yards against the Steelers in the third preseason game.
BUF: The Bills' David Nelson will miss about four to five days of practice after being diagnosed with a strained tendon in his right leg, according to head coach Chan Gailey on July 30. Nelson didn't get a target in the first preseason game vs. Washington, but saw two passes for 1/8/0 receiving in the second preseason game at Minnesota, and caught 1/25/0 vs. Pittsburgh in the third preseason contest.
CAR: The Panthers' David Gettis was placed on IR Tuesday, August 30 2011 due to his torn left ACL. As of January 10, 2012, Gettis had begun running during his rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery, and he hoped to participate in OTA's as usual. He should be on pace to compete for the #2 wide receiver position in training camp if he doesn't suffer a setback in his rehab. On June 12, 2012 Gettis said he has been taking the rehab from his torn anterior cruciate ligament slowly this offseason because he wants to be careful with the injury. Gettis began training camp on the active/PUP list (July 23rd), but he was listed on PUP due to a hamstring strain, rather than any trouble with his rebuilt knee. On July 27 Gettis commented that he should be ready to play "in a few days". As of August 6, the team was said to be "optimistic" that Gettis would begin practicing soon - he didn't have a target vs. Houston in the first preseason game, however. As of August 21 he's still out of practices and local reports are that Gettis has lost any shot at being in the mix for the #3 job at this point - he looks like a bust for fantasy owners. Gettis went on the PUP list August 27 due to his bum hamstring - he won't be back to action until week eight (if then).
CAR: The Panthers' Steve Smith may practice Friday, August 24 - his foot infection has responded well to antibiotics. Though reports on his progress have been mixed as of August 29, Smith remains on crutches and may have to have further treatments to get his infected foot ready for regular season. This is a situation to monitor heading into the season opener Sunday, September 9 at Tampa Bay.
CHI: The Bears' Johnny Knox had successful back surgery on Monday, December 19, 2011. Knox stated on February 2, 2012 that he would wear a back brace until mid-March because of the surgery. As of March 26, reports were that Knox is scheduled to start the 2012 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to multiple sources familiar with Knox's progress. Knox was forced to wear a back brace after having surgery and was walking with a limp as of late March. There was more structural damage than initially anticipated, according to one source. Coach Lovie Smith stated on March 28 that "It would be hard for me to go into that right there,' Smith said. 'Are you a religious man? Do you talk to God? He can probably tell you. Besides that, it's going to be pretty hard.' Knox said on May 23, 2012 that he is working hard in his rehab from back surgery but is not sure if he will be able to play this season. On May 31, 2012 Knox said that he knows there is a chance he could miss the entire 2012 season (he is working to strengthen the muscles around his injured spinal column). Knox acknowledged on June 23, 2012 that there is still no timetable for a return to the football field as he makes his way back from his severe back injury. Knox opened camp (July 25) on the PUP list - he is expected to stay on PUP for at least the first six games of the regular season - though he may not play at all this year. On 8/26 Knox was officially put on the PUP list and will definitely miss the first six games of the season.
Ex-CIN Now-TB: The Ex-Bengal-now Buccaneer Jordan Shipley tore his left ACL on September 18, 2011, and missed the rest of the NFL season. As of May 7, 2012 Shipley was medically cleared for full participation in OTAs. However, a report on July 7, 2012 indicated that Shipley may begin the regular season on the PUP list because the team wants to be cautious with his recovery/rehab. Shipley started training camp on the PUP list (July 27), and he may be kept on that list into regular season, which would cost him the first six games of 2012. However, the team removed him from the PUP list July 30 - as of August 9 Shipley was reported to be "lost in the shuffle" at training camp - he did see one target for 1/4/0 receiving in the preseason opener vs. the Jets. On Friday, 8/17/12 he was cut by the Bengals - Shipley reportedly had his balky knee iced after the preseason game on Thursday and it was looking like it was a problem. Shipley was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay on August 20, despite reports that his rehabilitating knee was "not responding" well. Tampa's head coach Greg Schiano said on August 23 that "He moves well. He is efficient. Natural under the ball in punt returns." Shipley had one catch for four yards vs. New England in the third preseason game for Tampa Bay.
DAL: The Cowboys' Miles Austin recently (April 16, 2012) revealed that he wasn't physically prepared for the 2011 season, and indicated that the lack of conditioning was a factor in the recurring hamstring injuries that limited him to 10 games during the regular season. He had previously stated on February 28, 2012 that his hamstrings were back to 100%. A local report on June 13 indicated that Austin is in outstanding shape and he was reportedly catching everything "in sight". However, on August 5 the Cowboys revealed that Austin will miss at least one week because of a hamstring injury. The team said they are not worried about the injury at this time - however, last year's pattern is starting up again. Austin will not play in the team's preseason opener. "It's up to whoever to be concerned," Austin said on August 9. "Anybody who wants to be concerned can be concerned. I can't focus on who's concerned or who's not concerned. I need to focus on getting back." Miles missed the Monday Night Football preseason opener vs. Oakland as expected, and also sat out week two - it's looking like the Cowboys will hold him out until regular season to give Austin's hamstrings a chance to heal up. As of August 28, head coach Jason Garrett was hopeful Austin could practice by the end of the week. Austin has said that he'll be ready for the first game on Wednesday, September 5.
DAL: The Cowboys' Dez Bryant tweaked a hamstring prior to the week one preseason game, but appeared in the contest and made a nice long catch before hitting the bench. The hamstring doesn't appear to be a big concern as of August 12. However, he injured his knee during a practice session after the second preseason game, and a subsequent MRI revealed patellar tendonitis on August 20. He is considered day-to-day due to this injury/condition, and will likely miss the third preseason contest. Bryant is expected back in time for regular season unless the knee is aggravated again.
DAL: The Cowboys' rookie wide receiver Danny Coale will need surgery to repair a broken left foot (broken fifth metatarsal) suffered on May 22, during the organized team activity at Valley Ranch. The surgery means Coale could miss the early part of training camp, which will begin in the final week of July. On June 6, 2012, Coale said the goal is for him to be ready for the start of training camp. He said he will stop using crutches in a day or two and will take off the walking boot in seven to 10 days. However, a report from the team on June 10 indicated that Coale may begin training camp on the PUP list. He is still expected to be ready for part of training camp, according to reports out of Dallas. As of July 19, the timetable for Coale's return to the football field was sometime in early August. Coale came off the active/PUP list on August 4, but couldn't practice until the Thursday before the Monday Night Football preseason opener. Coale didn't see a target in that game, as expected. As of August 16 head coach Jason Garrett indicated that Coale's roster spot was not guaranteed, and as of August 20 the team's official website indicated that Coale might not stick as the teams #5 wide receiver. Coale did record one catch for eight yards vs. St. Louis in the third preseason game.
