Kevan Barlow, SF
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: 49ers’ RB Kevan Barlow, who had arthroscopic surgery on his knee back in January, continues to make slow but steady progress in his recovery and according to reports he should be ready for the start of training camp. Barlow dealt with a sore and swollen knee for much of last season but the team did not say what was causing the problems. In fact after the surgery several team officials said that the procedure was minor and that he would be ready for the 49ers off-season conditioning program and all of their OTA’s. His recovery hasn’t gone as quickly as the medical staff had originally anticipated but in May he was finally cleared on a limited basis to take part in team practice. He was scheduled to be more involved in the 49ers’ June OTA’s and if doesn’t suffer a setback over the next couple of weeks he could be given his unrestricted clearance when training camp begins.
Correll Buckhalter, PHI
Surgery To Repair A Ruptured Patella Tendon
Huddle Up: After undergoing his third major knee surgery in four years Correll Buckhalter is finding it difficult in his recovery and the Eagles’ medical staff isn’t sure if he’ll ever be back to full strength. Buckhalter missed the entire 2005 season after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee. According to reports he has been held out of all of the team’s off-season workouts and practices. He’s been working extremely hard and by all accounts he appears to be making progress but at this point it doesn’t appear to be enough. Buckhalter is still targeting the start of training camp for his return to the field but head coach Andy Reid told reporters that he isn’t sure if and when he will be ready to play. With Buckhalter’s status still up in the air it might be best if you avoid him in your draft.
Najeh Davenport, GB
Surgery To Repair Fractured Ankle
Huddle Up: The Packers’ coaching staff has promised RB Najeh Davenport that he will be more involved in the offense this upcoming season. Unfortunately Davenport is still trying recover from ankle surgery and according to reports out of Green Bay he might not be ready to play until sometime in late July or August. Davenport broke his ankle back in October and was lost for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to stabilize the bone. He’s been working extremely hard since and was seen running and working out under the supervision of trainers in April and May. With the promise of being more involved in the offense Davenport would like to return to the field as soon as possible and he has been reportedly begging the team’s medical staff to clear him for practice before the start of training camp. But team doctor Pat McKenzie told reporters that he will not rush Najeh back and that he will likely be held out of team practices until late July. The problem right now is that Davenport continues to experience swelling and soreness after bouts of activity, which indicates that he isn’t quite ready to return. He should be ready to go prior to the Packers’ first pre-season game but keep an eye on his progress during training camp.
Domanick Davis, HOU
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: According to several reports out of Houston, starting RB Domanick Davis should be at full strength for the start of training camp after being limited for a majority of the off-season while he recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery. Davis dealt with a lingering case of inflammation in his knee that cost him 5 games last season and he has since undergone surgery to correct the problem. The Texans have not released more detailed information to the public regarding his injury and surgery but he has made steady progress in his rehab. Davis has been running for over 3 months now and while he remains limited he has progressed to plyometric exercises and change of direction drills and he could be cleared for contact soon. The Texans weren’t worried about Davis’ status when they passed on Reggie Bush in last April’s Rookie Draft and they definitely aren’t worried about him now. He’s right on schedule and he should be ready to go when the season begins.
Marshall Faulk, STL
Arthroscopic Surgery On Both Knees
Huddle Up: Arthroscopic knee surgery has become an annual ritual for Rams’ veteran RB Marshall Faulk. But during this off-season he found a way to kick it up a notch. After complaining of inflammation and discomfort in both knees at the end of last year Faulk had them examined and doctors determined that he needed both knees scoped. According to reports both surgeries were considered “clean-ups” and labeled “minor,” but he’s still not completely recovered and team’s medical staff isn’t sure if he will be ready for the start of training camp. At his age and with his history of knee problems Faulk’s slow recovery shouldn’t surprise anyone. Team officials are still counting on him making it back in time for the start of the regular season but even if he does return in time he’ll only have a small role in the Rams’ offense.
DeShaun Foster, CAR
Surgery To Repair Fractured Fibula
Huddle Up: Panthers’ starting RB DeShaun Foster is still not completely recovered from his fractured leg but the team’s medical staff expects him to be a full strength for the start of training camp. Foster fractured his fibula during last season’s playoff game against the Bears but the medical staff waited almost a month before surgically repairing it. Apparently Foster’s leg became very swollen and the team physicians wanted to see how he responded to treatment before they operated. It’s been about 5 months post surgery and according to reports he is doing very well. He took part in several of the Panthers’ off-season workouts on a limited basis and while he was held out of others as a precaution the team will now gradually increase his workload and his involvement in team practices. If all continues to go well he should be ready to go when the 2006 regular season begins.
