Preseason Injury Report
By Mark Wimer
June 8th, 2012

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After the NFL regular season is concluded each year, many of the players have surgeries and/or enter rehabilitation for a range of injuries (from nagging injuries that need arthroscopic clean up to major knee reconstructions) that were inflicted during the course of the previous six months. As we move past the NFL draft and start evaluating players' fantasy prospects for the 2012 season, it is useful to be aware of the lingering injury issues that impact the offensive skill position players across the league. The below is a report detailing the significant injury issues still affecting NFL players at the offensive skill positions from across the league.

Quarterbacks

ARI: The Cardinals' Kevin Kolb (concussion) 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. John Skelton played well in relief of Kolb last season and the team has stated that the two players are in a competition for the starting quarterback job this season.

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.

CHI: The Bears' Jay Cutler was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, December 27, 2011 due to a thumb injury that required surgery to place pins in his broken thumb (the surgery happened during the last week of November). As of Thursday, February 23rd head coach Lovie Smith said that Cutler's thumb was "fine". There aren't any complications from the injury expected for 2012.

CLE: The Browns' Colt McCoy was unable to play in the final three games of the 2011 season due to after-effects from a concussion. On February 9, GM Mike Holmgren indicated that McCoy had "no residual effects" from the concussion. 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. Also, the team was reportedly upset with how Brad McCoy (Colt's dad) criticized the team's handling of Colt's concussion. The team drafted Brandon Weeden, a 28-year old rookie, with the 22nd pick of the 2012 draft, and the Browns have indicated that McCoy and Weeden will compete for the #1 job on the team during training camp.

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.

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. "I've seen that firsthand over the course of my career - that offseason work makes a big difference come fall," Manning said. "You can't just show up in September and expect to be successful, expect to win games. And so this offseason work is critical." Bronco wide receiver 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. If he hits you in the belly button, he gets mad at himself for not hitting you in the chest. It's unbelievable to be around a guy who has those standards for himself.'

HOU: The Texans' Matt Schaub reported that his rehab from a broken foot/Lisfranc injury (corrective surgery performed Wednesday, November 30, 2011) was progressing well as of Monday, April 16, 2012. There was a surgical procedure at the beginning of April to remove "hardware" out of his foot - "We have a lot of time to get ready and there's no doubt I'll be ready," Schaub said. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak commented about Schaub's participation in OTAs this year on May 8, 2012: "We're going to put the reins on him, so to speak. He will do drill work, could throw some 7-on-7, but he will not be put in a team environment where he might get tripped up or something like that happens. He's ready to go. It's us being cautious with him right now.'

JAX: The Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert revealed on April 2, 2012 that he played "nearly all" of his rookie season with a broken toe. The pain from the injury may have contributed to his miserable 2011 showing, but there was more wrong in Jacksonville than just Gabbert's broken toe.

JAX: The Jaguars' Chad Henne landed on injured reserve Thursday, October 6, 2011 (placed there by his old team, Miami) due to a separated shoulder that required surgical repair. He was signed by the Jaguars to a two-year contract on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. He has since stated that he expects to compete for the starting job in Jacksonville (Sunday, April 15), even though the Jaguars coaching staff is on record saying that Gabbert is the clear-cut #1 entering preseason.

KC: The Chiefs' Matt Cassel broke his hand in November, 2011 and was placed on injured reserve Monday, November 21 after corrective surgery was performed on Wednesday, November 16. As of Friday, February 24 Cassel was reportedly throwing the football well. General Manager Scott Pioli said on February 24 that "He was throwing right as the season ended. I don't know if he's 100 percent because I haven't seen him, but he's throwing well.'

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 quarterback 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 quarterback week one of the regular season.

MIN: The Vikings' Christian Ponder was slowed during December 2011 due to a hip pointer, and he eventually missed the season finale as a result of the injury. However, he was declared fully healed as of March 4, 2012, and is expected to fully participate in OTAs and training camp.

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.

OAK: The Raiders' Matt Leinart was placed on injured reserve November 30th, 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.

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.

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.

SEA: 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.