DET: The Lions' rookie wide receiver Ryan Broyles was drafted with the #54 pick this April, but he comes into the 2012 regular season off a torn ACL in his knee, suffered in November of last year. Some speculate that Broyles may begin the 2012 season on the PUP list, but GM Martin Mayhew stated on April 30th that Broyles could be ready sometime during training camp. Broyles has been working hard on his rehab according to head coach Jim Schwartz, and wouldn't rule Broyles out for week one of the regular season. So far, the potential start date of Broyles' NFL career is up in the air. Broyles participated in the individual portion of May OTAs, but hasn't done team drills yet. Head coach Jim Schwartz said that the Lions "are expecting a contribution from him this year." Broyles started camp (July 24) on the Non-Football injury list, but he was activated on July 29, 2012 and medically cleared for practices. The quick activation indicates that Broyles has a good shot to play early on in the regular season. However, he is reportedly suffering from soreness in his repaired knee during training camp, and as of August 14 is considered likely to be buried at #4 (or lower) on the wide receiver depth chart when the season opens. He did catch both balls threw at him at Baltimore, with 2/26/0 receiving. At Oakland, he snagged 2/16/0 receiving.
GB: The Packers' Greg Jennings sustained a concussion during a scrimmage on August 3, 2012. The team is expected to be cautious with him during preseason (Jennings was starring in training camp prior to the concussion according to multiple reports out of Green Bay's training camp). Jennings was still going through the concussion protocol as of August 13, according to head coach Mike McCarthy. Jennings missed the first and second preseason games due to the injury. He has since returned to practices, but Jennings revealed that he actually had one concussion on Wednesday, August 1 and then aggravated the injury with a second brain trauma on August 3, so Jennings enters the season coming off two concussions, not one. Stay tuned to how he responds to the rigors of practice/the third preseason game. Jennings led the team with 2/37/0 receiving out of five targets at Cincinnati in the third preseason game.
HOU: The Texans' Andre Johnson missed time during 2011 (nine games) due to a hamstring injury, but he played well during the playoffs and appears to be past the nagging injury as of mid-May, 2012. However, on May 22, 2012 it was reported that Johnson is expected to miss three to four weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He is expected to be ready for training camp, but Johnson has yet another injury issue for fantasy players to monitor during July. As of late June, Johnson was reportedly working out with Matt Schaub during throwing sessions "every day". However, Johnson suffered a "mild" groin strain early in training camp, and is currently sidelined while youngster Lestar Jean fills in on the first team during training camp. "I'm fine," Johnson insisted on July 29. "Not limping or anything. It's just a strain." Coach Gary Kubiak emphasized being "smart" about the injury, which could worsen if aggravated. Kubiak said the Texans would be "very careful" before letting Johnson retake the practice field. Johnson reportedly looked good in his return to practice Monday, August 6, according to head coach Gary Kubiak. Johnson was on a play count, however, as he is eased back to form. "I thought he looked good. We put a play count on him," Kubiak said. "It's about getting him going again ... I thought he held up well." On August 12, Texans head coach Kubiak said that Johnson is expected to play in the second preseason game. Johnson led the team in receiving on August 18, with 2/49/0 receiving. Johnson saw five targets for 2/30/0 receiving at New Orleans in the third week of preseason action.
IND: The Colts' Donnie Avery struggled with hamstring problems during 2011, but Indianapolis added him to their rebuilding squad on Friday, March 23, 2012. It remains to be seen if he can stay healthy after playing zero games in 2010 and just eight games for Tennessee during 2011. During mid-June, local reports indicated that Avery was a "bright spot" for the Colts during OTAs. However, Avery missed the Colts' 38-3 thrashing of St. Louis in the preseason opener due to a thigh contusion suffered in practices the first week of August, and also missed the second preseason game - he was expected to play in the third preseason game, and saw seven targets for 6/38/0 receiving at Washington.
IND: The Colt's Austin Collie (concussion) suffered a concussion in the team's preseason game Sunday, August 19, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. Collie said he is feeling fine but is listed as day-to-day. Collie has an extensive prior history of concussions - it is unclear as of August 21 when he may be expected back on the field, with some speculating he could miss the start of regular season due to the serial nature of Collie's concussion issues. Collie is reportedly engaging in light duty (catching passes on the sidelines during practices) as of August 28 - he may be close to returning to the field.
JAX: The Jaguars' rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon missed the last day of rookie camp due to a sore foot, but returned to OTAs on Tuesday, May 15. Evidently, the problem was due to a pair of new cleats that didn't fit correctly, and isn't a serious injury. As of July 26, Blackmon is a training camp holdout as the team is now insisting on contract clauses protecting the Jaguars from a repeat DUI arrest (he plead guilty to DUI on July 24, 2012 but avoided jail time). He is scheduled to debut in the team's second preseason game, and is elevated to first team status as of August 12. Blackmon led the team in receiving with 4/48/1 at New Orleans in the second preseason game. He led the team in receiving at Baltimore during the third preseason contest, with eight targets for 4/72/0 receiving.
JAX: The Ex-Jaguars' Lee Evans had a miserable, injury-marred (ankle injury) 2011 season with just nine games played for Baltimore - he saw 31 targets but caught just 4/74/0 for the team. He was signed by the Jaguars on Monday, April 16, 2012 to a one-year contract. He reportedly played well in minicamp (April 19, 2012). However, he was released Sunday August 12 - "He's just struggling getting in and out of breaks and I think he felt the same way," head coach Mike Mularkey said.
JAX: Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said August 1 that he was optimistic that WR Laurent Robinson would be cleared to practice in the near future after suffering a possible concussion. On August 7 Jaguars.com identified Robinson as the team's #1 wide receiver. Robinson posted 1/7/0 receiving out of four targets in the first preseason game vs. the Giants. He didn't catch a pass in the second contest.
KC: The Chiefs' Jonathan Baldwin (undisclosed) was not at organized team activities Friday, June 1, 2012 because of a medical issue. Head coach Romeo Crennel did not specify the issue but it appears that Baldwin may be struggling with recent migraine problems. Later in the day, coach Crennel said "He had a migraine (Thursday) and he's going to go to the doctor today, so we'll just have to wait and see,". Baldwin participated in organized team activities Monday, June 4, after sitting out Friday, June 1, with migraines. Hopefully, the doctors will be able to find an effective treatment regimen to help Baldwin keep the migraines at bay. A local report on June 15, 2012 indicated that Baldwin "starred" in mid-June OTAs - he seems ready for training camp. Baldwin opened training camp playing with the first team due to Dwayne Bowe's contract holdout - "His weight is down," coach Romeo Crennel observed of Baldwin on July 27. "He's in great shape. He's got a good attitude. I anticipate he will have a good year going forward." Baldwin has played well early in camp according to reports on August 2, though he didn't see a target in the first preseason game. He had three targets for 1/7/0 receiving at St. Louis on August 18. Baldwin was second on the team in receiving vs. Seattle, with seven targets for 6/37/0.
MIA: The Dolphins' Davone Bess revealed on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 that the knee injury he suffered in week 17 of the 2011 season was a torn medial collateral ligament and partially-torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He stayed in Florida throughout the offseason to rehab the injury, and Bess did practice during the April 24 voluntary offseason workout. "Luckily, the ligaments were in the right place where they could heal by themselves," said Bess. Bess had a strong practice Monday, August 13, catching two red zone touchdowns. Bess has reportedly been running much crisper routes in training camp this year. He caught 2/12/0 at Carolina in the second exhibition game, and led the team in receiving vs. Atlanta with six targets for 4/59/0 receiving.
