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Pre-Season Injury Update #1
Philip Gentles
August 20, 2010
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QUARTERBACKS

Brett Favre, MIN - Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery

QB Brett Favre officially announced his return to the Vikings on Wednesday for what he says will be his last season in the NFL despite his ongoing ankle problems. Favre, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in the off-season to remove bone spurs and scar tissue, visited with Dr. James Andrews last week and according to reports a new bone spur was discovered. Apparently this new spur was the source of the lingering pain and discomfort in his ankle. Favre told reporters on Wednesday that there was a slight increase in his ankle’s range of motion and he indicated that he is healthy enough to make it through one more season. Favre is one of the toughest players in NFL history. He’s played in 309 straight games and has proven that he can still produce even if he is less than 100%. So he certainly could make it through the 2010 season without missing a game. However his ankle will not get any better and there is a good chance that it will get progressively worse. Keep that in mind if you plan on drafting him.

Eli Manning, NYG - Forehead Laceration

Giants’ QB Eli Manning, who suffered a laceration on his forehead during the team’s last exhibition game, will not play in Saturday’s pre-season game against the Steelers. However he is recovering quickly and he should be ready in time for the start of the regular season. Manning was hurt when he first ran into RB Brandon Jacobs on a broken play and then hit in the back and forehead by two Jets’ defenders. The collision opened up a fairly large and bloody gash on Manning’s head that required 12 stitches. He underwent a series of neurological tests as a precaution and according to reports they all came back negative. Manning spoke with reporters earlier in the week and he said that he had a slight headache the night of the incident, but that the next day he felt fine and he hasn’t suffered from dizziness, blurred vision or neck pain. Head coach Tom Coughlin has confirmed that Manning’s injuries are minor however he said that there is concern that if he puts on a helmet now that he could reopen the laceration on his forehead. He was seen throwing light passes to receivers in one-on-one drills in practice. But it looks like he will be held out of contact drills until the cut has healed.

Tim Tebow, DEN - Bruised Ribs

According to reports Broncos’ rookie Tim Tebow suffered bruised ribs when he was hit on his touchdown run at the end of the team’s pre-season game last weekend. He took part in practice on Tuesday while wearing extra padding around his rib area, but he complained of discomfort during practice on Wednesday and had to leave the field and he was held out of practice on Thursday. He apparently bruised his abdomen as well and he has been dealing with pain in his stomach. Neither injury is considered serious, however it does not look like he will play in the team’s second pre-season game and it is unclear when he will be able to return to full practice. He has plenty of time to recover for the start of the regular season.

RUNNING BACKS

Fred Jackson, BUF - Fractured Hand

Bills’ RB Fred Jackson will miss the next 4 - 6 weeks after breaking the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during last week’s pre-season game. Jackson, who reportedly needed surgery to repair the damage in his hand, said that he will try and make it back before the start of the regular season. But it looks like he will be out for the remainder of the pre-season and it is unlikely that he will be ready in time for Week 1. 

Marshawn Lynch, BUF - Sprained Ankle

According to reports Bills’ RB Marshawn Lynch will miss at least 2 weeks after spraining his ankle against the Redskins last Friday. Precautionary X-rays on Lynch’s injured ankle were negative but an evaluation reportedly revealed a grade 2 sprain that will not require surgery. He’ll likely spend the remainder of the pre-season in rehab and if all goes well coach Chan Gailey indicated that he should be back in time for Week 1 of the regular season. Fred Jackson will likely miss the start of the season so look for Lynch and rookie C.J. Spiller to split the carries in his place.

Darren McFadden, OAK - Strained Hamstring

Raiders’ RB Darren McFadden continues to recover from a strained hamstring and he will not play in the team’s second pre-season game as a result. McFadden, who hasn’t practiced with the team in nearly 2 weeks, started speed work under the supervision of the medical staff this week and head coach Tom Cable said on Thursday that he was happy with McFadden’s progress and that he expected him back on the field with teammates sometime next week. Michael Bush remains the favorite to win the starting job and get a majority of the carries and the only chance McFadden has to change that is if he returns from injury soon and play extremely well when he does.

Knowshon Moreno, DEN - Partially Torn Hamstring

Broncos’ officials expect RB Knowshon Moreno to make his return to practice next week after missing several weeks with a small tear in his hamstring. According to reports Moreno will be eased back in slowly starting with limited reps in non-contact drills. His involvement in practice will gradually increase and the medical staff hopes that he will be strong enough to play in at least one pre-season game before the start of the regular season. Correll Buckhalter suffered another setback in his recovery from a back injury and it appears that he will not play in the team’s second pre-season game as well.

