Plaxico Burress, NYG
Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery
Huddle Up: Giants' WR Plaxico Burress missed a majority of the team's off-season program and many of us assumed that he missed the workouts because he wanted to train on his own in South Florida. Well the team recently revealed that Burress had arthroscopic ankle surgery back in March and his recovery from theprocedure kept him off the practice field. In an interview with reporters Burress said that his ankle was about 90% recovered and that he would be fine for the start of the regular season. But the medical staff will probably limit him to one practice a day at the start of training camp until he shows that his ankle is OK.
Michael Clayton, TB
Partially Torn MCL
Huddle Up: From rookie phenom to fantasy bust. This is Michael Clayton's story. Clayton had a monster rookie year catching 80 balls for 1193 yards and 7 touchdowns and everyone thought that he was headed for stardom. But after a couple of disappointing seasons he has gone from stud to dud, going undrafted in nearly every expert mock or league draft so far this summer. But injuries have certainly played a role in Clayton's fall from fantasy stardom and it appears that he is finally healthy and ready for the 2007 season. Clayton's 2006 season came to a premature end after the WR partially tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the Week 13 game against the Steelers. The injury did not require surgery but his recovery lasted 2 months. According to reports he was very active in the team's OTA's and in an interview with reporters last month Clayton said that he feels no pain in his knee and that he's in the best shape and condition of his football career. To call him a sleep is an understatement. He probably won't match his amazing rookie numbers but it wouldn't surprise me if a healthy Clayton comes close.
David Givens, WR, TEN
Torn ACL, Torn Meniscus and Fractured Knee
Huddle Up: Titans' WR David Givens will likely start the regular season on the PUP list, which means that he won't be able to play until at least Week 6 and according to reports the team is preparing to play the entire season without him. Givens tore the ACL and meniscus and fractured a bone in his knee during a game last November and following reconstructive surgery head coach Jeff Fisher believed that he could be back in time for training camp this year. Unfortunately his recovery has been slow and he reportedly underwent a second surgery to repair additional damage during the offseason. He had to use a cane to walk up until April and as expected he did not take part in any of the Titans' OTA's. The team's medical staff does expect him to be take part in training camp or in any of the pre season games and unless dramatic happens he will likely end up on the team's PUP list to start the season.
Brian Finneran, ATL
Huddle Up: Falcons' WR Brian Finneran, who missed the entire 2006 after tearing the ACL in his left knee during training camp, re-injured his knee during May minicamp and according to reports he will miss the entire 2007 season. Finneran was only 10 months removed from reconstructive knee surgery when he retore his ACL. He has since undergone a second surgery on his knee to repair the new damage and the team's medical staff isn't sure if he will be able to play football again. It's going to take a lot for him to get back to the point where he can resume his NFL career. But physicians get better at what they do on a daily basis, so his return down the road is not completely out of the question.
Ted Ginn Jr., MIA
Huddle Up: Dolphins' rookie WR Ted Ginn Jr., who suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his foot during the BCS Championship game, has nearly made a full recovery and as soon as he signs a contract with the Dolphins he will be cleared to participate in the team's training camp. Ginn was limited for nearly the entire off-season but he was finally allowed to practice without a red no-contact jersey in June and by all accounts he looked good. Following a June practice head coach Cam Cameron told reporters that he felt that Ginn was at about 90 percent and that if all continued to go well he expected him to be ready for the start of the regular season. It's going to take a while for Ginn to regain his pre-injury speed. And since nearly everything he does on the football field is built around his speed don't be surprised if he gets off to a really slow start this season.
Santonio Holmes, PIT
Huddle Up: In a surprising move the Pittsburgh Steelers placed Santonio Holmes on the active PUP list after the young WR underwent an undisclosed surgical procedure. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that Holmes had a "minor surgical procedure that is not football related" and that he expected Holmes to make his return within the next couple of days. When asked if the procedure would affect his ability to play Tomlin called the undisclosed ailment a "non-issue." This doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm sure Holmes' owners will feel better when they see him back on the practice field. We'll keep you posted.
Torry Holt, STL
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: Rams' WR Torry Holt dealt with a nagging knee injury last season and after undergoing off-season arthroscopic surgery his knee appears to be healthy. Holt reportedly played the entire 2007 season with torn cartilage in his right knee. He had the damaged tissue surgically repaired and loose bodies removed back in February and according to reports he recovered quickly. In May he took part in passing drills at half speed and ran sprints at full speed and he was cleared in June to take part in the Rams' full-team workouts. He admitted to reporters earlier this month that he still had something strengthening to do, but team officials believe he will be ready when training camp begins.
T.J. Housmandzadeh, CIN
Huddle Up: Bengals' WR T.J. Housmandzadeh revealed in an interview back in February that he played the last 5 games of the 2006 season with 4 cracked vertebrae in his back. Housmandzadeh said that although he experienced pain and stiffness in his back he didn't think that the injury was anything more than a bruise or strain. But the discomfort continued to linger after the season and an X-ray showed 4 cracked bones in his back. The good news is that the injury did not affect his spinal chord and it did not require surgery. According to reports Housmandzadeh's back has now healed and he is ready for training camp and the start of the 2007 season.
