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2006 Training Camp Injury Report #2
Philip Gentles
August 9, 2006

Cedric Benson, RB, CHI
Unspecified Shoulder Injury

Huddle Up: Bears’ RB Cedric Benson, who is currently out with an unspecified left shoulder injury, has undergone an MRI but the results have not been made public. X-rays done on Benson’s injured shoulder did not reveal any broken bones but he’s been in a sling since the injury occurred and there is speculation that he could be out for at least several more weeks. With Thomas Jones also out because of injury Adrian Peterson will take over as the Bears’ top running back.

Bernard Berrian, WR, CHI
Strained Hip Flexor

Huddle Up: Bears’ starting WR Bernard Berrian, who left practice last Friday with a strained right hip-flexor, was supposed to make his return to the field on Monday. But according to reports Berrian is still experiencing discomfort in his hip and even if he returns to the field soon it looks like he will be limited in practice for the remainder of training camp. Berrian is trying to hold off Mark Bradley for the starting receiver spot opposite Muhsin Muhammad, so this injury has come at the wrong time. We’ll keep you posted on his recovery.

Tom Brady, QB, NE
Sore Shoulder

Huddle Up: Patriots’ QB Tom Brady, who missed several practices last week because of what team officials called a “dead arm,” has already returned to practice but several media outlets have reported that the Patriots will limit his reps with the first team for the remainder of training camp to help rest his sore shoulder. As expected the Patriots medical staff has been very tight-lipped about Brady’s shoulder and have refused to comment on the specifics of his problem.  This doesn’t appear to be a big deal but keep an eye on his performances during the pre-season to make sure his shoulder is OK.

Drew Brees, QB, SD
Surgery To Repair Torn Labrum

Huddle Up: Things continue to go well for Brees in his recovery from major shoulder surgery. Brees, who was being limited to 80 throws per day, has now increased his workload to 120 pain-free passes every other day and according to reports he is on pace to being ready for the start of the regular season. The medical staff continues to be amazed by his recovery, but we just won’t know how far a long he is until we see him on the field. He’ll probably be held out of the team’s first pre-season game but he could be cleared to play as early as their second pre-season game. We’ll continue to monitor his progress and keep you posted on his status.

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

Huddle Up: According to reports things have gone so well with QB Daunte Culpepper’s recovery that he could actually be cleared to play in the Dolphins’ first pre-season game this weekend. Head coach Nick Saban told reporters that he was pleased with Culpepper’s progress and that a decision on his status for the pre-season game will be made later this week. Culpepper has taken part in every practice since the start of training camp and it appears that he is very close to being cleared for contact. Remember an injury of this nature takes anywhere from 12 – 18 months to completely heal so even if Culpepper starts in Week 1 he’ll probably struggle with consistency this season.

Brian Finneran, WR, ATL
Torn ACL, Torn Meniscus and Dislocated Patella

Huddle Up: Falcons’ WR Brian Finneran will miss the entire 2006 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), damaging cartilage and dislocating the patella in his right knee during practice last week. Finneran was hurt while making a cut during a passing drill. There was no contact, but his knee appeared to buckle on the play and he immediately fell to the turf holding his leg. Finneran has already undergone corrective surgery, however the Falcons’ medical staff doesn’t expect him to be ready to practice without restrictions until sometime after the end of the 2006 season. Roddy White and Michael Jenkins were already ahead of Finneran on the depth chart so look for Jerome Pathon to take over as the team’s number 3 receiver.

Ahman Green, RB, GB
Surgery To Repair Torn Quadriceps

Huddle Up: Packers’ veteran RB Ahman Green was finally removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and cleared to practice after passing a physical over the weekend. Green, who is recovering from a torn quadriceps muscle, took part in individual drills in the morning session and was involved in several team drills in the afternoon session on Monday. He reportedly looked pretty good but the Packers’ will keep him limited for the remainder of training camp. The team’s medical staff isn’t sure when he will be ready to play but they remain optimistic that he will cleared for full-speed contact by the start of the regular season.

Darrell Jackson, WR, SEA
Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks’ WR Darrell Jackson, who had arthroscopic knee surgery back in March, has still not been cleared to practice with the team but while his recovery has taken longer than expected the team’s medical staff still expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. According to reports Jackson’s knee has finally healed but team physicians will hold him out of action until the third pre-season game as a precaution.

Matt Jones, WR, JAC
Sprained Ankle

Huddle Up: According to reports Jaguars’ WR Matt Jones is still about a week away from making his return to the practice field. Jones, who has been dealing with a sprained ankle, did some individual work under the supervision of trainers on Saturday while the rest of the team took part in a mock game. Head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that Jones was doing better and that he could be back on the field practicing with the team next week. An official decision has not been made but don’t be surprised if he is held out of the Jaguars’ first couple of pre-season games.

