How to approach preseason injury reports
The NFL began padded practices last week. While the strength and conditioning phases included full-speed positional workouts, padded practices are the first time players face contact situations at speed. Not surprisingly, there was an increase in reports of injury.
And, as is always the case during the preseason, teams will pull important players from practice at the first sign of trouble and have no incentive to provide details to those covering the team.
Most of these injuries will be minor and missed practices will be precautionary. You can tie yourself in knots over-analyzing the little information teams provide or patiently wait for players to return to practice.
My recommendation: Use 10 days from the first regular-season game as your signpost. If it's not absolutely clear whether a player has a serious injury from the initial reporting, teams will begin reconditioning players for Week 1 within 7-10 days of that date. Coaches need to know a player's status to game plan for upcoming opponents and medical staffs know the highest risk of aggravation occurs within 10 days of the initial injury.
If a player hasn't returned to practice or remains limited as we approach the first practice participation report for Week 1, it's time to be concerned about their availability and workload.
***The Eagles reported two injuries on Sunday. Carson Wentz did not practice with an undisclosed leg injury. It's believed to be a soft tissue strain and Wentz is considered day-to-day. Jalen Reagor suffered a torn labrum after dislocating his shoulder during practice. Multiple reports are Reagor will miss 3-4 weeks. That suggests the injury will not require surgery immediately, but Reagor will be at risk of another dislocation during the season.
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