Now that fantasy owners are in the thick of preseason research, preparing for their favorite league's draft, injury news is critical to compiling draft strategies/draft sheets. Particularly worrisome are new injuries, like the Viking's loss of Teddy Bridgewater (extensive knee injury, including a torn ACL, out for the season). 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 fourth-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 start setting our Week One, regular season rosters in our various leagues. This report will be updated through the morning of September 1, before the fourth slate of Thursday preseason games kick off. 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, especially his most recent edition of 'Monday Injury Rounds, Preseason Week Three'.
Teddy Bridgewater, MIN: Bridgewater missed the second preseason game on August 18 due to a sore shoulder. He threw during team drills on Tuesday, August 23. Bridgewater said on August 24 he expects to play in the preseason game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, August 28. Bridgewater did not comment much about his (minor) shoulder injury. Unfortunately, on August 30 Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic knee injury that included an ACL tear, knee cap dislocation, and 'other structural damage,' on August 30th. He will not play for any of the 2016 season. He was officially placed on IR August 31.
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. Flacco didn't play in the first preseason game, but he did address the knee's progress on August 16, when he stated 'I don't think about it when I'm out there. It's not perfect. I can feel it standing here right now a little bit. It's not totally normal. But, as far as going out there and operating on the field, running around and doing things, I don't pay attention to it.' Flacco has missed the first two preseason games but is expected to play in the preseason game against the Detroit Lions Saturday, August 27. according to reports on August 21. On August 25 Flacco indicated he expects to play about one half of the game on Saturday. Flacco did play and bounced back up after taking a sack during the contest - he wound up with 11/16 for 94 yards passing, with zero TDs or interceptions thrown.
Jared Goff, LA: Goff (shoulder) played limited snaps in his preseason debut Saturday, August 13, against the Dallas Cowboys - head coach Jeff Fisher said Goff banged up his shoulder. 'He took a hit early, his non-throwing shoulder was a little sore so I didn't want to mess with it at all,' Fisher said after the contest. On August 17 coach Fisher said Case Keenum is still 'clearly ahead' of Goff. Goff took a few snaps with the first team on Wednesday, August 17 and is expected to see some time with the starters in the second preseason game. Goff completed 8-of-12 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason game (August 21). Goff (tailbone) said he suffered a bruised tailbone during the preseason game against the Denver Broncos Saturday, August 27. Goff has a '50-50' chance to start the team's final preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings according to head coach Jeff Fisher on August 31.
Bruce Gradkowski, PIT: Gradkowski (hamstring) has a sizable hamstring tear, according to a source on August 15. He may be out for an extended period of time. He was placed on IR August 31.
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.
Brett Hundley, GB: Hundley (undisclosed injury, thought to be an ankle issue) was considered questionable for practice Wednesday, August 3, because of an injury he suffered during practice Monday, August 1. He was not scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame game (even before it was cancelled). Hundley is expected to appear in the second preseason game after returning to practice on August 14. Hundley gave it a go in the second preseason game, but aggravated his sore ankle and is likely to miss the third preseason game.
Cardale Jones, BUF: Jones (shoulder) is dealing with a sore shoulder, according to head coach Rex Ryan, on August 22. He may miss some practice time due to the injury. Jones (shoulder) will likely start the team's preseason game on Thursday, September 1. Jones did not play in Buffalo's third preseason tilt due to the soreness in his shoulder and also missed some recent practice time due to a personal matter.
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. CSN Bay Area reported on August 4 that Kaepernick has been making runs off the read-option during training camp - he's seen as locked in a tight race for starting quarterback in San Francisco as of the first week of August. However, Kaepernick has started missing practices as of Monday, August 15 due to what various sources are calling 'dead arm' - his passing arm/shoulder isn't functioning properly. Kaepernick (arm) participated in the handoff drills during practice Wednesday, August 17, but did not participate in any of the throwing drills. Kaepernick did do some throwing on a side field. Kaepernick (arm) is 'on track' to play against the Green Bay Packers Friday, Aug. 26, according to head coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday, August 24. Kaepernick did play (2/6 for 14 yards passing, with zero TDs or interceptions thrown, and 4/18/0 rushing). Reports out of San Francisco after the game suggest Kaepernick is on the bubble to be retained on the 53-man roster.