Running Backs

ARI: The Cardinals' Beanie Wells (knee) 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 running back 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.

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 injured reserve 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."

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.

BUF: The Bills' Fred Jackson said on Monday, April 23, 2012 that he is completely healthy from the broken leg he suffered last season. He said he has been working out this offseason and has been medically cleared to practice. On May 7, 2012 he was awarded a contract extension - it appears the team is not concerned about the leg injury. C.J. Spiller played well in relief of Jackson, however, and the team has openly talked about a 50-50 work-share arrangement between the two backs for 2012.

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). However, his contract situation is becoming ugly and he may be a holdout from OTAs and training camp this season.

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 injury is considered a non-factor going forwards, according to reports out of Cleveland.

CLE: The Browns' Montario Hardesty suffered from knee and calf injuries during 2011, and he managed just 3.0 yards per carry on 88 attempts last season. However, coach Pat Shurmur stated on January 4, 2012 that "I think he's hopefully finally getting back. This will be one of the first off-seasons he hasn't been dealing with an injury, so that will really help him develop." However, the selection of Trent Richardson during the 2012 draft will put Hardesty into a change-of-pace role at best for 2012.

DAL: The Cowboys' Demarco Murray was placed on injured reserve December 13, 2011 due to a fractured right ankle. A corrective surgery was successfully performed in mid-December, and Murray began running in early February, 2012. On May 8, 2012, Murray declared himself back to 100% healthy. "He's at a point now where he goes and does everything on the field with everybody else," running back coach Skip Peete said. Murray stated that a full offseason will help him stay healthy after missing most of training camp and the preseason last year because of hamstring injuries (OTAs/minicamps were also missed due to the labor unrest last year).

DAL: The Cowboy's Phillip Tanner was placed on injured reserve 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.

DEN: The Broncos' Knowshon Moreno landed on injured reserve Wednesday, November 16, 2011 due to a torn ACL in his right knee. He had surgery to repair the knee, 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 running back 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. His future in Denver looks murky at best as of mid-May. 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 OTAs - his roster spot appears to be in jeopardy.

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.

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 injured reserve 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.

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 may also be facing a suspension due to two marijuana possession arrests during the February and March of 2012.

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.

HOU: The Texans' Arian Foster tweaked a foot during the playoffs, and sat out of the 2012 Pro Bowl as a result. However, he was awarded a five-year extension worth $43.5 million with $20.75 million guaranteed on March 5, 2012. It appears the sore foot isn't an issue going forwards.

JAX: The Jaguars' Rashad Jennings received more reps during the team's May OTAs because Maurice Jones-Drew was not in attendance. Jennings missed the 2011 season due to a knee injury, but the injury didn't require surgery and Jennings is participating in the 2012 OTAs. With Jennings' return to health, the Jaguars dropped fellow running back Deji Karim from the roster in April.

KC: The Chiefs' Jamaal Charles suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Sunday, September 18, 2011, and was placed on injured reserve 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.

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.

MIA: The Dolphins' Reggie Bush missed the season finale in 2011 due to a knee injury that didn't respond to treatment. However, he is expected to be the starting running back for the new coaching regime in Miami during 2012 - on March 29, 2012 head coach Joe Philbin said bush would line up in several different spots this year, including wide receiver. "He just (does) a lot of different things. We're excited about the flexibility it gives an offense.'

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.'

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.'

NE: The Patriots' Shane Vereen struggled with a nagging hamstring injury throughout 2011, and missed weeks 13-the Super Bowl while only appearing in five contests his rookie season (with carries in just two games, weeks 11 and 12). He'll have to stay healthier if he's going to challenge Stevan Ridley for touches during 2012.

NE: The 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'll basically be trying out for the team during training camp.

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.

NO: The Saints' Pierre Thomas suffered a head injury/concussion during the Divisional round playoff game vs. San Francisco on Saturday, January 14. On Saturday, March 31, 2012 he said that he was recovered from the brain trauma - however, a history of concussion (or concussion-like) injury is a worry for fantasy owners as the league has been very proactive in handling concussions in recent years, holding some players out for weeks at a time - everyone has to pass the baseline neurological test once they've been concussed before resuming football activities.

