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2006 Training Camp Injury Report #1
Philip Gentles
August 1, 2006

Drew Brees, QB, NO
Surgery To Repair Torn Labrum

Huddle Up: Saints' QB Drew Brees continues to make steady progress in his recovery from major shoulder surgery and according to reports he's already received clearance to go full-speed during training camp. Brees, who had a badly torn labrum in his right shoulder repaired back in January, has reportedly thrown approximately 80 passes each day during practice and he has begun to toss the ball deep. The Saints' medical staff remains cautiously optimistic about his chances of playing in Week 1, but he still has to make it through training camp so keep an eye on his progress.

Reggie Brown, WR, PHI
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Eagles' starting receiver Reggie Brown has missed the last two days of practice with a strained hamstring, and while the injury isn't considered serious the team isn't sure when he will be ready to return. Brown injured his hamstring during practice last week and has complained of tightness and spasms in the back of his leg ever since. According to reports he has received treatment on his hamstring at least twice a day since suffering the injury. Brown has apparently shown signs of improvement and so he should be completely healed for the start of the regular season. But the team's medical staff doesn't want this to become a lingering problem so don't be surprised if they work him back slowly.

Daunte Culpepper, QB, MIA
Surgery To Repair Torn ACL, MCL and PCL

Huddle Up: Dolphins' QB Daunte Culpepper took part in training camp practice on Saturday and by all accounts his performance was encouraging. However he still isn't completely healed and at times he appeared to move gingerly on his surgically repaired knee. Culpepper completed a number of passes during his first official practice with the Dolphins including a 50-yard bomb to WR Chris Chambers that had everyone in attendance buzzing. However there were times that he didn't look smooth moving with the football. Head coach Nick Saban told reporters that the team will hold Culpepper out of live contact during training camp and while Culpepper is optimistic about his chances of playing in Week 1 he admitted that his knee strength was at about 85 to 90 percent. Things are going well right now, but he isn't a lock to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Domanick Davis, RB, HOU
Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Texans' RB Domanick Davis, who spent the entire off-season recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, has already been cleared to practice and according to reports his return to the field this past weekend went extremely well. Davis impressed the coaching staff with his explosiveness and even broke off a big run on his first day back. The most promising news came after the practice when Davis did not report any soreness or swelling in his surgically repaired knee. As a precaution the team's medical staff will continue to limit Davis to just one practice a day, but it looks like he is well on his way to being ready for the start of the regular season.

Braylon Edwards, WR, CLE
Surgery To Repair Torn ACL

Huddle Up: Team officials weren't expecting WR Braylon Edwards back on the field until sometime in early September. But the young receiver passed a team physical on Friday and was cleared to practice in all non-contact drills on Saturday. Edwards tore the ACL in right knee last season and had surgery to repair the ligament in January. And while his recovery has gone well since the surgical procedure, the Browns' medical staff wasn't expecting him to be cleared for practice so soon. Edwards still hasn't been cleared for contact and that might not happen until the end of August so there is a good chance that he won't be ready for the start of the regular season. And since it takes 12 - 18 months post-surgery before an athlete with this kind of injury is back to 100% don't be surprised if he disappoints when he does return.

Marshall Faulk, RB, STL
Major Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Rams' veteran RB Marshall Faulk will miss the entire 2006 season after undergoing what the team is calling extensive reconstructive knee surgery. Faulk, who had arthroscopic surgery on both knees during the off-season, continued to have problems with his right knee even after the surgery and according to reports additional damage was discovered within the joint. The Rams have not released the specifics behind this latest surgical procedure, however the surgery will reportedly require 8 to 12 months of rehab. There have even been reports that Faulk may need even more surgery. At this point it looks like Faulk's NFL career may be over.

Priest Holmes, RB, KC
Spinal Column Bruise / Stenosis

Huddle Up: According to reports Chiefs' RB Priest Holmes, who was placed on the PUP list prior to the start of training camp, has still not been cleared to return to the field. Holmes has not received medical clearance to resume football activities since suffering a spinal column injury last season and several newspapers have reported that he will likely start the regular season on the PUP list meaning that he would have to miss the first 6 games. Calling Holmes a draft-day gamble is an understatement. At this point it wouldn't be a surprise if he announced his retirement.

Eric Johnson, TE, SF
Torn Plantar Fascia

Huddle Up: 49ers' TE Eric Johnson, who missed the entire 2005 season with a torn plantar fascia in his foot, was cleared to practice in all drills in time for the start of training camp and according to reports his foot has completely healed and he is ready to battle rookie Vernon Davis for the starting job. Johnson made steady progress in his recovery during the off-season and he took part in several team practices in June. Head coach Mike Nolan told reporters following the practice sessions this weekend that he was very impressed with what he saw from Johnson. Unfortunately the 49ers might have the worst offense in the game so don't expect him to be much of a fantasy factor this year even if he manages to hold off Davis for playing time.

Thomas Jones, RB, CHI
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: As unbelievable as it may sound Bears' RB Thomas Jones actually strained his hamstring during the team physical prior to the start of training camp last Thursday. The team did not exactly say how the injury occurred but Jones told reporters that he probably didn't stretch enough. Although an MRI on Thursday afternoon revealed a minor strain, the Bears decided to place him on the active PUP list as a precaution. Jones believes that he could be activated as early as this week, but the longer he is sidelined is the more ground he will lose to Cedric Benson in the chase for the starting job.