MIA: The Dolphins' Brian Hartline revealed on Saturday, June 30, that he is recovering from an appendectomy, but he is expected to be fine for training camp. However, he looked sluggish as of the start of training camp (July 27) and dropped out of Saturday and Sunday drills due to a left calf injury (reported on July 29). It is an inauspicious start to the season for Hartline. He injured his calf on August 4, and has yet to return to full practices as of August 14 - he looks unlikely to play in the second preseason game at his current rate. Hartline didn't catch a pass in the third preseason game.
MIN: The Ex-Vikings' Greg Childs tore the patella tendons in both of his knees during a scrimmage Saturday, August 5, and will miss the entire 2012 season. He will undergo surgery to repair the tendons in the next few days. The Vikings announced Monday, August 6, they have waived Childs, who was trying to come back from a previous patella tendon injury.
MIN: The Vikings' Percy Harvin (shoulder injury) played with a sprained acromioclavicular joint last year, and an MRI exam showed damage around the AC joint that will require minor arthroscopic surgery. The procedure was scheduled for April 10, 2012, but Harvin delayed the procedure in order "to support my family through emergency." Harvin said he'd have the surgery 'soon', but he didn't participate in team workouts on April 27 and it is unclear if Harvin has rescheduled the procedure or not. The team is reportedly concerned about 'erratic behavior' on the part of Harvin. As of May 29, 2012 Harvin was not participating in team OTAs due to the shoulder procedure, which had taken place "in the last month". Harvin has indicated that he has different issues with the Vikings that he is unhappy with. "It's hard to try to tell you guys without telling you guys," he said to the Minnesota media Tuesday, June 19. Whether or not the shoulder injury is a factor in the unspecified 'issues' is unclear as of mid-June. He is expected to report and participate fully in training camp as of July 6, 2012. Harvin arrived for the start of training camp on July 26 and is fully participating. On July 27 he commented: "I'm at camp, I'm happy, I'm on board.". On July 30 Harvin returned to the practice field after being carted off earlier Monday due to a hand injury of unspecified severity. Harvin had fingers taped on his right hand when he returned to practice. He didn't participate in the first preseason game, but had 1/21/0 receiving vs. Buffalo. Harvin led the team in receiving vs. San Diego with six targets for 2/53/0 receiving.
NO: The Saints' Adrian Arrington underwent knee surgery on August 13 - interim head coach Joe Vitt didn't have a timetable for his return from the procedure (to repair meniscus cartilage damage).
NO: The Saints' Devery Henderson missed the second preseason game at New England (he hurt his ankle during the Hall of Fame game). No timetable for Henderson's return to the field has been set as of August 13. Henderson had 4/31/1 receiving in the second preseason game - his ankle seems to be coming around as of August 21. He snagged 2/21/0 receiving vs. Houston in the third exhibition game.
NO: The Saints' Lance Moore missed the Divisional round playoff game vs. San Francisco due to a nagging hamstring injury. Hopefully, the offseason rest will set the sore muscle right - Moore owners will want to monitor his participation during OTAs this summer. Moore didn't have a target in the preseason opener at New England, but caught 1/6/0 vs. Jacksonville in the second exhibition game. He scored a TD vs. Houston with 3/38/1 to his credit.
NYG: The Giants' Ramses Barden spent the beginning of the season on the PUP list due to an ankle injury, but found a few chances to contribute to the team after being activated from the list on Saturday, November 5, 2011. In all, he had 9/94/0 receiving from weeks 9-16 before being serially inactivated for the team's run through the playoffs. On May 31, 2012 head coach Tom Coughlin commented: "That would be great if he did," said Coughlin about Barden stepping up. "It has been a little bit of inconsistency. Some days are very, very good and others are not as good. Hopefully it will all catch up with Ramses this spring and this fall." Barden is competing for the third wide receiver slot during training camp - he saw one target for 1/14/0 receiving at Jacksonville in the preseason opener. Barden had two opportunities vs. the Jets but zero receptions. He led the team in receiving vs. Chicago with three targets for 3/46/1.
NYG: The Giants' Hakeem Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during the May 24, 2012 organized team activity workout. Conflicting reports about the time frame for Nicks' return have been heard as of early June, with the team leaning towards the 12-week time frame but Nicks asserting he'll be ready in four-to-six weeks/that he has a goal of being ready for the start of training camp. As of July 13, 2012, Giants WR Victor Cruz said Nicks told him Wednesday, July 11, that he expects to be ready for the regular season game Week 1 and not when the team reports to training camp. "He looks good. He's walking again on his own so that's definitely a good sign," Cruz said. "He told me he'll be ready and he told me he'll take training camp to continue rehabbing and continue to get his foot back right, but I definitely expect him to be ready by game one." Nicks opened training camp on the PUP list, and as of July 29 is said to be on track for a mid-August return to the team/practices. Nicks was activated off the PUP list on August 13, which clears the way for him to participate in a preseason game or two, depending on his reaction once he puts the pads on and starts taking hits. Nicks is reportedly set to return to practices starting Monday, August 20. Stay tuned to see how his foot responds to the rigors of full practices (he might also play in the third preseason game if the foot responds well). Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said on August 22 that he had Nicks go through practice harder Wednesday, and that Nicks looked good during the session.
NYJ: The Jets' Santonio Holmes removed himself from a June 7, 2012 practice during organized team activities (OTAs) due to "too many reps." Head coach Rex Ryan later said Holmes suffered a hamstring injury in that final OTA practice. Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal said on June 20, 2012 that he was in "complete shock" over the attention given to the situation. "Honestly, it was complete shock to me that this was being reported," Lal said. "Every day in practice, I make it a point to tell the receivers - because they run so much - you have to keep them healthy. There's no point in getting hurt in June." Stay tuned to this developing situation - hamstring injuries can sometimes linger and become nagging issues for NFL players. Holmes did eventually show up for the start of training camp on July 27, but was reportedly late to report. He reportedly injured his ribs during Saturday night's scrimmage, August 4, 2012, though early indications are that no bones are broken. Holmes is reportedly in a lot of pain due to the cartilage injury, and he is considered to be out "indefinitely" as of August 6. As of August 15, Holmes is now experiencing back tightness, possibly related to his lingering rib injury. Head coach Rex Ryan allowed that there is the possibility of Holmes missing the entire preseason, and he missed the second preseason game against the Giants. Holmes did play in the third preseason game and made some nice catches - he seems to be past the ribs/back issue.
NYJ: The Jets' Jeremy Kerley suffered a hamstring injury on July 28, 2012 and will miss "about a week" of training camp. Head coach Rex Ryan said he's "disappointed" with the second-year wideout's progress in new OC Tony Sparano's system as of July 28. As of August 12, Kerley said he has a slight tear in his hamstring but hopes to participate in team drills by the end of the week (August 17). He missed the second preseason game. On August 22 Kerley commented that his hamstring was "90%". On August 28 head coach Rex Ryan indicated that he expected Kerley to be ready for week one of regular season.