Chad Jackson, NE
Huddle Up: According to reports WR Chad Jackson's recovery from a torn ACL is going well, but he still isn't ready for full speed drills and contact and the Patriots are expected to place him on the PUP list when training camp begins. Jackson tore the ACL in his knee during the team's playoff loss to the Colts and less than week later he underwent surgery to repair the damage. Team officials appear optimistic about his chances of returning before the start of the regular season, but he's currently only 6 months removed from surgery and doctors don't usually clear football players to play until 8 or 9 months after ACL surgery. So don't be surprised if Jackson ends up on the team's active PUP list to start the regular season.
Darrell Jackson, SF
Chronic Turf Toe
Huddle Up: 49ers' receiver Darrell Jackson continues to be slowed by a chronic turf toe injury but the team believes that Jackson will be available for the start of training camp and they expect him to play with it this season. Jackson, who missed three games and dealt with turf toe for the entire 2006 season, missed nearly every off-season practice and workout as a precaution. According to reports Jackson continues to experience pain and discomfort in his toe after running but he doesn't think it will affect his in-game performance. The 49ers appear to be optimistic about Jackson, but I suggest that you proceed with extreme caution on draft day. Jackson may appear to be healthy to start the season and he'll probably put up good numbers. However he could aggravate the injury at any time and it will not only start affecting his performance but it could start costing him games as well.
Robert Meachem, NO
Huddle Up: Saints' rookie WR Robert Meachem has been out for 6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair damage to his medial meniscus, however the team is optimistic that he will be cleared to participate in training camp. Meachem, who showed up to earlier minicamps out of shape, reportedly began to complain of pain and discomfort in his right knee after a practice in early June. An MRI revealed that there was cartilage damage and physicians repaired the damage and removed pieces of loose cartilage in an arthroscopic procedure on June 5th. According to reports his recovery has gone as expected and he should be cleared to practice very soon, but the rookie needs to get into better shape if he wants to make an impact this season.
Terrell Owens, DAL
Surgery To Repair Torn Finger Tendon
Huddle Up: Cowboys' WR Terrell Owens is as healthy as he's ever going to be and he appears ready to participate in training camp and the pre-season. Owens, who had a plate and screws surgically inserted into his hand last season to help repair his broken right ring finger, has since undergone two more surgeries on the same finger and according to reports he will never regain its full use. An MRI following the Cowboys' playoff loss revealed that while the fracture in his finger was healing a tendon reponsible for bending the finger was torn in one place and dettached in another. Team physicians surgically repaired the tear soon thereafter and reattached the tendon to the tip of his finger in a separate procedure a month later. As expected he was held out of the team's first couple of team workouts. But Owens surprised everyone when he showed up for minicamp practices in May and caught passes in individual and team drills. His reps were limited, but according to several team officials he looked great. Owens was advised that his injured finger would never be the same again, but he was also told that it shouldn't affect his ability to catch passes. Owens has proven that he can play hurt, so don't expect his finger to be an issue this season.
Rod Smith, DEN
Reconstructive Hip Surgery
Huddle Up: According to reports Broncos' veteran WR Rod Smith has been dealing with hip pain for over 3 years. But the team discoverd earlier this year that he had been playing with torn ligaments and a degenerative hip condition and after undergoing recontructive surgery his status for training camp is in doubt and his availability for the start of the regular season is very much in question. An off-season MRI and additional testing on his ailing hip showed that there were torn ligaments around his hip joint and that he had a degenerative condition that was affecting the cartilage and surrounding tissue. Smith then underwent reconstructive surgery in February. During the procedure physicians repaired the torn ligaments and damaged cartilage. But most concerning is that surgeons reportedly removed some "dead" tissue from his hip. It's been a tough road back since the surgery and in a recent interview Smith admitted that he wasn't completely healed and that he wasn't sure if he'll be cleared in time for training camp. At this point it wouldn't surprise anyone if he weren't ready for Week 1 of the regular season so you might want to keep him off your draft day cheat sheets.
Brandon Stokley, DEN
Torn Achilles' Tendon
Huddle Up: Broncos' WR Brandon Stokley, who suffered a torn Achilles' tendon during a game last December, has almost completely recovered from corrective surgery and according to reports he should be healthy enough to participate in training camp. Stokley did not take part in a good portion of the team's OTA's but he was seen working on his own under the supervision of the athletic training staff earier this month. He probably won't be back to full strength until sometime after the start of the regular season, but he should be healthy enough to take part in the preseason and he should be cleared for Week 1.
Amani Toomer, NYG
Huddle Up: Giants' WR Amani Toomer is still working his way back from a torn ACL and team officials expect him to be limited throughout training camp. Toomer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a game last November, and while his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery has reportedly gone well he still has a long way to go before he's even close to full speed. In an interview with a reporter last month Toomer said that his knee was at about 80% but that he still expected to be ready for the start of the 2007 season. Even if he is cleared for the start of training camp he will be limited to one practice a day and likely held out of the team's first couple of exhibition games. We really won't know about his status for the start of the regular season until we see him on the field. But it will probably take him at least another 2 - 3 months before he's back to where he was prior to tearing his ACL so don't expect him to consistently produce for your fantasy team.