Jamal Lewis, RB, BAL
Strained Hip Flexor

Huddle Up: Ravens' RB Jamal Lewis, who was placed on the active PUP list prior to the start of training camp because of a strained hip flexor, told reporters that he hopes to practice with the team sometime over the next couple of days. According to reports Lewis suffered a minor hip flexor strain during an off-season workout two weeks ago. The injury is not considered serious, but he was placed on the PUP list as a precaution. Head coach Brian Billick said that he expects Lewis to be back on the field soon and that he doesn't believe that this injury will be an issue when the regular season begins.

Curtis Martin, RB, NYJ
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Jets' RB Curtis Martin was placed on the PUP list prior to the start of training camp because of lingering soreness in his surgically repaired knee and according to reports the team's medical staff isn't sure when he will be ready to return to the field. C-Mart, who had arthroscopic knee surgery seven months ago, continues to experience soreness and stiffness in his knee and as a precaution the team decided to place him on their active PUP list. Martin actually told reporters that he wasn't happy with the medical staff's decision to sit him out of practice and according to several team officials he could play right now if he had to and he should be completely healthy when the Jets kickoff in Week 1. We should know more about his status over the next couple of weeks so keep a close eye on his progress during training camp.

Justin McCareins, WR, NYJ
Undisclosed Foot Injury

Huddle Up: Jets' WR Justin McCareins, who began training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, has been cleared by the team's medical staff to return to practice after passing a conditioning test on Saturday morning. According to reports McCareins has been dealing with an undisclosed foot injury that occurred during mini camps this past off-season. He apparently was unable to pass the team's conditioning test on the first day of training camp because of the foot problem prompting the medical staff to place him on the team's active PUP list. The good news is that McCareins appears to be on the mend and team officials expect him to be ready to play in time for their second or third pre-season game.

Todd Pinkston, WR, PHI
Surgery To Repair Ruptured Achilles' Tendon

Huddle Up: Eagles' WR Todd Pinkston has been in and out of practice for over a week because of inflammation in his surgically repaired Achilles Tendon. Pinkston, who is officially listed as day-to-day, was held out of practice last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after complaining of stiffness and inflammation in his Achilles Tendon. He was back on the field on Friday but he continued to complain of problems and he hasn't been able to practice since. Pinkston was seen working with the medical staff on Sunday and according to reports the Eagles have decided to limit him for the remainder of training camp. The fact that he is still having problems with his Achilles Tendon this far into his recovery is not a good sign. I suggest you avoid him in your fantasy drafts.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Multiple Facial and Jaw Fractures and Lacerations, Damaged Teeth and a minor concussion

Huddle Up: Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is about 6 weeks removed from his serious motorcycle accident, has still not been cleared to resume full and unrestricted practice. However he was back on the field on Saturday and participated in wind sprints with all the non-injured players. According to reports Roethlisberger has made a full recovery from his injuries, but the team's medical staff isn't sure about his mental recovery so they want to bring him along slowly as a precaution. If all continues to go well though he should be ready to play when the Steelers' kickoff the season in Week 1.

L.J. Smith, TE, PHI
Sprained AC Joint

Huddle Up: Eagles' TE L.J. Smith, who sprained the Acromioclavicular joint in his shoulder last Thursday during practice, has been held out of practice since suffering the injury. Smith was seen working with the Athletic Training staff this weekend and according to reports the injury isn't consider serious and he could make his return sometime this week. Smith has a history of shoulder injuries so this is something worth watching. But by all accounts if he doesn't suffer any setbacks he should be completely healed in time for the start of the regular season

Steve Smith, WR, CAR
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Panthers' WR Steve Smith is officially being listed as day-to-day after straining his left hamstring during training camp on Saturday. Smith pulled up while running a route, immediately grabbed his leg and fell to the ground. After being examined by the team's medical staff he was carted off the field and into the locker room for further evaluation and treatment. According to head coach John Fox, Smith was held out of team practices in June because of tightness in the same hamstring. Fox told reporters that he doesn't think the injury is serious but that the team will keep Smith out until he is completely healthy. So while an official timetable for Smith's return has not been announced, several sources close to the situation have reported that he could be sidelined up to three weeks. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Fred Taylor, RB, JAC
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: Well it didn't take long. Jaguars' RB Fred Taylor has been held out of team drills the last couple of days because of strained right hamstring that occurred during conditioning last Thursday. Taylor told reporters that the injury isn't serious and that he expects to make a full recovery in time for the start of the regular season. However he did express frustration in his inability to stay healthy (Well now you know how we feel Freddie). According to reports Taylor is in terrific shape and several team officials felt that he was getting ready to have a big year. Unfortunately he just can't shake the injury bug. The Jaguars will probably keep Taylor limited over the next couple of weeks while his hamstring heals. But even if his hamstring returns to full strength like the team expects, his long history of injuries makes him a major draft day gamble.

Javon Walker, WR, DEN
Surgery To Repair Torn ACL

Huddle Up: Broncos' WR Javon Walker, who missed a good portion of the 2005 season with a torn ACL, was cleared to take part in full contact team drills this past weekend and according to reports head coach Mike Shanahan expects him to be a full speed for the start of the regular season. Walker told reporters that he felt great during the contact drills and that while he felt his knee was at about "90 percent," he said he ran and cut without hesitation. He continues to get treatment on his knee before and after practice and he will wear a brace on his knee throughout training camp and pre-season as a precaution. But things have gone great in his recovery to this point so look for him to be ready for the start of the regular season.