NYJ: The Jets' Chaz Schilens suffered foot and hip injuries during December, 2011 that limited him at the end of the season. He has struggled to stay healthy during his pro career, but was awarded a one-year, $765,000 tryout contract by the Jets on March 16, 2012. On July 28 he was singled out for praise by head coach Rex Ryan - Schilens is evidently playing well early in training camp. He had one target for zero receptions at Cincinnati during the first preseason game, though, and didn't catch a ball vs. the Giants, either. On August 28 head coach Rex Ryan indicated that he expected Schilens to be ready for week one of regular season.
NYJ: The Jets' Jordan White (broken foot) will be out until training camp because a fractured bone in his left foot. The injury occurred on the first day of OTAs and he had surgery on the injury two days later - his recovery time frame was made public on June 1, 2012. He was not wearing a walking boot, and he was no longer using crutches as of Monday, June 25. On July 30 White was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and said the fractured bone in his foot has healed. White saw two targets for zero receptions at Cincinnati during the first preseason game. He led the team in receiving vs. the Giants, with four targets for 3/28/0. He saw four targets but had just one catch for 12 yards vs. Carolina.
OAK: The Raiders' Jacoby Ford, who missed six games during 2011 due to a mid-foot sprain before appearing in the season finale, is near 100% healed as of April 5, 2012, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Ford saw extensive action in the Monday Night Football preseason opener - he was targeted three times but failed to make a reception. Ford snagged 2/21/0 at Arizona in the second exhibition game. However, Ford walked onto the practice field Thursday, August 23, with a walking boot on his left foot. Ford reportedly doesn't have structural damage or swelling in the foot - head coach Dennis Allen said on August 20 that the issue was "a matter of pain". On August 28 we learned that Ford is not expected to practice in the final week of August and won't appear in the preseason finale.
OAK: The Raiders' Darrius Heyward-Bey (sore shoulder) returned to practice Tuesday, August 21. He handled two passes for 55 yards in the third exhibition vs. Detroit.
OAK: The Raiders' Denarius Moore suffered a right hamstring injury during OTAs on June 12th, 2012. On June 13, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said Moore will be fine and ready to roll by the start of training camp. As of July 29, Moore had been medically cleared to begin practices on Monday, July 30 when the Raiders' training camp opened. However, he's struggled to practice for most of training camp and was inactive for the Monday Night Football preseason opener vs. Dallas (August 13, 2012). Early indications are that Moore may have re-injured the hamstring, which may lead to an extended rehabilitation - stay tuned to see if he is able to go in the second or third preseason games. Moore missed the second preseason game at Arizona. On August 28 we learned that Moore is not expected to practice in the final week of August and won't appear in the preseason finale.
PHI: The Eagles' Riley Cooper will undergo surgery Monday, July 30, 2012 to repair his fractured left collarbone and is expected to miss six weeks. He may miss the season opener with a six week rehab time frame (it is six weeks until the season opens as of July 30).
STL: The Rams' Danny Amendola was placed on IR October 6, 2011 due to a dislocated elbow that required surgical repair. He signed a one-year, $1.8 million tender on April 26, 2012 - he looks like a lock to be among the top three receivers on the depth chart as of mid-May, probably playing in the slot. He saw two targets for 1/6/0 receiving at Indianapolis during the first preseason game. He led the team with 3/58/1 receiving vs. Kansas City in the second preseason game.
Ex-STL: The Rams' Danario Alexander was cleared to return to action Monday, August 6, and spent most of the day running with second- and third-string units without seeing many passes go his direction. "He obviously has some talent. But we just have to keep him out there," head coach Jeff Fisher said. Alexander spent the first week of training camp sidelined due to a hamstring injury. As of August 9 head coach Jeff Fisher said Alexander was "still struggling" - he didn't see a target in the first preseason game at Indianapolis, nor in the second vs. Kansas City. Alexander was waived on August 27.
SD: The Chargers' Vincent Brown is out indefinitely after breaking his ankle on Saturday night, 8/18. Corrective surgery is scheduled for 8/19. On August 20, the team estimated that he might miss five games during regular season - depending on his rate of recovery during rehabilitation. The surgeons indicated that Brown didn't suffer a serious high ankle sprain due to the fracture, which is an encouraging sign for a relatively speedy return to the field.
Ex-SD now-OAK: The ex-Charger now-Raiders' Roscoe Parrish saw his 2011 season end on September 20, due to a serious ankle injury. A report on December 14, 2011 indicated that Parrish was healthy by mid-December, but the Bills declined to retain his services after two injury-shortened campaigns (eight games in 2010, two games in 2011). He signed a one-year deal with San Diego on April 3, 2012 - financial terms were undisclosed. He is penciled in as the team's fifth wide receiver as of the start of training camp. He didn't see a ball in the preseason opener. Three passes came Parrish's way in the second exhibition, but he only managed 1/4/0. Parrish was cut by San Diego and then signed by Oakland August 27 and 28, indicating that he's last on the depth chart and likely to get cut again once Jacoby Ford is healthy.
SD: The Chargers' Eddie Royal is expected to miss one to two weeks because of a groin injury sustained August 3. He likely will miss the first preseason game because of the injury, which is not considered a serious pull, but it could become a nagging issue if not rested sufficiently. As of August 14, the team was allowing him to run on the sidelines during practice - Royal missed the first, second and third preseason games. He was expected to return to practice Wednesday, August 22.
STL: The Rams WR Steve E. Smith has caught everything thrown his way during training camp and has been a bright spot in camp. Head coach Jeff Fisher said August 20 that Smith hasn't had any problems with his surgically repaired knee and they haven't had to tone back his work at all. It appears that Smith will make the final 53-man roster. He saw four targets for 1/7/0 receiving at Dallas in the third exhibition.
Ex-SEA: Newly-signed Seahawk Antonio Bryant is out of practices due to a hamstring injury, according to local reports on July 28. He was released August 5.
SEA: The Seahawks' Doug Baldwin was back at practice August 14 after tweaking a hamstring earlier in training camp. However, he has missed two preseason games even though the hamstring issue isn't considered serious as of August 20. The word as of August 29 is that Baldwin had a procedure to drain fluid near the injured hamstring - Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel notes: "That's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Baldwin's hamstring injury was severe enough to cause significant amounts of bleeding in the muscle belly and that the hematoma was still limiting his recovery seven days after the injury. The good news is that the drainage procedure should allow Baldwin's rehab to move more quickly, though it's unlikely he'll be ready to begin practicing for at least another 1-2 weeks."