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.

NYG: The Giants' Da'Rel Scott suffered a hyper-extended knee in the 2011 season finale - the injury doesn't appear to have developed into a larger concern so Scott should be fine to play during 2012.

NYG: The Giants' Danny Ware suffered a concussion in the Wild Card playoff game (January 8, 2012) and didn't return to action. Ware did return to practice four days later, January 12, after passing his concussion tests. Fantasy owners should note that given the league's new emphasis on handling concussions carefully, Ware is at risk of missing significant time during the coming season if he suffers another brain trauma during 2012.

NYJ: The Jets' Shonn Greene fought through rib and shoulder injuries at the end of December, and played through the pain. There have been no reports of surgeries during the offseason, so it looks like he's good to go for the 2012 OTAs/training camp.

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.

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.

PHI: The Eagles' LeSean McCoy struggled with a sprained ankle at the end of the 2011 season, and was inactive in week 17 despite reports late in December that he would play. However, McCoy received a $45 million contract extension with $20.765 million in guaranteed money on May 17, 2012. The team clearly believes that McCoy's ankle woes are a thing of the past.

PIT: The Steelers' Baron Batch suffered a torn ACL on August 11, 2011, and was placed on injured reserve, 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. It appears that Batch may have suffered a setback in his recovery, but there has been no official word from the team on his status as of mid-May.

PIT: The Steelers' Jonathan Dwyer suffered a broken foot in early December, and landed on the injured reserve 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.

PIT: The Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the season finale on January 1, 2012. He is 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. As of mid-May, it looks like Mendenhall will miss a significant amount of time, throwing his entire 2012 season into question. Mendenhall said on May 23, 2012 that he is doing well in his rehab but does not know when he will be able to return. He said he has been able to do more than just run straight ahead.

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.

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.'

TEN: The Titans' Javon Ringer was placed on injured reserve December 19,2011 due to a broken right hand that required surgical repair. He should be ready for the 2012 training camp - no complications from the procedure were reported.

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.

Wide Receivers

ARI: The Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald suffered bruised ribs and a lung injury during the week 17 game against Seattle - his injury didn't require surgery and he was able to participate in the Pro Bowl on January 29, 2012.

BAL: The Ravens' Anquan Boldin (knee) said Sunday, January 15, 2012 that he felt fine after the team's Divisional Round playoff game win against the Houston Texans. He missed the final two regular season games after surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his knee. "Yeah, I felt good," Boldin said. "I went to (quarterback Joe Flacco) before the game and told him, 'If you see me out there in one-on-one coverage, just throw it up. I'll make a play.' Fortunately, he was able to do that." Boldin also played in the AFC Championship game, and looks set to start again for the Ravens during 2012.

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.

BUF: The Bills' Donald Jones was lost for the season in week five of the 2011 campaign due to a serious ankle injury. He was placed on injured reserve November 22, 2011. However, he enters 2012 as potentially the #2 wide receiver on the depth chart, depending on his full recovery from the ankle woes of last year.

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.

CAR: The Panthers' David Gettis was placed on injured reserve 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 OTAs 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.

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." On April 5, 2012, Bears general manager Phil Emery said that Knox continues to make progress; however, there is no timetable for his return at this point. "He has made progress and will continue to make progress. As I've told him, ultimately it'll be him that will decide when he comes back," Emery said. "It'll be him telling us where he's at in the rehab process. We're a long way from having to make that decision and we're going to lean heavily on Johnny helping us make that decision. Johnny's made every effort to get back as quick as he can, and he is making progress. Yeah, you want to be cautious because it was a tough injury. It was a heavy-contact injury. Johnny understands where he's at. He's going to keep pushing forward, and there couldn't be a Bear with a better attitude than him." 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. Knox said he lost 30 pounds after the surgery but has added 10 of those pounds back.

CIN: The Bengals' 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, and it appears that he's on track to be fully participating in training camp.

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%.

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.

DAL: The Cowboys' Kevin Ogletree was limited by a sore knee during the final two weeks of the 2011 regular season. However, he was re-signed to a one-year deal on Friday, March 16 by the team - presumably he's past the knee issue and ready for OTAs/training camp.

