Robert Griffin III, WAS – Major Knee Reconstruction
Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III, who is recovering from major knee surgery, will not play in a game during the pre-season however he has begun to take more reps in practice and team officials expect that he will be ready to play when the regular season begins. RG3 sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during a game in December and he tried to play in the wildcard round of the playoffs despite the injury not being fully healed. Unfortunately his knee buckled late in the game and not only did he further damage his LCL, but he also suffered tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus. According to reports surgery to repair the damage went as expected, but since surgeons used a piece of RG3’s patellar tendon in his left knee to reconstruct the ACL in his right he had to undergo rehab on both joints which further complicated his recovery. Fortunately there were no setbacks and he appeared to be doing well at each stage of the rehabilitation process. RG3 has already told reporters that he doesn’t plan on playing in any games before the regular season, but he’s already begun participating in 7-on-7 drills and the coaching staff expects him to start taking part in 11-on-11 drills soon. So he appears to be on track to be ready for Week 1, but there are a couple of things you need to be weary of. Griffin will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee all season as a precaution and while he can run and cut without a problem he probably won’t be as mobile this year as he was last season. He also told reporters that he doesn’t worry about his knee anymore and that he has overcome the mental part of his recovery. He hasn’t faced contact yet and he won’t have to until the start of the regular season. So we won’t truly get to see how much confidence he has in his knee until then.
Ahmad Bradshaw, IND – Foot Surgery
Colts’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw remains on the active/PUP list and he probably won’t take the field with teammates for at least another 2 weeks. According to reports Bradshaw underwent a surgical procedure in the off-season to replace a small screw in his right foot with a larger one. He’s suffered multiple breaks in his right foot over the last 3 years and the larger screw was needed to not only help the bones heal but also to add much needed stability to the injured areas. He wore a walking boot for 8 weeks after the surgery and he’s reportedly recovered well since then. Bradshaw recently told reporters that his foot was feeling “a lot better” and it looks like he will be limited throughout training camp and the pre-season as a precaution. The Colts hope Bradshaw will be healthy enough to contribute to the offense when the regular season begins and if he avoids further injury he could end up as the team’s primary ball carrier.
Arian Foster, HOU – Strained Calf / Irregular Heart Beat
Arian Foster’s injured right calf has taken longer to heal than team officials had anticipated, but the good news is that Foster should be making his training camp debut next week. Foster suffered a calf strain during OTAs in late May and he complained of lingering soreness and tightness in the muscle for over two months. Foster reportedly showed signs of improvement in late July but he failed a physical prior to the start of training camp which surprised head coach Gary Kubiak. Kubiak confirmed that Foster was a little behind in his recovery, however he recently said that Foster could be cleared to practice as early as this upcoming Sunday. On another note there was a report a couple of a months ago that said Foster was set to undergo a minor surgical procedure called a cardiac ablation to correct his sometimes problematic irregular heartbeat. Foster made is clear that he was feeling well and that he had no plans to even discuss undergoing heart surgery of any kind. If you recall, he missed a practice and part of a game last year because of issues related to his heart. According to Foster he hasn’t had a problem since and he doesn’t anticipate his heart being and issue moving forward.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC – Lisfranc Surgery
Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who is recovering from Lisfranc Surgery, was medically cleared for the start of training camp. And while he remains limited in practice team officials expect to play during the pre-season and be ready for the start of the regular season. MJD suffered a fracture/dislocation in his left midfoot during Week 7 last season and despite recommendations by the medical staff to undergo surgery to repair the damage he opted to go the non-surgical route in hopes of returning before the end of 2012. Unfortunately the injury did not sufficiently heal and he was forced to undergo the surgical procedure anyway. He has since admitted that he made the wrong decision. Fortunately he has recovered well. He began running in early June and he was cutting and jumping at full speed by the middle of July. By all accounts he has looked good during his limited time on the field and he should continue to see an increase in his practice reps as we get closer to the start of the regular season. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.
Trent Richardson, CLE – Bruised Shin
There was some concern this summer that Trent Richardson’s bruised right shin could worsen and develop into a stress fracture, but the good news is that he has completely recovered and he is in the best shape of his young career. Richardson’s shin was accidentally stepped on during OTAs in May and while some media outlets reported the injury as a strain he actually suffered a bone bruise that created soreness and discomfort in the surrounding areas. The medical staff was apparently concerned that if Richardson practiced through the injury that the bone bruise could develop into a stress fracture. So they decided to hold him out of June minicamps as a precaution. He has since fully healed and according to reports he is now weighing 225 pounds, which is 8 pounds lighter then his playing weight last year. Richardson has looked particularly sharp in training camp so far and team officials are expecting a big season from the second-year running back.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR – Bi-lateral Arthroscopic Ankle Surgeries
Panthers’ RB Jonathan Stewart remains on the active/PUP list as he continues to recover from off-season surgery on both ankles. Stewart has dealt with toe and ankle problems in both feet for much of his NFL career and the medical staff attempted to address the issues during the off-season. According to reports he had ligamentous laxity in his left ankle from reoccurring ankle sprains and he underwent arthroscopic surgery to tighten some of the loose ligaments. He’s also dealt with lingering soreness and discomfort in his right ankle and he reportedly had loose bodies surgically removed from that joint. The left ankle has apparently healed well, but he admitted that his right ankle was “still an issue” and that he wasn’t sure when he will be ready to practice with teammates. Stewart is extremely talented, but it appears that his ankles will be an issue for the remainder of his career. Even if he is healthy enough to play it’s only a matter of time before he reinjures that problematic right ankle. DeAngelo Williams will likely be starting RB in Week 1.