SEA: The Seahawks' Sidney Rice had surgery on both of his shoulders on January 3, 2012. Rice also suffered a concussion last year, which led to his placement on IR November 30, 2011. Players with a history of prior concussions are a larger injury risk due to the league's proactive stance on concussion assessment and treatment. It's common to see several weeks missed in the instance of a repeat brain trauma, so there are several injury factors to weigh in Rice's case before adding him to a fantasy roster. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said on April 20, 2012 that Rice isn't expected to take part in preseason offensive workouts but should be ready for the start of training camp. On June 14, it was reported that Rice asserted he is on pace to be ready for the opening of the regular season after undergoing two offseason shoulder surgeries. "A lot of slipping out and popping out of place," Rice said. "Right now, they're supposed to be brand new shoulders, and we'll take it from here. Right now I've got to regain my strength in my shoulders and get ready for the season." Rice wasn't cleared for contact as of June 13 - he had both labrums in his shoulders repaired (full, 360 degree tears in each shoulder). A report on August 14 indicated that Rice was practicing in team drills and diving for balls in sessions. On August 21, Rice was knocked on his rear during a passing drill in practice. "It was great," head coach Pete Carroll said. "He needed to feel that and know that could happen." Reports out of Seattle indicate that Rice has been been practicing full speed and looks good for full duties week one of regular season. Rice played briefly in the third preseason game and snagged one catch for eight yards, with two targets, before exiting the game. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Monday, August 27, that WR Sidney Rice is ready for the regular season, and he is in great shape and the strongest he has been. "He's ready to go and that's a big deal to us," Carroll said.
SEA: Ex-Seahawk Mike Williams landed on IR December 20, 2011 due to a fractured left ankle and fractured fibula. He resumed running on April 25, 2012, but was not able to participate in OTAs that began on May 5. He was released by the team on July 13, and may not catch on with another team due to the ongoing rehabilitation of his ankle/fibula injury.
SF: San Francisco's Michael Crabtree surprised nobody by missing the first week of training camp due to a right calf/ankle injury. He did put in a full practice on Tuesday, August 7, but isn't expected to play in the team's preseason opener. He had two targets for 1/4/0 at Houston in the second exhibition game, and followed up with 3/21/0 receiving at Denver.
TB: The Buccaneers' Arrelious Benn didn't play in the 2011 season finale due to a neck injury. He was practicing with the team as of May 22, 2012, but he was running with the third-team offense during the workouts. It looks like Benn will be buried on the depth chart this year unless he impresses the new coaching staff during training camp. Benn sprained his MCL on July 27, 2012 during practice and is out for four weeks - he won't be impressing the coaching staff from the sidelines. On August 14, head coach Greg Schiano indicated that WR Arrelious Benn is still "a few weeks" away from returning to practice. He is expected to make the 53-man roster according to local reports on August 28.
TEN: The Titans' Kenny Britt suffered a torn ACL in his right knee after the week three game during 2011. He was placed on IR September 28, 2011 and underwent reconstructive knee surgery. On May 10, 2012 Britt indicated that the rehabilitation has been a struggle at times, saying: "I'm out there running, mostly at full speed, cutting, running around. The knee's still swollen, but that comes with the territory and we've got three months before I get back on the field." Then, on May 16, Britt underwent another surgery, an arthroscopic knee surgery, to reduce swelling in the previously-operated-on right knee. As of June 1, 2012 Titans head coach Mike Munchak said that Britt is making good progress in his rehab from arthroscopic knee surgery and should start running again soon. As of June 4, 2012 Titans head coach Munchak said that Britt is expected to be limited at the start of training camp and could sit out the first two or three preseason games to protect his knee. On June 6, 2012, comments from Britt about his recovery were published - he stated: "I lost some strength in my leg a little bit (after the arthroscopic procedure to clean out his surgically repaired knee) and that set me back a little bit," Britt said. "But I start running on the field (Thursday) to see how I feel. They thought it would be next week, so I feel good about that...Seeing how I can cut... I am hoping I'll be back for opening day. Hoping and praying." As of June 15, 2012, Britt was back to cutting for the first time on his surgically repaired knee. Britt didn't expect to start cutting so soon, but commented. "They surprised the heck out of me today," Britt said. "And I did it without the brace, too... On my first one I was a little hesitant, but it felt good and after that, it was all out." On July 25, Britt opened camp on the active/PUP list - he clouded his 2012 prospects with a recent DUI arrest that is an issue at the league disciplinary level - there are multiple clouds hanging over Britt. However, the suspension of unknown length due to his series of arrests is still pending: on August 15, Britt said "(Goodell said) he would think about it and get to me as soon as possible, sooner or later, I'm not too sure," said Britt. "Hopefully he'll contact me or send a letter or speak to my agent... Once I know, I'll let y'all know. Or maybe you'll find out before me." On August 28, we learned that Britt passed a team physical and was activated from the PUP list, but the team is still unsure how long he'll be suspended by commissioner Goodell as of August 28. Britt may practice during the last week of August and play a few snaps in the final preseason game.
TEN: The Titans' Lavelle Hawkins struggled with an ankle injury during December 2011, but was re-signed to a three-year contract worth $7.2 million including a $2 million signing bonus, on February 13, 2012. It appears that the ankle is not a concern for 2012. Hawkins saw two targets for 1/6/0 receiving in the first preseason game at Seattle, but zero balls at Tampa in week two and zero vs. Arizona in week three.
TEN: The Titans' Marc Mariani landed on IR 8/26 due to a fractured left tibia - he's out for the season.
WAS: The Redskins' Joshua Morgan suffered a broken lower right leg right above his ankle on Sunday, October 9, 2011. He underwent corrective surgery on October 10, and was placed on IR October 12, 2011. He began running on the leg in late January, 2012, and was signed by the Redskins to a two-year, $6 million contract on March 13, 2012. He partially participated in June OTAs, and was quoted as saying he's lost five inches off his vertical leap since the injury - "I used to have a 41-inch vertical. Now I only got a 36," Morgan said June 21. "I gotta get that 40 back." On July 26 Morgan was medically cleared for the start of training camp and he is playing with the first team. However, Morgan suffered a hamstring injury early in camp - Morgan said August 3 that he has made progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury but does not want to return to practice too early and aggravate the injury. He said this is his first hamstring injury so he does not know when he will be completely recovered. Head coach Mike Shanahan said Morgan could return to practice as early as Monday, August 6. Morgan saw extensive work in the first preseason game, garnering a team-high seven targets for 4/49/0 receiving, but didn't catch a ball in the second preseason game. Morgan handled 2/24/1 receiving vs. Indianapolis in the third preseason game.
ARI: The Cardinals' Todd Heap struggled with a hamstring injury until late in the 2011 season - he did score one TD in the season finale, but was limited in practices and during game day for much of the year due to the injury. Heap commented on December 8, 2011: "I don't feel like this is something that happened, or that the healing process has been (long), because of age. It was just a different injury. I have a lot of good football in me," Heap said. On June 2, 2012 he commented: "Coming into a new offense, new terminology, last year was an adjustment," Heap said as he explained his disappointing 2011. "Having time to get into it, digest it now, it's going to be huge for a lot of us who weren't here until the beginning of last year." Heap saw two targets for 1/6/0 receiving in the preseason opener at Kansas City. However, Heap left practice on August 20 early due to suffering an undisclosed injury - it appears he is still struggling to stay healthy as of late August. Heap saw five targets for 4/31/0 at Tennessee in the third exhibition.
