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Pre-Season Injury Update #2
Philip Gentles
August 27, 2010
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QUARTERBACKS

A.J. Feeley, STL - Sprained Thumb and Bruised Elbow

Rams’ QB A.J. Feeley did not play in Thursday night’s game against the Patriots because of sprained right (throwing) thumb and bruised right elbow, however his injuries aren’t considered serious and he should be healthy enough to play in Week 1. Feeley told reporters earlier this week that he was experiencing some soreness and swelling in his thumb, but it appears that he is doing much better and he could return to practice next week. Rookie Sam Bradford started in Feeley’s place on Thursday and he played extremely well. Head coach Steve Spagnoulo said prior to the game that a healthy Feeley was the team’s starting QB. However Bradford’s solid performance may force Spagnuolo to reconsider.

Josh Freeman, TB - Fractured Thumb

Bucs’ QB Josh Freeman will miss the remainder of the pre-season after fracturing the tip of his right (throwing) thumb during last weekend’s pre-season game. Freeman is currently wearing a splint on his hand that will prevent him from throwing for at least another week and team officials believe it will take up to 4 more weeks for his thumb to completely heal. There have been a number of reports that he will be back in time for Week 1. But if he does play he won’t be 100%. Team general manager Mark Dominik recently told reporters that Freeman would have to play through discomfort if he returns for the start of the regular season. Dominik went on to say that the swelling and pain in Freeman’s thumb would make it difficult for him to grip and throw the football. So while the goal is to have him back for Week 1, don’t be surprised if the team holds him out until Week 2 or 3 when his thumb is healed.

Donovan McNabb, WAS - Sprained Ankle

Redskins’ QB Donovan McNabb, who sprained his ankle in the game against the Ravens last weekend, has not been able to practice with the team this week and according to reports he could miss the remainder of the pre-season while he recovers. McNabb is no longer wearing a protective walking boot and according to reports he appears to be more comfortable moving around while working with team trainers in practice. Head coach Mike Shanahan has already ruled him out for Friday’s pre-season game against the Jets and he told reporters during a press conference this week that his ankle was bad enough that he would probably have to miss at least one game if the injury happened during the regular season. The good news is that McNabb has another 2 weeks to recover and Shanahan believes that his starting QB will be 100% when the regular season begins.

RUNNING BACKS

Montario Hardesty, CLE - Serious Bone Bruise in Knee

Rookie RB Mario Hardesty made his return to the field on Thursday after being out for a month with a right knee injury. Hardesty told reporters that he suffered a serious bone bruise in his knee on the last day of rookie camp in late July. He wore his helmet and pads on Wednesday while working out on the side and he was finally cleared to practice with teammates on Thursday. Hardesty was reportedly limited to non-contact drills and it appears that he will not play in Saturday’s game against the Lions. However Eric Mangini expects him to do more in practice next week and he thinks there is a chance that he will get to play in the team’s final pre-season game on September 2.

Darren McFadden, OAK - Strained Hamstring

Not only has RB Darren McFadden made his return to the practice field after missing over two weeks with a strained hamstring, he worked with the first-team offense and the team officials expect him to play in their pre-season game this weekend. McFadden reportedly impressed the coaching staff and teammates on Tuesday with his speed and agility. He spoke with reporters afterwards and he indicated that his hamstring was a non-issue. Michael Bush is still the favorite to be the team’s top RB when the regular season begins, however a healthy McFadden would get his fair share of carries and he could wrestle the starting job away from Bush if he performs well.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Donnie Avery, STL - Serious Knee Injury

The St. Louis Rams are concerned that they may have lost WR Donnie Avery for the entire 2010 season after he suffered what they are calling a serious knee injury during Thursday night‘s pre-season game against the Patriots. Avery’s knee bent awkwardly as he attempted to catch a deep pass down the right sideline. He immediately grabbed his leg and stayed down on the sideline before being helped onto a cart and taken to the locker room. The exact nature of the injury has not been made public, however several media outlets are speculating that he suffered damage to his ACL. We’ll know more about his injury today, but don’t expect any updates to be positive.

