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2008 Pre-Season Injury Report - Week 1
Philip Gentles
Updated: August 12, 2008
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QUARTERBACKS

Peyton Manning, IND - Surgery to Remove Bursa Sac

Colts' QB Peyton Manning, who is recovering from surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac from his knee, missed his second preseason game this past weekend however the team is still confident that he will be back in the starting lineup in time for the start of the regular season. According to reports Manning was dealing with infection in his surgically repaired knee up to a week ago, but head coach Tony Dungy recently told reporters that Manning was fine and that there weren't any setbacks in his recovery. The infection in his knee reportedly prevented Manning from participating in his rehab, so I would consider that a setback. But Dungy indicated that the team fully expects him to be in their starting lineup for Week 1 of the regular season. Team officials aren't sure when Manning will be back at practice and there is a chance that he will miss the entire preseason. We will continue to monitor his progress.

RUNNING BACKS

Ronnie Brown, MIA - Reconstructive Knee Surgery

RB Ronnie Brown, who continues to recover from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, was in the starting lineup for the Dolphins against the Bucs this weekend and although he was limited to four yards on three carries the team considers his performance a step in the right direction. Brown was a game-time decision heading into the game, but after looking good during pregame warm-ups the medical staff gave him the go-ahead to play. Brown has told reporters that he continues to deal with soreness in the joint, but after the game he mentioned that he didn't experience any discomfort during or immediately after playing. Head coach Tony Sparano acknowledged that Brown was still not a full speed but believes that he will be when the regular season begins. Ricky Williams, who impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic in the off-season and his performance in practice during training camp, had a solid game against the Bucs and Sparano has indicated that Williams will be a big part of the offense this season.

Kevin Jones, CHI - Reconstructive Knee Surgery

In a surprising move the Chicago Bears have activated RB Kevin Jones from the PUP list and while he will remain limited in practice this indicates that he is close to competing with rookie Matt Forte for the starting job. Jones, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, wasn't expected to be back in time until sometime after the start of the regular season. But he's progressed well over the last few weeks and the Bears' medical staff feels that he is ready to participate in some team drills. Jones recently admitted that his knee still needed some strengthening, but he said that he would be ready to compete for the starting job very soon. Forte has a head start and if the rookie stays healthy I can't picture a scenario in which Jones passes him on the depth chart before Week 1. But Jones does have talent and if he stays healthy (and with his history that is a big "if") there is a chance that he could be a fantasy factor this season.

Willis McGahee, BAL - Arthroscopic Knee Surgery  *Update*

Ravens' RB Willis McGahee, who has been limited throughout training camp because of inflammation in his left knee, was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on Monday and according to team officials the procedure will keep him sidelined 2 - 4 weeks. The exact nature of the surgery has not been made public but head coach John Harbaugh is calling it a "cautionary procedure" and several local newspapers are reporting that it was done to "cleanup" the joint. It doesn't sound serious, but his status for Week 1 is now in question. Harbaugh told reporters that he expects McGahee to make a quick recovery and be ready for the regular season. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Jonathan Stewart, CAR - Arthroscopic Toe Surgery

The recovery of Panthers' rookie RB Jonathan Stewart from off-season toe surgery hasn't gone as well as the team has expected and medical staff isn't sure when he will be ready to play in a game. Stewart, who had ligament damage in his right big toe surgically repaired back in March, continues to be limited in practice. He still hasn't been cleared to take part in 11 on 11 drills and he reportedly spends hours in the training room each day getting treatment. He recently admitted to reporters that he still experiences discomfort in his toe and according to reports there are times during practice that he has trouble cutting and jumping. Stewart did not play in this weekend's preseason game and head coach John Fox has not said when he expects him to play. Fox continues to downplay the situation, but Stewart has had plenty of time to recover. Hopefully this doesn't linger into the regular season.

Ryan Torain, DEN - Torn Elbow Ligament

Broncos' rookie RB will likely miss two to three months after tearing a ligament in his left elbow during practice last week. According to reports Torain was injured during a 9-on-7 drill and he was carted off the field holding his left arm. There were early reports that Torain broke a bone near his elbow, but the team reported that he had a torn elbow ligament surgically repaired the next day. It is believed that he will be out at least 8 weeks and that he may need up to 3 months of treatment and rehab before he can return to the field. Head coach Mike Shanahan recently said that Torain is "one of the most gifted running backs" he has ever coached and even compared him to Terrell Davis. That's certainly high praise for an unproven rookie. But if the team believes it will take 3 months for him to recover from elbow surgery, they may end up putting him on Injured Reserve. So there is a chance we won't see Torain until next season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Donnie Avery, STL - Pelvic Fracture

Although Rams' rookie WR Donnie Avery has resumed running routes during practice, he still hasn't been cleared for contact and the team isn't sure when he will make his preseason debut. Avery fractured his pelvis after falling down hard following a catch early in training camp. He was held out of practice for over a week and while he was finally given permission to return to the practice field the medical staff has continued to limit him to individual drills. Avery did not play in this weekend's playoff game, and while team officials believe that he will be ready for the regular season they aren't sure when he will be cleared to play. The longer the rookie is out is the further he falls behind in the fight for playing time.