Marques Colston, NO – Plantar Fasciitis
Saints’ WR Marques Colston was placed on the active/PUP list at the start of training camp because of a lingering foot problem, but head coach Sean Payton expects him to be cleared to practice next week. Colston was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his foot at the beginning of the 2012 season and despite playing at less than 100% he went on to have a good year. He’s apparently dealing with a similar issue, but team officials don’t expect it to affect his performance this season. Colston has been anything but durable in his career. He has dealt with a number of knee and foot problems, but to his credit he has been consistently productive through the injuries and there is no reason to think he can’t have another good year for the Saints.
Michael Crabtree, SF – Ruptured Achilles’ Tendon
49ers’ WR Michael Crabtree, who tore the Achilles’ tendon in his right leg during OTAs in May, has not been placed on Injured Reserve. Instead he was placed on the team’s active/PUP list at the start of training camp and according to reports he will likely begin the regular season on the reserve/PUP list which means the medical staff expects him back at some point this season. Crabtree underwent surgery to repair the damage in his leg in late May and with an expected 6 – 8 month recovery period he could be back as early as mid-season. The 49ers haven’t given a firm timetable for Crabtree’s return, but head coach Jim Harbaugh has said on several occasions that Crabtree’s recovery has gone very well and that the team expects him to play at some point during the second-half of the season. I don’t expect Crabtree to have much of a fantasy impact, even when he returns. The Niners are likely going to cruise to post-season again this season, which means the team will be in no hurry to get him back on the field. Their number 1 priority is to make sure that he will be ready for their first playoff game. With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea that you leave him off your redraft league draft lists all-together.
Pierre Garcon, WAS – Shoulder Surgery / Chronic Turf Toe and Foot Soreness
Redskins’ WR Pierre Garcon has completely recovered from off-season shoulder surgery, and while he will likely have to deal with chronic turf toe and foot problems for he remainder of his career the team’s medical staff doesn’t expect it to affect his productivity this season. Garcon reportedly had a small tear in his shoulder labrum surgically repaired shortly after the Redskins were knocked out of the playoffs. By all accounts his recovery went as expected and his shoulder is now back to full strength. Garcon also dealt with lingering soreness in his toe and foot last season that kept him out of 6 games and while he isn’t quite 100% he will reportedly where special shoe inserts that should protect the area and alleviate the discomfort. Garcon has looked great in practice so far and barring a setback he should be ready when the regular season begins.
A.J. Green, CIN – Bruised Knee
Bengals’ WR A.J. Green suffered a bone bruise in his left knee during training camp practice on Thursday and while the injury is not considered serious he will not play in the team’s first pre-season game. Head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters after practice on Thursday that Green “twisted” his knee. An MRI on Thursday evening reportedly showed nothing serious and Lewis on Friday said that Green had been diagnosed with a bruise. He hasn’t practiced since hurting his knee and he will likely be held out for at least a week as a precaution. If he is in fact just dealing with a bruise, he has plenty of time to recover before the start of the regular season.
Percy Harvin, SEA – Hip Surgery to Repair Torn Labrum
Seahawks’ WR Percy Harvin will miss the start of the season while he recovers from off-season hip surgery. Harvin partially tore the labrum in his hip while working out on his own and there was some concern that the injury would have ended his season. Fortunately the surgery on his hip was performed without complication and with a typical recovery time of 3 – 4 months Harvin could be back for the last month of the regular season. Head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that Harvin’s injury is a big blow to the Seahawks’ offense, but that he expected him back at some point this year. Obviously if the Seahawks are in danger of missing the playoffs they could rush Harvin back a little sooner, but ideally they would want him as close to 100% for the post-season.
Santonio Holmes, NYJ – Lisfranc Surgery
Jets’ WR Santonio Holmes, who suffered a severe Lisfranc injury last season, was placed on the team’s active/PUP list when training camp began and team officials aren’t sure if he will be cleared to play in time for the start of the regular season. Holmes suffered a bone fracture, ligament and tendon tear and subsequent joint separation during a regular season game at the end of last season that required two surgeries – the first to insert a plate and stabilizing screws and the second in March to remove them. Holmes is still not running a full speed and according to reports to team considers him out indefinitely. Obviously a lot can happen before Week 1, but he’s so far behind in his recovery that it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was placed on the reserve/PUP list when the regular season begins (which means he will miss at least the first 6 games).