Curtis Martin, RB, NYJ
Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: A week after telling reporters that he was disappointed with the team’s decision to hold him out of practice, Jets’ RB Curtis Martin could be very close to retiring. C-Mart, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in the off-season to repair damaged cartilage, was placed on the team’s PUP list prior to the start of training camp because he continued experience soreness and stiffness in his surgically repaired knee. There are now several media outlets reporting that Martin is dealing with a degenerative arthritic condition in his knee and that nearly all of the cartilage in the joint is gone. According to these reports the Jets’ have been quietly looking for a RB to replace Martin and one report even said that Martin approached the coaching staff before the NFL draft and recommended that they take a running back early. The Jets’ organization has not confirmed nor denied the information in these reports so you would almost have to assume that they are close to being accurate. So if you drafted Martin you may want to start looking around for a replacement because it looks like his playing days are over. Cedric Houston is currently listed as the Jets’ backup RB, but if C-Mart does retire look for Houston to battle Derrick Blaylock and Leon Washington for the starting job. 

Deuce McAllister, RB, NO
Surgery To Repair Torn ACL

Huddle Up: Saints’ RB Deuce McAllister, who is about 10 months removed from major knee surgery, has taken part in every practice during training camp. But according to reports he continues to experience soreness and swelling in his right knee after every workout. McAllister continues to receive treatment on his surgically repaired knee at least twice a day and while he will continue to practice he is clearly not 100% and the team’s medical staff doesn’t think he will be ready to take on a full load when the regular season begins. Not that the Saints’ needed another incentive to play rookie Reggie Bush, but with McAllister still far from full strength don’t be surprised if Bush gets a lot of playing time during the pre-season.

Ryan Moats, RB, PHI
Sprained Knee

Huddle Up: Eagles’ RB Ryan Moats, who entered training camp as Brian Westbrook’s immediate backup, did not play in Sunday’s pre-season game against the Raiders and according to reports he continues to rehab his injured knee. Moats suffered an unspecified ligament sprain in his knee during practice last Wednesday and he’s been held out of practice since. The severity of the injury has not been made public, but team officials don’t think he will be returning to the field anytime soon.

Terrell Owens, WR, DAL
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Cowboys’ WR Terrell Owens, who has been limited in training camp because of a strained hamstring, got some promising news from team doctors. An MRI done on his injured hamstring did not reveal any significant structural damage and while he will probably miss the team’s first pre-season game the team’s medical staff expects Owens to be at full strength for the start of the regular season. Say what you want about his attitude, but Owens has dealt with hamstring and groin strains for at least the last three years and it hasn’t affected his on-the-field performance yet. So even if this continues to limit his participation in practice there is no reason to think he can’t still have a big season.

Jerry Porter, WR, OAK
Strained Calf

Huddle Up: Raiders’ WR Jerry Porter did not play in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Eagles and he remains day-to-day because of a strained calf. Porter, who has requested a trade out of Oakland, has spent most of training camp on the sideline riding a stationary bike. According to reports he still complains of discomfort when he runs and soreness in his calf after he works out. There is speculation that Porter is making more of this injury in an effort to express his unhappiness with the team. Either way the longer he sits out, is the further he falls behind in his conditioning. Start bumping him down your cheat sheets. 

Jeremy Shockey, TE, NYG
Minor Concussion

Huddle Up: Giants’ Pro Bowl TE Jeremy Shockey, who suffered a minor concussion last week, is no longer dealing with any lingering effects. Shockey will be limited in practice over the next couple of days as a precaution, but his workload with be gradually increased and the team’s medical staff expects him to be cleared for contact soon.

Steve Smith, WR, CAR
Strained Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Panthers’ WR Steve Smith is still dealing with a strained hamstring and head coach John Fox doesn’t think he will be available for the team’s first pre-season game this upcoming Saturday. Smith’s injured hamstring is not considered serious, but he isn’t running at full speed and he is still being held of team workouts. The Panthers’ medical staff isn’t sure when Smith will be ready to make his unrestricted return. However Fox is confident that he will be completely healthy for the start of the regular season.

Jerramy Stevens, TE, SEA
Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Seahawks’ TE Jerramy Stevens, who suffered torn cartilage in his knee during team workouts back in April, is still recovering from arthroscopic surgery and he remains on the team’s PUP list. However head coach Mike Holmgren recently told reporters that Stevens’ recovery has gone well and that he could be back on the field as early as tomorrow (Wednesday).  If Stevens does make his return he will likely be limited for the balance of training camp, but barring a setback it appears that he is well on his way to being ready for the start of the regular season.

Chester Taylor, RB, MIN
Strained Groin

Huddle Up: Vikings’ RB Chester Taylor suffered what he is calling “a little strain” to the groin during the team’s scrimmage against the Chiefs last Friday and he’s been unable to practice since. Head coach Brad Childress has instructed team officials and players to be quiet about all injuries during training camp so we really don’t know how serious Taylor’s injury is or when he will be ready to return to the field. This doesn’t appear to be a major problem but we will keep a close on this situation.

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD
Sore Neck

Huddle Up: Chargers’ RB LaDainian Tomlinson made his return to the field on Saturday after missing a couple of practices last week with soreness in his neck. Tomlinson was hurt last Thursday when he collided with a defender during a team drill. The injury was not considered serious but the team’s medical staff wanted to give him a couple of days off as a precaution. According to reports LT will likely be held out of the team’s first pre-season game, but team officials aren’t concerned and they expect him to be fine for the start of the regular season.