ARI: The Cardinals' Jeff King suffered a partially torn quadriceps tendon during May and underwent surgery to repair the injury, it was reported on May 23, 2012. King is expected to be able to participate in training camp, though it is unclear if he'll be 100% healthy. As of July 17, King is expected to miss the start of training camp. He was finally activated from the PUP list on August 13 - he's expected to handle mostly blocking duties going forwards. King caught 1/22/0 at Tennessee in the third exhibition game.
BAL: The Ravens' Ed Dickson (eye) was poked in the eye in practice Saturday, August 4, but the injury does not appear serious. "It's pretty good right now, my vision," Dickson said. "I've just got a headache." However, Dickson could "be out a few weeks," due to a shoulder injury he suffered on August 9 according to head coach John Harbaugh's postgame update on Thursday, August 9. As of August 20, he's resumed catching passes in light duty and hopes to return to full practices in time for the regular season opener. He practiced in a limited capacity on Saturday, August 25.
BAL: The Ravens' Dennis Pitta broke his hand during practice Monday, July 30. Head coach John Harbaugh said the team hopes he will be ready for the start of the regular season. As of August 20 the team had no timetable for when Pitta would start trying to catch passes again. He practiced in a limited capacity on Saturday, August 25.
BUF: The Bills' Scott Chandler suffered a knee injury in the team's season finale, but Bills head coach Chan Gailey said TE Scott Chandler (knee) did not need surgery on the knee injury he suffered. Chandler was expected to be fully healed in a few weeks, and he was signed to a contract extension March 8, 2011 - he seems to be past the knee problem for 2012. According to the Bill's website (June 25, 2012) Chandler "was a daily fixture on the highlight reel for the offense, especially in the red zone." during June OTAs. Chandler was second on the team in receiving vs. Washington in the first preseason game, with three targets for 2/32/0 receiving. A report on August 16 indicated that Chandler is among the team MVPs during training camp - he looks good to go for regular season, though he didn't catch a pass in the second preseason game. Chandler had one target for zero receptions vs. Pittsburgh in the third exhibition game.
BUF: The Bills' Lee Smith was placed on IR Tuesday, December 20, 2011 due to an ankle injury suffered on Sunday, December 18, 2011. So far during his time in the NFL, Smith has done more blocking than receiving, with 4/11/0 receiving for the Bills over 10 games (three starts). He didn't see a target in the first preseason game - he did have one catch for three yards vs. Minnesota in week two.
CIN: The Bengals' Jermaine Gresham limped off the field in the first quarter Thursday, August 16 due to a right knee injury. After the game, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, "He's going to be fine." Further evaluations are ongoing as of 8/17/12. On August 20, the team indicated that the knee sprain was not terribly serious, but that it is an issue. Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel expects Gresham to miss two-to-four weeks based on the (very vague) information that the Bengals have offered so far. The team confirmed on Sunday, 8/26 that Gresham will sit out the final preseason game, but that he is expected to be ready for the start of regular season.
CLE: The Browns' Benjamin Watson was placed on IR Friday, December 16, 2011 due to a concussion. As of Sunday, February 12, 2012 he was reported to be fully recovered from the injury and wasn't experiencing any lingering effects. However, from a fantasy perspective, a history of concussions is worrisome as the league is being very careful with treating concussions, holding players out for weeks at a time. Watson missed the first preseason game and isn't practicing so far in the week before the second - he may be on the roster bubble right now, according to local reports. He finally resumed practicing on August 19. Watson didn't catch a ball in the third preseason game.
DAL: The Cowboys' Jason Witten suffered a spleen injury in Monday's first preseason game at Oakland game. From Joe Bryant's note on August 15: "There is lots of speculation right now but nothing official on how this will affect him going forward or if surgery is needed. Some are saying he'll miss the rest of the preseason. ESPNDallas.com is saying that sources are telling them he could possibly miss the regular season opener." Footballguys.com's MD Jene Bramel thinks Witten will likely miss six-to-eight weeks due to the spleen injury. As of August 24, Witten will NOT need surgery to address the spleen injury, but he may miss the first week or two of the regular season as his spleen completes healing. Witten reportedly did some rehab drills with resistance cords at the beginning of practice Monday, August 27. The team calls him questionable to play in week one after Witten underwent examinations and tests on August 28 - doctors have not yet cleared him for contact as of August 29.
DEN: The Broncos' Julius Thomas had surgery on April 8, 2012 to repair ligaments in his ankle. The team expects him to recover in time for training camp, but he'll miss valuable reps with new QB Peyton Manning during OTAs as a result of the surgery. He enters training camp fourth on the depth chart behind Joel Dreessen, Jacob Tamme, and Virgil Green. Thomas passed his physical on July 26 and is participating in training camp. He didn't receive a target in the first, second or third preseason games.
DET: The Lions' Nathan Overbay was placed on IR 8/21 due to undisclosed reasons.
GB: The Packers' Tom Crabtree, who had been the last remaining healthy tight end on the roster, suffered a shoulder injury during the game on Thursday, August 23, and didn't return to action. He'll be evaluated further as the week goes along.
GB: The Packers' Jermichael Finley missed the preseason opener due to a quad injury and a concussion issue - he's missed quite a bit of time during training camp due to the combination of injuries. Only Tom Crabtree has been consistently able to practice from TE for the Packers during the start of training camp - they are really banged up at the position, though D.J. Williams fought through his sore back to play in the preseason opener (he and Crabtree were the only tight ends to catch passes in the game). Finley didn't see a target in the second preseason game as he continued his rehab from his sore quad and his concussion. Finley left Cincinnati and flew home for the birth of his child, and so missed the third preseason contest.
GB: The Packers' Andrew Quarless (ACL injury on December 4, 2011) is likely to start the season on the PUP list, according to a May 13 comment by Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy indicated that the tight end probably won't be seeing the field anytime soon. "Andrew, just from a timetable standpoint, is a question mark [for the start of regular season]." McCarthy stated. He is expected to start regular season on the PUP list, though Quarless has been vocal about wanting to be back for week one of the regular season. Quarless was placed on the PUP list in the final week of August and will miss the first six games of 2012.
JAX: The Jaguars' Zach Miller was placed on IR Tuesday, October 18, 2011 due to a shoulder injury that required surgical repair. He also struggled with knee and foot issues that limited him to four games during 2011. On April 13 2012 it was reported that Miller was medically cleared to practice again at the beginning of April, 2012. Miller is dealing with a pectoral injury as of August 2012. Head coach Mike Mularkey said on August 9 that the team hopes Miller will be ready for the start of the regular season. He returned to practices on August 19. Miller had one catch for two yards at Baltimore in the third preseason game.
KC: The Chiefs' Tony Moeaki suffered a torn ACL on Thursday, September 1, 2011 and was placed on IR Saturday, September 3. Reconstructive knee surgery was performed. Chiefs' general manager Scott Pioli said he expected Moeaki to play in regular season (February 24, 2012). As of Tuesday, April 24, Moeaki said that he expected to be back in action in time for training camp. As of June 12, 2012 Moeaki was reported to be still working his way back from the significant knee injury. Moeaki was officially cleared for full participation in training camp on July 27, 2012. He wasn't targeted in the first preseason game, but saw 1/1/0 receiving at St. Louis in week two. Moeaki was thrown at four times vs. Seattle managing 1/31/0 receiving out of his chances.