Antonio Bryant, CIN - Lingering Knee Soreness

Bengals’ WR Antonio Bryant recently told reporters that his knee was improving and that he was hoping to make his return to field when the regular season begins. But according to several media outlets the Bengals are still very concerned about his injury status and the team is preparing to move on without him. Now there are differing opinions on what the team might do. Bryant could either by released or placed on Injured Reserve. But since he was given a $7 million signing bonus in March there is a good chance that he won’t be released. Bryant insists that his knee is getting better, but he only has two weeks before the start of the regular season. It looks like Terrell Owens is going to be a good fit for the offense so even if Bryant surprises everyone and plays this season he won’t be very productive behind Chad Ochocinco and Owens.

Dez Bryant, DAL - High Ankle Sprain

Cowboys’ rookie WR Dez Bryant is making steady progress in his recovery from a high ankle sprain and the team’s medical staff expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. Bryant is reportedly cutting, jumping and running at full speed and while he isn’t practicing with the team he could be cleared to do so next week. While Bryant is happy with the improvement in his ankle, he recently admitted that he is frustrated that he hasn’t been cleared to play. The Cowboys have confirmed that Bryant will not play this weekend and he might be held out of the team‘s pre-season finale as well, however team officials are confident that he will be active for their Week 1 game.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - Sprained MCL

Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald, who is recovering from a sprained MCL in his knee, was spotted running and cutting prior to the start of Monday’s pre-season game and he appeared to be OK. He didn’t play in the game and according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt he probably won’t play again until the regular season. However Fitzgerald reportedly practiced in full pads on Thursday and with his knee showing signs of improvement Whisenhunt is confident that he will be ready for Week 1.

Percy Harvin, MIN - Migraines

Vikings’ WR Percy Harvin returned to the practice field on Wednesday, but he was absent on Thursday and his status for this weekend’s pre-season game appears to be in doubt. Head coach Brad Childress told reporters that Harvin hasn’t been cleared to take part in full practice and that he will be limited until the medical staff determines that he is OK. Unfortunately it’s just a matter of time before he suffers another migraine and its impossible to know how it will affect him. With the loss of top wide receiver Sidney Rice for what looks like half of the regular season and Harvin’s week-to-week status in question the Vikings went out this week and signed free agent Javon Walker and acquired WR Greg Camarillo from the Dolphins.

Sidney Rice, MIN - Arthroscopic Hip Surgery

Vikings’ WR Sidney Rice will be out for 2 - 3 months after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his ailing hip. According to reports Rice, who injured his hip during the 2009 playoffs, saw three specialists during the off-season and all three told him that surgery was recommended but not necessary. He decided not to have the surgery hoping that with rest, treatment and rehab it would heal. Unfortunately his hip still wasn’t getting any better and it prevented him from practicing during training camp and playing during the pre-season. The surgery reportedly went well, but head coach Brad Childress said that he won’t do anything football related for the next 8 weeks. He will begin the regular season on the reserve PUP list, which means he will miss at least the first 6 games.

TIGHT END

Dallas Clark, IND - Leg Strain

Colts’ WR Dallas Clark was inactive for Thursday night’s exhibition game against the Packers because of a leg strain, but the team’s medical staff expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. Clark pulled a muscle in his leg during a passing drill in practice a couple of weeks ago and he hasn’t played since. Although his leg is improving the Colts will probably keep him out for the remainder of the pre-season as a precaution. The goal is to get him ready for Week 1 and team officials are confident that he will be healthy by then.

Owen Daniels, HOU - Reconstructive Knee Surgery

Texans’ TE Owen Daniels, who spent the entire off-season recovering from major knee surgery, has finally been cleared and he is scheduled to begin practicing on Monday. Daniels had an MRI on his surgically repaired knee last week and he met with Dr. James Andrews to discuss the results. According to reports the MRI showed that the ACL in his knee was completely healed and Dr. Andrews determined that he was strong enough to be cleared. Daniels is not in playing condition and he’ll probably spend the remainder of the pre-season getting himself into shape. The good news is that it looks like he will be able to play in Week 1.

Vernon Davis, SF - Knee Strain

49ers’ TE Vernon Davis did not play in the team’s last pre-season game because of a right knee injury that head coach Mike Singletary is calling a “strain” and his status for the team’s exhibition game this weekend is uncertain. Davis has not practiced with the team but he was seen working with the training staff on the side this week. He might be limited for the remainder of the pre-season. However Singletary is not concerned about the injury and he expects Davis to be completely healthy when the regular season begins.

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