Frank Gore, SF
Left And Right Shoulder Surgery
Huddle Up: 49ers’ RB Frank Gore is finally very close to full strength after an off-season that saw him undergo surgery on his left and right shoulders. According to reports Gore had the capsule in his first shoulder surgically repaired at the end of January and then after making a sufficient recovery in 5 weeks he had the capsule in the other shoulder surgically repaired as well. The team’s medical staff expected his recovery to take 5 – 6 months and by all accounts Gore was right on schedule. He was cleared to take part in organized practices in late May and while he remained limited through practices in June he is reportedly very close to being at full strength. Gore should be good to go when the 49ers open training camp so look for him to battle Kevan Barlow and Maurice Hicks for the starting job.
Ahman Green, GB
Surgery To Repair Torn Quadriceps
Huddle Up: Packers’ RB Ahman Green, who is already ahead of schedule in his rehab back from a torn quadriceps tendon, is expected to be at full speed in time for the start of the regular season. Green missed the remainder of the 2005 season after tearing his quadriceps in October and he’s undergone 3 – 4 hours of treatment and rehab daily since team physicians surgically repaired the injury. According to reports the Packers didn’t think he would be able to practice until sometime in August but he was given clearance to work with the team during mini camp in May. Green did not take part in any contact drills and he was running at half speed but he did take handoffs and made cuts and according to reports the medical staff was pleased with his performance. He’s been straight-line running and lifting weights since March 20 but nobody, not even Green himself, thought he would be back on the field and cutting before the start of training camp so this is a very good sign that things are going well. Team officials now expect him to be more involved in June OTA’s and he should be closer to full strength when training camp begins.
Priest Holmes, RB
Spinal Column Bruise / Stenosis
Huddle Up: The current status of Chiefs’ RB Priest Holmes remains a big question mark as he continues to recover from a spinal column bruise that ended his 2005 season and that may have potentially ended his career. Holmes suffered trauma to his spinal column during Week 2 last year that eventually caused cervical stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the structures surrounding his spinal column. The obvious concern is that if the stenosis isn’t controlled Holmes would be at a greater risk for paralysis if he continues to play football. ESPN Wire Services and the Associated Press have both reported that Holmes had surgery on his neck to help correct the problem. However this has not been confirmed by Holmes or any member of the Chiefs organization. He did however spend time in the training room receiving treatment and he has seen a neurologist several times during the off-season. Unfortunately Holmes has still not been cleared for practice and the Chiefs have no idea if and when that will ever happen. According to reports Priest’s father said that it doesn’t appear that his son is preparing to play football this year. Even though he hasn't been medically cleared to take the field there are things he could be doing on his own to get ready. Holmes has been working out at his home, but not nearly enough to get him ready to play. So either he has no real desire to return or his injury is more severe than what is being reported. Even if he does return he will be Larry Johnson’s backup, but it is looking more and more like he won’t be ready when Chiefs start their regular season. Avoid him at all costs.
Rudi Johnson, CIN
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: According to reports Bengals’ RB Rudi Johnson, who had arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the off-season, continues to make strides in his recovery and the team’s medical staff expects him to be at full strength for the start of the regular season. Johnson played the entire 2005 season with cartilage problems in his knee and he had the injury repaired after their playoff loss in an arthroscopic procedure. Johnson has been held out of team practices during the off-season but he has been running under the supervision of athletic trainers since April. Johnson will probably be cleared for all non-contact drills when training camp begins and the Bengals expect him to be full go at some point during the pre-season.
LaMont Jordan, OAK
Huddle Up: Raiders’ RB LaMont Jordan missed the final two games of the team’s 2005 season with a troublesome case of turf toe. According to reports the injury wasn’t considered severe but with the team eliminated from playoff contention the medical staff felt that there was no need to aggravate the problem, so they held him out. Jordan was a training room regular during the off-season and it looks like his toe has responded well to the treatment. He has been running and cutting at full speed without experiencing pain or soreness but the medical staff will continue to keep an eye on his toe as a precaution. Turf toe is a condition that limits mobility and can, in effect, ruin a running back’s season. So while he appears to be OK there is no way to guarantee that he won’t get hurt again. Team officials expect Jordan to be 100% in time for the start of training camp and he’ll probably be fine but be mindful of his injury past prior to selecting him in your fantasy draft.