DEN: The Broncos' Andre Caldwell was put on injured reserve by his former team, the Bengals, on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 due to a groin/abdominal injury. He was signed to a two-year contract by the Broncos on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - he must have passed the Broncos' physical before being signed, so the injury appears to be a thing of the past.

DEN: The Broncos' Demaryius Thomas had surgery on his left pinkie during March to remove a pin that was put in there when he shattered his finger in September 2011. As of April 17, 2012 Thomas hadn't worked out with new quarterback Peyton Manning yet - hopefully his injured hand will get better soon.

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.

DET: The Lions' Calvin Johnson tweaked his Achilles tendon at the end of the 2011 season, but played well in the Lions' wild card playoff game loss. He skipped the 2012 Pro Bowl to rest the sore tendon, and received the largest contract in NFL history (seven years, $132 million, with $60 million guaranteed) on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. It appears that the Achilles injury is not a concern going forwards.

GB: The Packers' Greg Jennings sustained a rib contusion during the NFL Playoffs, but it wasn't a significant injury and shouldn't hamper him during the OTAs/training camp here in 2012.

HOU: The Texans' Lestar Jean was lost for the 2011 season due to a significant left shoulder injury during training camp - he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, August 30, 2011. He was medically cleared in April 2012 to resume football activities/the team's voluntary workout program. Head coach Gary Kubiak stated on May 1, 2012: "We've got a couple of kids that we think a lot of, Lestar Jean being number one." Jean was a training camp sensation last year before going down to the shoulder injury, and could push for time in the starting lineup during 2012.

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.

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.

IND: The Colts' rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was limited during the latter part of their early-May rookie minicamp due to a sore hamstring. He also pulled his hamstring during his Pro Day during the pre-draft process, so this injury has been nagging Hilton for some time.

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.

JAX: The 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.

JAX: The Jaguars' Mike Thomas suffered a concussion in week 14 of the 2011 season (Sunday, December 11, 2011), and passed his concussion test on Thursday, December 22. Though there are no reports of post-concussion issues for Thomas, 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 (for example, Detroit running back Jahvid Best's experience during 2011).

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.

MIN: The Vikings' Michael Jenkins landed on the injured reserve list November 29, 2011 due to a torn meniscus cartilage in his knee. As of April 27, 2012 he wasn't taking part in team workouts - keep an eye on his rehab if you are considering investing picks in the Vikings wide receiver corps this year. On May 22, 2012 Jenkins said the torn meniscus in his knee has fully healed and he will be with the team for the start of Organized Team Activities that start on May 30, 2012.

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.

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.

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.

NYG: The Giants' Hakeem Nicks was bothered by a sore shoulder in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, but played very well during the Giants' victory. On Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Nicks indicated that no surgery was necessary to deal with the numerous dings that he had accumulated over the season - he allowed the minor injuries to heal naturally. However, on May 24, 2012, Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during the team's second organized team activity workout. Nicks suffered the injury early in practice as he was running a route during individual drills in the Timex Performance Center field house. According to reports, Nicks is scheduled to have surgery Friday, May 25, 2012 to have a screw inserted into the broken bone. The procedure will be performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, NC The expected recovery time for Nicks is approximately 12 weeks. However, reports on May 26, 2012 indicated that Nicks may only miss four to six weeks and he may well play in the season opener. The outlook for Nicks is in flux as of late May - fantasy owners should monitor his recovery during June/July before investing a high draft pick in Nicks.

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.

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.

STL: The Rams' Danny Amendola was placed on injured reserve 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.

SD: The Chargers' 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.

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 injured reserve 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.

SEA: The Seahawks' Mike Williams landed on injured reserve 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. His ongoing recovery is something to monitor once training camp begins - buyer beware with this player entering 2012.

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.

TB: The Buccaneers' Preston Parker sustained a concussion in week 16 of the 2011 season. He did play in the season finale - he shook off the injury rapidly. However, 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 (for example, Detroit running back Jahvid Best's experience during 2011).

