Each year, there are a variety of skill position players who exit the previous season injured, and fantasy owners anxiously track the ongoing recovery of these players during the following offseason/preseason. 2016 is no different, with key running backs like Jamaal Charles (torn right ACL) and Dion Lewis (torn left ACL) recovering from their injuries as training camp opens, with other highly-regarded players, like Jordy Nelson, suffering from new complications that arise during their return to practices. This article will summarize the known status of currently injured/rehabbing NFL players at the skill positions who are likely to make their team's final 53-man roster - but don't expect to find sixth-string tight ends among those listed below. This is a summary of the ongoing injury rehabilitations for fantasy-relevant NFL players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and place kicker as we enter the 2016 training camps in late July. For more detailed information on the injury situations for many of the players below, please go check out Dr. Jene Bramel's articles on this topic written from his perspective as a medical professional.
Joe Flacco, BAL: Flacco tore both the ACL and MCL in his left knee on November 22. As of June 16 all indications from the Ravens are that Flacco will be ready to play when regular season starts. Flacco opened training camp on July 25 on the active roster, but is expected to be limited to non-contact drills for most (if not all) of training camp. Flacco said he felt comfortable during practice Thursday, July 28, but wished he was able to complete more passes. He did not try to run during practice but did move around in the pocket.
Taylor Heinecke, MIN: Heinecke is out for at least three months after severing a tendon in his left foot trying to break into his friend's apartment when they were locked out.
Colin Kaepernick, SF: As of June 2, 2016, 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins admitted he had 'no idea' when Kaepernick (shoulder, thumb, knee surgeries after going on IR last season) will be cleared for football activities. Kaepernick was not cleared for team drills during minicamp, though he did do some individual work - he is emphasizing flexibility in his rehabilitation/personal training, but stated on June 10 that he intends to continue with his usual style of play once he gets back on the field: 'My style of play is my style of play,' Kaepernick said on June 11. 'I have to be able to continue with that and be able to do those things and do what this offense requires of me.'. The team hopes Kaepernick will be able to practice fully once training camp rolls around. As of July 26 the Sacramento Bee reported that Kaepernick has been cleared for the active roster once training camp opens.