MIN: The Vikings' John Carlson suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during August 2011 and was placed on IR Saturday, September 3. Carlson said on January 5, 2012 he was not completely recovered from the shoulder injury he had the past season but has been able to run and do some weight lifting recently. He said he was doing around 90 percent of what he does normally. Carlson was signed to a five year, $25 million deal on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. "In the red zone, he has a sense for zone and an ability to slide into an opening and then make a tough, contested catch," OC Bill Musgrave said on July 17, 2012. However, on July 31 Carlson suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain in his right knee, and he missed the first preseason game. He was spotted jogging lightly in practice on August 8, but had a bulky brace on his right knee. As of August 25, Carlson has not returned to practice because he is still recovering from a sprained medial collateral ligament. He did not play in the third preseason game Friday, and likely will not play in the preseason finale either. Carlson said he believes he knows the playbook but will have to get up to speed once he is cleared to practice.
NE: The now-Patriots'/ex-Giants' Jake Ballard (torn ACL in Super Bowl, February 6, 2011) conceded on April 19th that he would likely not return to action before mid-season, if then. He also required microfracture surgery on his injured knee to try and regenerate cartilage. Ballard is widely expected to start the season on the PUP list, which means he wouldn't be available until after week six of the season, if then. He's now buried on the depth chart behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and thus is unlikely to make a fantasy impact even if he does return to action this year.
NE: The Patriots' Daniel Fells missed some of OTAs due to an ankle/leg injury, but he's expected to be ready for training camp as of July 6, 2012. He didn't see a target in the first, second or third preseason games.
NE: The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski underwent ankle surgery after the Super Bowl and was still in a walking boot as of March 21, 2012. On April 15, Gronkowski said that he expected his injured ankle to be 100% healed by May - it appears that he'll be in good shape for training camp, barring any setbacks with the injury. On June 3, 2012 he commented that the ankle is feeling better every day. On June 18, 2012 Gronkowski said that his ankle is feeling 'great.' Gronkowski also touched on his new six-year, $54 million deal. "I'm just happy. Both sides are really happy," Gronkowski said. "I love all my fans out there. It's a great community, a great team. It's awesome going out there every single Sunday in front of that crowd. I'm happy to be here long-term, definitely. It all worked out well." He was running routes very well on the first day of training camp (July 27), and appears to be 100% recovered from the ankle problem. Gronkowski saw three targets for 2/20/0 receiving vs. New Orleans in the first preseason game. Gronkowski was a healthy scratch for the second preseason game on Monday Night Football. Gronkowski handled 2/24/1 receiving vs. Tampa Bay in the third exhibition game.
NE: The Patriots' Aaron Hernandez suffered a concussion during the Divisional Round playoff game vs. Denver on Saturday, January 14. He did receive clearance to play in the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl - it doesn't appear that the concussion caused lasting after-effects. However, a history of concussions is worrisome for fantasy owners as the league is being very careful with treating concussions, holding players out for weeks at a time if they suffer a subsequent brain trauma. Hernandez has practiced well during training camp, and snagged 1/7/0 receiving in the first preseason game at New Orleans. Hernandez was a healthy scratch for the second preseason game on Monday Night Football, and led the team in receiving at Tampa Bay with seven targets for 5/52/0 receiving.
NYJ: The Jets' Dustin Keller exited the third preseason game due to a hamstring injury - as of August 28 the team expected Keller to be ready for the season opener.
NO: The Saints' Jimmy Graham suffered a hip/lower back injury of unspecified severity during practice on August 8 - he landed awkwardly on a play. However, he was seen mugging for cameras and signing autographs after the practice - he doesn't seem to be seriously injured. He missed the first preseason game but returned to practice on Monday, August 13. Graham is expected to be held out of the Saint's third preseason game, making his preseason debut in the usual "dress rehearsal" game in the third full week of preseason games (the Saints' fourth, since they opened with the Hall of Fame game). Graham led the team in receiving vs. Houston with six targets for 3/48/1 receiving.
NO: The Saints' David Thomas was placed on IR Tuesday, November 22, 2011 due to after-effects from a concussion. As of Sunday, March 11th he was reported to be ready to play in 2012 despite the brain trauma that limited him to five games last season. However, a history of concussions is worrisome for fantasy owners as the league is being very careful with treating concussions, holding players out for weeks at a time if they suffer a subsequent brain trauma. As of mid-June Thomas was reported to be back practicing vigorously. He participated in the preseason game at New England and saw two targets for zero receptions - Thomas didn't catch a ball in the second or third preseason games.
NYG: The Giants' Travis Beckum had his torn ACL reconstructed on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012. Though the buzz during April has been that Beckum is further along in his rehab than ex-teammate Jake Ballard, it appears that Beckum is a candidate to start the 2012 season on the PUP list. On June 12 it was reported that Beckum has begun straight-line running - a significant step in his rehab, but not one that would put him ready for the start of training camp. Bear Pascoe was reported to be the leader for starting tight end as of July 12, 2012. On August 3, Beckum commented: "If I were to say I wanted to be back by Week 1, that's putting pressure on myself," he said. "And I think that's what happens with these guys. They want to get back too soon, put the pressure on themselves, then come back and re-tear it. I'm going to try to be smart about it."
NYJ: The Jets' Dustin Keller exited the preseason game Sunday, August 26, against the Carolina Panthers due to a hamstring injury. He's being evaluated further as of Monday, August 27.
PHI: The Eagles' Brent Celek underwent two surgeries on January 4, 2012, to repair a sports hernia in his groin and a torn labrum in his hip. As of May 14, 2012, head coach Andy Reid stated that Celek will be limited in the team's minicamp/OTAs, but that Celek should be "fine" for training camp. Stay tuned to monitor if Celek suffers a setback in his recovery during the summer months. As of July 7, 2012, reports out of Philadelphia indicated that Celek looked good in spring OTAs and that he appears to be fully recovered from his injuries. However, Celek suffered a sprained MCL on July 27, 2012 at the start of training camp - he is categorized as "day to day" with the injury. On July 30, head coach Andy Reid reported that Celek has been running on the treadmill inside the team's practice facility and is making progress. "We're just taking it day-by-day," Reid said. "He feels pretty good though. He's getting there." Celek missed the first preseason game and may not play in game action until the usual third preseason "dress rehearsal for regular season" contest. He did see two targets for 1/13/0 receiving on Monday Night Football August 20, and scored at Cleveland with 2/15/1 to his credit.
STL: The Rams' Michael Hoomanawanui suffered a torn right ACL on Sunday, November 13, 2011. He resumed running on March 20, 2012, and may be close to 100% when the regular season opens - if he doesn't suffer any setbacks in his rehabilitation. Stay tuned to monitor his level of participation in training camp before investing a fantasy pick in Hoomanawanui. As of May 17, 2012 Hoomanawanui was limited in offseason workouts as he is still rehabbing the knee injury. He was cleared to practice as of July 24, 2012. He didn't see a target in the first or second preseason games, but caught 2/23/0 at Dallas during the third preseason game.
