Tatum Bell, RB, DET
Huddle Up: Lions' RB Tatum Bell, who left Saturday's preseason game with a leg injury, has been diagnosed with a shin contusion and the team's medical staff believes that he will be back to full strength in time for the regular season. Bell was injured in the first quarter when he was hit by defender during a run. He was able to limp off the field but after an examination on the sideline the team decided to keep him out for the remainder of the game. Several local newspapers reported that Bell twisted his ankle, however head coach Rod Marinelli later told reporters that the injury was to his shin and that it was considered minor. Bell will probably be limited in practice this week but it looks like he will be fine for Week 1.
Mark Clayton, WR, BAL
Huddle Up: According to reports Ravens' WR Mark Clayton is still recovering from a sprained right ankle and the injury will likely keep him sidelined for the remainder of the preseason. Clayton, who was hurt while throwing a back during the team's preseason game against the Giants, recently told reporters that he will play in Week 1 no matter how his ankle feels. This certainly suggests that his ankle is still an issue and it looks like he will enter the regular season at less than 100%. Clayton is very talented and has the tools necessary to become an elite receiver. Unfortunately he hasn't proven himself to be a durable player. Hopefully he can get healthy and avoid the injury bug this season.
Marques Colston, WR, NO
Huddle Up: Saints' WR Marques Colston, who has been slowed during training camp and the preseason because of soreness in his knee, did not play in last Thursday's preseason game and it doesn't look like he will be held out of the team's final exhibition game as well. According to reports Colston has been experiencing a general soreness in his knee for some time now and the team's medical staff believes that the injury is not severe and was caused by the wear and tear of training camp. Colston has undergone two MRI's this month and both reportedly revealed no structural damage. The Saints' don't appear to be concerned but they have decided to be very cautious with their top receiver. They will probably keep him limited for the next two weeks, but the team expects him to be play in their regular season opener.
Alge Crumpler, TE, ATL
Off-Season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: Falcons' TE Alge Crumpler, who had arthroscopic surgery to remove debris from his right knee back in April, made it through consecutive practices last week for the first time since the start of training camp and according to reports he will make his preseason debut tonight (Monday) against the Bengals. Crumpler had been favoring his surgically repaired knee and head coach Bobby Petrino told reporters that he appeared hesitant when he ran. But he reportedly looked great in practice last week and the team finally feels that he is ready to play in a game. We'll have a better feel for his recovery after we find out how his knee reacted to the game. So check back with The Huddle prior to the start of the regular season for a final update.
Donald Driver, WR, GB
Huddle Up: Packers' WR Donald Driver gave everyone a scare late last week when he left Thursday's exhibition game with a right foot injury. Driver was hurt when his lower leg was bent awkwardly while he was being tackled at the end of a catch and run in the second quarter. He had to be carted off the field and was immediately taken to the locker room for an examination. X-rays were negative and the medical staff determined that the injury was not to the dreaded Lisfranc ligament. The Packers are officially classifying the injury as a sprained foot but they have not said what part of the foot was sprained. The good news is that the team believes that there is a good chance that Driver will be able to play in Week 1. He'll obviously miss the remainder of the preseason and he probably won't practice until after the start of the regular season, but at least the injury won't keep him sidelined for a significant period of time. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.
Warrick Dunn, RB, ATL
Recovering from Lower Back Surgery
Huddle Up: According to reports Falcons' RB Warrick Dunn, who has been recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, has made a complete recovery and has been named the starter for tonight's (Monday) preseason game against the Bengals. Dunn returned to practice last week and took on a full load right away. He did not report any problems with his surgically repaired back following practice and he has since taken part in every practice since without an issue. Head coach Bobby Petrino has been so pleased with Dunn's recovery that he told reporters that he had an edge over Jerious Norwood to be the starting RB in Week 1. We'll get a good look at Dunn in tonight's game, but it appears that he is healthy and ready for the start of the regular season.
Terry Glenn, WR, DAL
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: Cowboys' veteran WR Terry Glenn, who had a cyst surgically removed from under the patella in his knee at the start of training camp, has not recovered at quickly as the medical staff expected but head coach Wade Phillips still believes that he will be cleared to play in Week 1. Glenn was originally supposed to be back in time for the team's third preseason game. However the team decided several weeks ago that he would be held out of all four of their exhibition games. Phillips recently told reporters that Glenn could practice with the team as early as next week. So keep an eye on the team's practice reports.
Frank Gore, RB, SF
Huddle Up: The 49ers have decided to keep Gore out of their final preseason game, however he's been practicing with the first team offense and head coach Mike Nolan expects him to be in the starting lineup in Week 1. Gore, who has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand, has been practicing with a cast for several weeks now and according to reports his hand is nearly healed. In fact in a recent interview Nolan said that he wants Gore to get more carries than he did last season (franchise-record 312) and that he will get all the carries in short-yardage situations. So forget being concerned about his hand. It looks like he is headed for a monster season.