Ben Tate, HOU - Fractured leg and Torn Ankle Ligaments

Texans’ rookie RB Ben Tate has been placed on Injured Reserve and he will miss the entire 2010 season after suffering a serious leg and ankle injuries during the team’s pre-season opener. Tate was hurt when he was tackled at the end of a carry. He was helped off the field and carted to the locker room where he was X-rayed and examined. According to reports the X-ray showed a fracture in his right fibula and team physicians believed that there was significant ligament damage in his ankle as well which was confirmed by an MRI the next day. Tate has already undergone surgery to repair the damage and team officials are confident that he will be completely healthy when training camp begins next year.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Antonio Bryant, CIN - Lingering Knee Soreness

The latest on WR Antonio Bryant is not every encouraging. According to several reports the Bengals are very concerned about Bryant’s health and lack of progress. He continues to suffer from pain and discomfort in his knee and the joint reportedly swells every time he runs and works out. The team is so concerned that they are considering releasing him with an injury settlement. Bryant remains optimistic and he hopes to play when the regular season begins. But nearly everyone else believes that he won’t be ready for Week 1.

Michael Crabtree, SF - Strained Neck

49ers’ WR Michael Crabtree returned to practice earlier this week and while he remains limited his neck appears to be OK and the team expects him to be 100% when the regular season begins. Crabtree injured his neck over a week ago and did not play in the team’s pre-season opener against the Colts. It isn’t clear if he will be in the lineup against the Vikings this weekend but he should be able to play in at least one pre-season game before Week 1.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - Sprained MCL

Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald will likely miss the remainder of the pre-season after suffering a mild medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee during last weekend’s exhibition game. According to reports an MRI on Fitzgerald’s knee revealed a mild sprain however head coach Ken Whisenhunt said that the team is going to proceed with caution and keep him sidelined this pre-season as long as necessary. Fitzgerald admitted that his knee was sore, but he said that he was fine and that he would be able to play through the injury if he had to. Lucky for Cardinals fans and Fitzgerald owners he doesn’t have to play through it and he has plenty of time to recover before the start of the regular season.

Percy Harvin, MIN - Migraines

Vikings’ WR Percy Harvin collapsed during practice on Thursday and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance after suffering another migraine. According to reports Harvin began having problems as he was fielding a punt in practice. He was checked out by a team physician and allowed to return. But he soon collapsed on the field and began to go in and out of consciousness as he was being attended to by members of the medical staff. Several witnesses to the incident described it as a seizure, however head coach Brad Childress later told reporters that it wasn’t a true seizure. Harvin spent the night in the hospital and he is doing well according to those who saw him. Obviously it is still too early to tell when he will be able to return to practice but it appears that he is going to be OK.

Sidney Rice, MIN - Lingering Hip Soreness

Vikings’ WR Sidney Rice began cutting on Monday, but he remains on the active PUP list and team officials still don’t know when he be able to practice with the team. Rice, who is dealing with soreness in his hip, admitted that he had a couple of setbacks in his recovery during training camp but told reporters that his health is improving and that he hopes to play in at least one pre-season game. His progress this week has been encouraging but he still has some way to go before he is ready to play in a game.

Steve Smith, CAR - Fractured Arm

Panthers’ veteran WR Steve Smith, who broke his arm during the summer, was activated from the active PUP list on Monday and team officials are confident that he will be 100% when the regular season begins. Smith will probably be limited in practice for the next couple of weeks and there have been reports that he will be held out of all pre-season games as a precaution. The Panthers will also limit the amount of contact Smith has before the start of the regular season so that his arm has ample time to completely heal.

Steve Smith, NYG - Strained Groin

Giants’ WR Steve Smith returned to practice on Wednesday after missing 10 days with a strained groin. Team officials were never concerned about the injury and according to reports Smith’s groin is now considered a non issue. He continues to suffer from lingering soreness in his hip but he has dealt with that for sometime now and it won’t prevent him from playing this year.

Wes Welker, NE - ACL Surgery

Patriots’ WR Wes Welker played in his first game on Thursday night just seven months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and according to reports his knee held up well. Welker caught 2 passes in the first quarter and he appeared to cut and change direction without a problem. He admitted afterwards that he wasn’t “all there yet” and he probably won’t be 100% until halfway through the season. But this is yet another positive step in his recovery. Welker was seen with an ice bag on his knee in the locker room after the game but he reportedly had it on as a precaution.

TIGHT ENDS

Dallas Clark, IND - Undisclosed Leg Injury

Colts’ TE Dallas Clark was inactive for Thursday night’s game against the Bills because of an undisclosed leg injury, but whatever the problem is head coach Jim Caldwell does not believe it is serious and he said that Clark would be back soon. Clark “tweaked” his upper left leg running a route into the end zone in practice and missed the team’s pre-season opener as a result. He has not practiced since getting hurt, however there is optimism that he will return to the field as early as next week. We’ll keep you posted.

Owen Daniels, HOU - ACL Surgery

Texans’ TE Owen Daniels, who is recovering from ACL surgery, is reportedly close to being removed from the active PUP list and he is scheduled to have an MRI on is knee next Tuesday and visit with Dr. James Andrews next Wednesday. Head coach Gary Kubiak recently told reporters that Daniels was “right on schedule” to be ready for Week 1 despite suffering a setback earlier in training camp.  Daniels reportedly looked good while working out on his own on Thursday and he believes that he will be cleared by Dr. Andrews to practice with the team next week.  Obviously if he is cleared it will be good news for Daniels, but keep in mind that he probably won’t be back to full speed until sometime during the regular season so don’t be surprised if he gets off to a slow start. 

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