SD: The Chargers' Antonio Gates declared on May 1, 2012 that he was (finally) near 100% healthy, after two back-to-back injury-shortened campaigns (10 games in 2010, 13 games during 2011, with parts of games started lost due to his nagging foot injury). Reports on August 8, 2012 indicated that Gates is turning heads on a daily basis in training camp. After dealing with foot-related injuries for four years, Gates is apparently finally healthy and also slimmer. Gates saw two targets for 2/29/1 in the Chargers' first preseason game vs. Green Bay, and had 1/5/0 vs. Dallas. Gates was rested in the third preseason game.
SF: The 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh said he does not think the knee injury TE Delanie Walker suffered during practice Sunday, August 12, is serious. He returned to practices on Monday, August 20. He didn't catch a ball in the third preseason game.
SEA: The Seahawks' Zach Miller suffered a concussion during the preseason game Saturday, August 11 - he'll have to pass the NFL-mandated battery of post-concussive tests before resuming football activities. Miller has suffered concussions in the past so the after-effects here could be troublesome, to say the least. He didn't catch a ball at Denver in week two, and saw just one target for zero catches at Kansas City in the third week of preseason.
SEA: The Seahawks' new tight end Kellen Winslow II struggled with knee problems during the 2011 season. It was usual for him to miss mid-week practices to rest his surgically-repaired knee (he played all 16 games in each of his three seasons with the Buccaneers, however). On August 7, he said that 99% of NFL players would have retired rather than play through the kind of pain he has in the knee. Winslow didn't catch a pass in the first preseason game, but snagged 1/11/0 in the second and 2/23/ at Kansas City in the third exhibition.
TB: The Buccaneers' new starting tight end Dallas Clark struggled with a neck injury at the end of the season, missing weeks 10-13, and 15-16 before playing in the season finale. He was released by the rebuilding Colts, but signed a contract (terms undisclosed) with Tampa Bay on May 21, 2012. As the Buccaneers traded away Kellen Winslow II to make room for Clark, it appears that Clark is penciled in as the starter for new head coach Greg Schiano. As of August 6, he hadn't missed a single practice in camp. However, he didn't see any targets in the first preseason game (but the Bucs only attempted five first-team passes while running the ball steadily). Clark didn't see a pass in the second preseason game either. He was thrown at twice vs. New England and managed 1/12/0 receiving.
Ex-WAS: Ex-Redskin Chris Cooley went on IR October 25th after suffering a finger/hand injury that required surgery, and repeated problems with swelling in his left knee, which was drained at least a dozen times during 2011 before he was placed on IR. The knee was operated on in January, 2011 and wasn't fully rehabilitated in time for the 2011 season. "I feel 100 percent that I'm a casualty for the season of the lockout," Cooley said on October 28, 2011. "I think it was a shame that they didn't let players who had surgery spend time with the doctors and trainers they trust on daily basis, I wish I could have." As of April 25, 2012, coach Mike Shanahan indicated that Cooley "feels as good as he's felt for the last couple of years", and that he has not suffered from swelling in the left knee this year. Shanahan reiterated on May 6 that Cooley is not having swelling this year after early May team workouts that Cooley attended.Stay tuned to this developing situation during training camp, as Cooley's knee will have to stand up to the grind of camp before he's proven that his rehabilitation is complete. On May 31, 2012 Cooley (knee) said he is slower than he was in the past but believes he can gain some of his speed back by strengthening and rehabbing his surgically repaired knee - it remains to be seen if he'll make it back to a NFL level. As of June 14, reports out of Washington indicated that Cooley made it through OTAs without swelling in his troublesome knee. On July 26, Cooley declared his knee 100% at the open of training camp - "I feel so much better with the way my bodies working, better than the last couple of years. I have no issues right now. I spend no time in the training room." Cooley had zero targets in the first preseason game at Buffalo, and zero at Chicago in week two as well - Cooley started at fullback during the second contest. However, Cooley was cut by Washington on Tuesday, August 28. His time as a top-10 fantasy tight end appears to be over.
BUF: The Bills' Rian Lindell hurt his shoulder making a tackle mid-way thru the season, and was placed on IR Thursday, December 8, 2011. He was re-signed on February third, 2012, but there will be another kicker in camp. John Potter is the new kicker, who was said to be signed as a kickoff specialist after the team drafted Potter at pick #251 (seventh round) during the 2012 NFL draft. Lindell kicked two field goals in the first preseason game at Washington, and two extra points vs. Minnesota in week two. He kicked an extra point vs. Pittsburgh in week three.
HOU: Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday, August 27 that rookie kicker Randy Bullock is out for the season after tearing a muscle near his groin.
NO: The Saints' Garrett Hartley will have to stave off a training camp challenge from veteran John Kasay - Kasay filled in for Hartley last year after Hartley missed all of last season due to a hip injury, and the team has indicated that the contest is an "open competition" between the two kickers. On June 15 a local report indicated that Hartley was the favorite to win the starting job in training camp, but time will tell this tale. Hartley and Kasay both kicked a single field goal in the first preseason game - Kasay had the first crack at the ball last week. Hartley had the first kick vs. Jacksonville - a field goal - and added an extra point, while Kasay kicked two extra points in the second exhibition. Hartley handled five of six kicks vs. Houston and looks like he'll keep his job as the Saints' PK as of the last week in August.
OAK: The Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski suffered a groin injury in the third preseason game Saturday, August 25, while running down a returner - Janikowski pulled up limping. "He's a little tight, but it doesn't seem to be any real pull (or) defect in the muscle or anything like that, so I don't anticipate it being a big deal," head coach Dennis Allen said on August 26.
SD: The Chargers' Nate Kaeding tore his non-kicking leg ACL last September. He reportedly resumed kicking in mid-January, 2012, but he faces a stiff training camp competition with Nick Novak, who performed fairly well in relief of Kaeding during 2011. As of July 26, reports out of Chargers camp was that the camp battle with Novak is for real and Kaeding faces a challenge during preseason. Kaeding kicked two extra points in the first preseason game vs. Green Bay, while Novak put through one. Each kicker had two extra points in the second exhibition of the year. Kaeding and Novak both kicked two field goals vs. Minnesota in the third exhibition game.
Ex-WAS: The Ex-Redskins' Graham Gano suffered two fractured bones in his back in the regular season finale (January 11, 3011) - recovery time after his injury was estimated to be six-to-eight weeks. On March 2, 2012 the Redskins gave Gano an exclusive rights tender worth $540,000. The Redskins did sign Neil Rackers to a one-year contract on April 24, 2012 - there may be a camp competition here or the two could split kicking duties with Gano handling kickoffs/long field goals and Rackers dealing with routine field goals. This is a developing situation that bears watching as back injuries can flare up and become chronic issues. As of June 13, head coach Mike Shanahan indicated he expects the battle for place kicker to go through all the preseason games before it is decided. Gano kicked the single extra point available in the first preseason game. Rackers had a field goal and two extra points at Chicago, while Gano put up two extra points. Gano outlasted Rackers in the contest but then was cut when Billy Cundiff became available. Gano and Rackers are both currently looking for new jobs.