Jeremy Maclin, PHI – Torn ACL
Eagles’ WR Jeremy Maclin will miss the entire 2013 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during training camp practice a week ago. Maclin’s knee buckled without contact during practice on July 27 and according to reports an initial assessment revealed injuries to both his ACL and MCL. An MRI after practice confirmed that his ACL was torn and while it isn’t clear if the MCL was also damaged he has already undergone reconstructive knee surgery and he has been placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season. He should be completely healed in time for spring next year.
Mario Manningham, SF – Reconstructive Knee Surgery
49ers’ WR Mario Manningham is still recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery and although he has been cleared to take part in individual drills he is reportedly about a month away from practicing with teammates. Manningham tore the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in his knee during Week 16 last season and while his recovery has gone well he was placed on the team’s active/PUP list at the start of training camp and he probably won’t be ready when the regular season begins. Head coach Jim Harbaugh did tell reporters that Manningham would likely be ready to play this season “at some point,” but he wasn’t sure when that would be. With Michael Crabtree also out for an extended period of time the 49ers are thin at wide receiver and will be relying heavily on veteran Anquan Bolden and tight end Vernon Davis until Manningham and Crabtree are healthy.
Hakeem Nicks, NYG – Arthroscopic Knee Surgery / Groin Strain
According to reports Giants’ WR Hakeem Nicks has completely recovered from off-season knee surgery, unfortunately he’s been dealing with a nagging groin strain that has limited his involvement in training camp. Nicks tore cartilage in his left knee during Week 2 last season and while he tried to play through the injury it clearly affected his productivity. He had the damage surgically repaired in the off-season and head coach Tom Coughlin recently indicated that Nicks’ knee is finally back to 100%. However Coughlin has said that Nicks’ situation is frustrating because now he is dealing with a groin injury that has kept him out of some practices and limited in others. This injury isn’t serious and shouldn’t linger as long as he is given ample time to recover. Don’t be surprised if the Giants decide to keep him limited throughout the pre-season as a precaution.
Sidney Rice, SEA – Patellar Tendonitis
Seahawks’ WR Sidney Rice recently took a trip to Switzerland to undergo a non-surgical procedure to help with the lingering patellar tendonitis in his knee. According to reports Rice began complaining of stiffness and soreness in his knee during workouts in March and April. He was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis and despite undergoing daily treatments the problem persisted through OTAs in May. So he scheduled the visit to Switzerland where he had essentially had plasma injected into the inflamed tissue (a therapy similar to what Kobe Bryant had). Rice said that he won’t know if the therapy was successful for at least another two weeks, but that he plans on returning to practice on Sunday.
Mike Wallace, MIA – Strained Groin
Dolphins’ WR Mike Wallace suffered a groin strain in practice about a week ago and he will likely miss Sunday’s Hall of Fame game as a result. Wallace apparently began to complain of soreness in his groin on Sunday and he was in too much discomfort to take part in the team’s scrimmage on Monday. He hasn’t practiced since and while team officials don’t consider the injury to be serious he probably won’t make his return to the practice field for at least another week.
Rob Gronkowski, NE – Forearm and Back Surgery
It’s been an extremely busy off-season for Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski. Not only has Gronk undergone 4 surgeries on his left forearm, but he’s also had a surgical procedure performed on a bulging disc on his back. He fractured his left forearm twice last season and he initially had a plate surgically inserted into his arm to help stabilize the compromised area. Unfortunately he picked up an infection that required several more surgical procedures to treat. According to reports Gronkowski also played last season through a bulging disc in his back unrelated to a similar issue he had to deal with in 2009. The team’s medical staff hoped they could treat his most recent bulging disc without surgery, however it wasn’t healing as they had hoped and Gronkowski eventually underwent a procedure called a Microdiscectomy in which only the herniated part of the disc was removed. According to reports he no longer wears a protective brace on his left forearm, but it isn’t clear how his recovery from back surgery is going. Based on the date of the surgery and his expected recovery time he could be back as early as mid-September. He’s currently on the active/PUP list and it doesn’t look like he will be 100% in time for Week 1.
Heath Miller, PIT – Reconstructive Knee Surgery
Steelers’ TE Heath Miller, who tore his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments as well as his medial collateral ligaments and cartilage in his knee during a game in late December, remains on the team’s active/PUP list and according to reports he might not be ready until sometime in September or October. Miller has recovered from major knee surgery just about as well as anybody could have hoped for. He’s running and cutting at full speed and he appears to be doing more in workouts every day. But he’s still just about 7 months removed from the surgical procedure which means he probably won’t be game-ready until after the regular season begins.
Dennis Pitta, BAL – Dislocated and Fractured Hip
Ravens’ TE Dennis Pitta will miss the entire 2013 season after dislocating and fracturing his hip in training camp practice last week. Pitta was hurt when he collided with a defender during a passing drill and he had to be carted off the field. According to reports Pitta was in a tremendous amount of pain at the time of the injury and testing later revealed that not only had he dislocated his hip, but that piece of his hip bone had fractured and broken off. The damage has since been surgically repaired and a small bone fragment removed. He will begin rehab in 6 – 8 weeks and the team’s medical staff expects him to recover in time for the 2014 season.