TEN: The Titans' Kenny Britt suffered a torn ACL in his right knee after the week three game during 2011. He was placed on injured reserve 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. General manager Ruston Webster said the procedure likely will set Britt's rehab back a week or two. Fantasy owners should monitor Britt's recovery - and keep in mind that the Titans selected Kendall Wright 20th overall in the April NFL Draft.

TEN: The Titans' Nate Washington had surgery around mid-April for a chipped bone in his knee, but he said Friday, April 13, 2012, that he plans to be back for organized team workouts. As of May 20, 2012, Washington has been able to participate in the first organized team activities of the preseason. "I've been practicing every day this week," Washington said. It appears that the surgical procedure is not a worry entering the summer months.

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.

WAS: The Redskins' Leonard Hankerson underwent hip surgery on February 21, 2012. As of May 7, he was reportedly walking without a limp - Hankerson said "I'm feeling good, getting better every day. Not quite there yet, but hopefully I will be in a couple of weeks." As of May 9, 2012 reports indicated that Hankerson was targeting the June 11 minicamp to return to practices - he is expected to be ready for training camp if he can't make the June minicamp.

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 injured reserve 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 appears to be past the leg injury entering the summer months.

Tight Ends

ARI: The Cardinals' Todd Heap struggled with a hamstring injury until late in the 2011 season - he did score one touchdown 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.

ARI: The Cardinals' Jeff King suffered a partially torn quadriceps 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.

BUF: The Bills' Scott Chandler suffered a knee injury in the team's season finale, but Bills head coach Chan Gailey said tight end 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.

BUF: The Bills' Lee Smith was placed on injured reserve 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).

CAR: The Panthers' Greg Olsen suffered some back issues during December 2011, but they aren't a serious concern entering the 2012 campaign.

CAR: The Panthers' Gary Barnidge suffered a broken ankle on Friday, August 19, 2011 and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, August 30. Even though he didn't play a down last year, the team signed him to a one-year extension on Thursday, December 8, 2011 - reports at that time indicated that the team wants to give him another chance to compete as a receiver from the tight end position. On March 21, 2012 it was reported that the team was excited about Barnidge's potential as a downfield threat prior to his ankle injury.

CLE: The Browns' Benjamin Watson was placed on injured reserve 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.

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 quarterback Peyton Manning during OTAs as a result of the surgery.

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.

JAX: The Jaguars' Zach Miller was placed on injured reserve 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.

KC: The Chiefs' Tony Moeaki suffered a torn ACL on Thursday, September 1, 2011 and was placed on injured reserve 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.

MIA: The Dolphins' Anthony Fasano suffered a concussion in week 15 of the 2011 season, missed the game week 16, but then returned for practices leading into the season finale. It doesn't appear that there are lingering after-effects from the brain trauma. 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, especially players who have previously suffered a concussion (as Fasano has).

MIN: The Vikings' John Carlson suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder during August 2011 and was placed on injured reserve Saturday, September 3. Carlson said on January fifth, 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.

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.

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.

NO: The Saints' David Thomas was placed on injured reserve 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.

NYG: The 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.

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 teammate Jake Ballard, it appears that Beckum is a candidate to start the 2012 season on the PUP list.

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.

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.

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). On May 17, head coach Norv Turner enthused about Gates, saying: "Gates looks great - he's back. Physically, he's back to where we want him to be. I think, like anybody, going through this offseason program helps you get better. (It's) the combination of conditioning, the combination of getting better in the areas you can improve, and being out there with your teammates.'

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).

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.

WAS: The Redskins' Chris Cooley went on injured reserve 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 injured reserve. 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. There may be trouble on the horizon for Cooley, though, as the Redskins are converting wide receiver Niles Paul to the tight end position - he worked as a tight end during the May OTAs. If Paul pans out as a tight end, there may not be room for Cooley on the 53-man roster this year. 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.

Place Kickers

BUF: The Bills' Rian Lindell hurt his shoulder making a tackle mid-way thru the season, and was placed on injured reserve 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.

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.

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 well in relief of Kaeding during 2011.

WAS: The 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.

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