Curtis Martin, NYJ
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: Jets’ veteran RB Curtis Martin, who is recovering from off-season arthroscopic knee surgery, made his return to the practice field during May OTA’s and according to reports he should be close full go when training camp opens at the end of July. Martin dealt with a lingering knee problem last year that limited him throughout the season. During surgery physicians removed several bone chips from his knee joint and discovered two severe bone bruises and some minor cartilage damage. There was no ligament damage, which has made his recovery easier, but the damage they found required several months of extensive rehab and treatment. C-Mart continues to work with the training staff and he hasn’t quite made a full recovery but team officials believe he will be cleared to resume all activity by the start of their pre-season schedule.
Deuce McAllister, NO
Surgery To Repair Torn ACL
Huddle Up: Saints’ RB Deuce McAllister, who is still recovering from ACL surgery last year, is making steady progress in his recovery and according to reports he should be cleared for all football activity sometime soon. Deuce tore the ACL in his right knee last October against the Packers and immediately underwent reconstructive surgery to repair it. The surgery was considered a success and his rehab has gone extremely well with no setbacks or problems. Deuce has not been cleared to run and cut at full speed but he has been involved (on a limited basis) in the Saints’ off-season conditioning program and the team’s medical staff recently told reporters that he has progressed to light cutting and jogging up hills. The Saints remain optimistic about Deuce’s chance of being cleared to play in time for their second pre-season game, but the front office did draft rookie Reggie Bush and bring in veteran Michael Bennett. Are they concerned about his ability to make a full recovery? Probably, because remember it takes an athlete up to 18 months post-op before he is back to full strength (both physically and mentally) and since running backs take a lot of pounding the addition of Bennett and the selection as Bush could be seen as insurance policies.
Mewelde Moore, MIN
Huddle Up: Vikings’ RB and kick returner Mewelde Moore remains limited in workouts as he continues to recover from off-season wrist surgery, however the team’s medical staff is confident that he will be at full strength for the start of training camp. Moore sprained his wrist at the end of last season and an MRI showed that he actually tore a ligament. The ligament damage was surgically repaired in January and while he’s nearly back to full strength he continues to have his wrist taped as a precaution. Team officials aren’t worried about his health and they are optimistic that he will be ready to battle Chester Taylor and Ciatrick Fason in training camp for playing time this season.
LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
Huddle Up: Chargers’ Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who played through a painful rib injury last season, is now completely healthy and ready for the start of training camp. Tomlinson cracked a pair of ribs in Week 13 last year and while he continued to play it was obvious that the injury was affecting his performance. The Chargers’ were actually calling the injury a bruise but LT came clean in the off-season. He told reporters that with the injury being more than just a bruise that every time he would get hit he would lose his breath. Well it’s been over 6 months since the end of the 2005 season and he’s had plenty of time to rest and recover. Tomlinson has been involved in all of the Chargers’ off-season mini camps and OTA’s and he looks ready to tackle training camp.
Brian Westbrook, PHI
Huddle Up: According to reports Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook is already completely recovered from the Lisfranc sprain that ended his 2005 season and head coach Andy Reid told reporters that Westbrook will be at full strength and completely healthy when the team begins training camp. Westbrook suffered a grade one (minor) sprain to the Lisfranc ligament in his foot back in early December last year and while the injury did not require surgery it did require 2 months of rest, recovery and rehab thus ending his season. But things have gone well for Westbrook during his recovery. He was an active member of the Eagles’ off-season conditioning program and he running and cutting at full speed by the start of April. He also took part in all of the OTA’s in May and he impressed the coaching staff with his agility and speed. Westbrook hasn’t complained of soreness in his foot after activity in over 2 months and he appears ready for the start of the 2006 season.
LenDale White, TEN
Huddle Up: According to reports Titans rookie RB LenDale White, who tore his hamstring at the NFL combine back in February, was scheduled to begin working out on a limited basis in June and team officials expect him to be at full strength at some point during the pre-season. Prior to the injury White was considered a first round prospect but he came into the rookie combine out of shape and after getting hurt he was unable to run the 40-yard dash and his stock fell from there. The good news is that he’s got his weight down from 250 pounds to 239 pounds and the Titans’ medical staff is pleased with his recovery. And although White isn’t at full-speed yet head coach Jeff Fisher remains confident that he will be close to 100% in time for training camp.
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