Devin Hester, WR/KR, CHI
Huddle Up: Bears' Pro Bowl kick returner Devin Hester left Saturday's preseason game with an injured shoulder, however the team does not consider the injury a problem and according to reports they expect him to be fine for the start of the regular season. Hester, who was playing wide receiver, was hurt while attempting to make a block during a running play. Hester stayed on the ground for several minutes while being examined by the medical staff. But he was able to get up on his own and jog to the sideline. Precautionary X-rays were negative and he has since been diagnosed with a bruised shoulder. In an interview yesterday (Sunday) Hester said that his shoulder was bothering him a bit, but that he was feeling OK. The Bears have not said how much time he will miss because of the injury but don't be surprised if they limit his involvement in practice until Week 1.
Torry Holt, WR, STL
Recovering from Off-season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Huddle Up: Torry Holt's health has been a hot topic of late, and for good reason. The Rams' receiver, who is nearly seven months removed from arthroscopic knee surgery, continues to have problems with the surgically repaired joint and the team indicated over the weekend that he will likely start the season at less than 100%. Holt has been limited throughout training camp and the preseason but he still raised some eyebrows earlier this month when he told a reporter that his knee was only at about 70 %. He began to show signs of recovery. Unfortunately his knee began to swell after it was hit in practice last week and he was held out of Friday's exhibition game as a result. Holt said that this latest setback isn't a big deal and that he will be OK when the regular season begins. However the medical staff doesn't think that his knee will be completely healthy for Week 1 and they are worried that it could give him trouble throughout the 2007-2008 season. Holt played with knee pain last season and he still produced, but don't be surprised if this results in some inconsistency in his production this year.
Kevin Jones, RB, DET
Recovering from Lisfranc Fracture / Dislocation
Huddle Up: Lions' RB Kevin Jones, who is still trying to work his way back from a Lisfranc fracture / dislocation, has been working hard on his own. And while head coach Mike Martz appears to be optimistic about Jones being cleared for Week 1, Jones remains on the PUP list and the team is considering leaving him there when the regular season begins. According to reports Jones has been running hard and has been jumping and cutting off of his foot for two weeks. However he still hasn't put on pads and head coach Rod Marinelli admitted that the medical staff isn't sure if he'll be ready to play in a game when the regular season begins in less than two weeks. Marinelli said that a decision on Jones' status for Week 1 will be made soon. But don't be surprised if the Lions' opt to keep him on the PUP list, which means that he wouldn't be able to until at least Week 6.
Laurence Maroney, RB, NE
Off-Season Shoulder Surgery
Huddle Up: It looks like Patriots' RB Laurence Maroney is finally ready for the start of the regular season. Maroney, who was recovering from major off-season shoulder surgery, was cleared to take part in contact drills early last week and he made his preseason debut on Friday against the Panthers. Not only did he play, he carried the ball 15 times indicating that his shoulder is back to full strength. Maroney dealt with a number of injuries last year and there have been reports that the Patriots' are considering using Sammy Morris on the goal line and in short-yardage situations so that Maroney stays fresh. But at the very least Maroney will enter the regular season healthy, which will definitely help boost the team's running game.
L.J. Smith, TE, PHI
Strained Groin / Recovering from Sports Hernia Surgery
Huddle Up: Eagles' TE L.J Smith missed his third straight preseason game on Sunday because of a strained groin. And although his injury appears to be improving the team isn't exactly sure if he'll be ready in time for Week 1. Smith, who had been recovering from sports hernia surgery, strained his groin while practicing over two weeks ago. According to reports Smith is recovering well and began participating in individual drills last week. But he will probably miss the team's final preseason game and his status for Week 1 appears to be unknown. Head coach Andy Reid indicated to the media that there was a good chance that he could be healthy enough to play in the team's regular season opener. But even if he does make it back for that game he certainly won't be at full strength. So if L.J. Smith is your TE I suggest you start your backup until Smith show's that he is healthy enough to produce.
Mike Turner, RB, SD
High Ankle Sprain
Huddle Up: According to reports Chargers' backup RB Mike Turner is out indefinitely after suffering what the team is calling a high ankle sprain during Saturday's exhibition game. Turner was able to get off the field on his own but had to be carted to the locker room, where he was examined and X-rayed. X-rays were negative and additional tests on Sunday revealed that the injury was a high ankle sprain. The Chargers' aren't sure when he will be ready to return but depending on the severity of the injury (the team has not said how bad the sprain is) he could be sidelined anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks. Darren Sproles will likely be LaDainian Tomlinson's backup while Turner is out.