Anquan Boldin, ARI - Strained Hamstring

After being sidelined for a large portion of training camp because of a strained hamstring Cardinals' WR Anquan Boldin is expected to resume practice at some point this week. Boldin pulled his left hamstring during practice at the start of training camp and with the injury not healing as quickly as the team had anticipated he was sent for an MRI. The MRI reportedly came back negative, but the medical staff has limited his involvement in practice since then as a precaution. As expected Boldin was inactive for the team's playoff game against the Saints, but the good news is that the team believes he will be cleared to participate in team drills sometime this week. The Cardinals' don't want to rush Boldin back, but they are confident that he has plenty of time to get ready for the start of the regular season.

Plaxico Burress, NYG - Undisclosed Ankle Injury

Giants' WR Plaxico Burress has completely recovered from the knee, ankle and shoulder injuries had slowed him last season. Unfortunately he hasn't practiced with the team since training camp began because of a new undisclosed ankle injury and according to reports he may have to play the entire season through it. Burress, who has been limited to individual drills since the start of training camp, says that his sore ankle has improved and that he's doing more running every day. The Giants have not said what the new injury is, but Burress has told reporters that it is a structural issue and that it is not related to the ligament problems he had last year. He is currently wearing specially designed cleats with custom orthotics on the field and all of the shoes he wears off the field have been fitted with similar orthotic inserts. Head coach Tom Coughlin indicated that Burress could take the field with the team very soon and said he would like it to happen before the end of camp. Coughlin expects Burress to be healthy enough to start in Week 1 and even if he isn't at full strength he is still capable of putting up good numbers as he did last season. But this is still something to keep an eye on.

Marques Colston, NO - Knee Inflammation

Saints' WR Marques Colston remains limited in practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in his surgically repaired knee. Colston had arthroscopic knee surgery during the off-season but he has reportedly had the knee drained at least once since the start of training camp. According to reports his knee began to swell following a workout early in camp and the medical staff had a hard time controlling and reducing it. He continues to battle inflammation and soreness in the joint and he has been limited in nearly every practice as a result. Colston was held out of the team's preseason opener and could remain sidelined for at least another week. Team officials don't appear to be worried and are confident that he will be healthy enough to play in Week 1 of the regular season. But how can you not be concerned about his status? Colston is clearly dealing with a problem that could affect his production when the regular season begins. Keep an eye on his progress and if he doesn't start practicing soon it would be wise to knock him down on your cheat sheets.

Braylon Edwards, CLE - Foot Laceration

Browns' WR Braylon Edwards spent Saturday night in a Cleveland area hospital after suffering a laceration on his right foot during practice earlier in the day. According to reports WR Donte Stallworth accidentally stepped on Edwards' foot while the two participated in a special teams drill. Edwards, who was wearing shoes and socks, had to be carted off the field and he was taken to the hospital where the laceration was treated and closed. He was released Sunday afternoon and it appears that there isn't any structural damage. Head coach Romeo Crennel said that Edwards will not practice while stitches are in his foot and that he will likely miss at least one preseason game. But he went on to say that he expects Edwards to be healthy for the start of the regular season.

Bobby Engram, SEA - Fractured Shoulder  *Update*

Seahawks' WR Bobby Engram will miss the start of the regular season after cracking a bone in his shoulder during last Friday's exhibition game. Head coach Mike Holmgren called the injury a "freak deal" and said that Engram was able to stay in the game. He complained of pain in his shoulder following the game and the medical staff initially diagnosed it as a contusion. But Engram continued to complain of pain and discomfort and an X-ray revealed a fractured bone. It does not look like he will undergo surgery to correct the problem but according to reports he will miss the next 6 - 8 weeks while he recovers. So it looks like he will definitely miss Week 1 and there is a chance he could be out until Week 4. Since the injury occurred after the start of training camp he cannot be placed on the team's PUP list. So no matter what happens he will still be listed on their active roster when the regular season begins.

Marvin Harrison, IND - Arthroscopic Right Knee Surgery / Left Knee Bursitis

Colts' veteran WR Marvin Harrison, who was missed a number of games last season because of problems in both knees, was finally cleared for contact last week and after starting in the team's preseason game this weekend it looks like he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Harrison was limited to one practice a day at the start of training camp and he was held out of all contact drills as a precaution. But he took part in the both the morning and afternoon sessions for the first time last week and he was cleared to start in Saturday's exhibition game against the Panthers. Head coach Tony Dungy told reporters that he was pleased with Harrison's performance and that it appears that he has regained the "bounce in his step" that was absent last year. Harrison admitted after the game that he still felt a bit rusty, but he indicated that his knees were non-issues and that he will be at full speed when the regular season begins.

Andre Johnson, HOU - Strained Groin

Texans' WR Andre Johnson, who has been out for a week because of a strained groin, did not play in the team's preseason game against the Broncos this past weekend. However Johnson told reporters that his groin is feeling better and that he would have played if it were a regular season game. Johnson pulled his groin while running a deep route during practice a week ago. He said that he felt it tighten and he immediately stopped running. He limped off the field and he was escorted to the training room where he was examined. Head coach Gary Kubiak called the injury a "minor tweak" however the team plans on playing this safely and keep him sidelined as long as necessary. Johnson should be healthy and running at full speed when the regular season begins.

Jerry Porter, JAC - Arthroscopic Hamstring Surgery

Jaguars' WR Jerry Porter, who had arthroscopic surgery to repair damage to his nagging hamstring in mid July, is reportedly making steady progress in his recovery. And while he remains on the team's PUP list head coach Jack Del Rio still expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. Porter has been off crutches for nearly two weeks and he has begun to do some light jogging. The medical staff does not want to aggravate the problem by pushing him back too quickly. So don't be surprised if they keep him sidelined for the entire preseason. We'll keep you posted on his recovery.

Steve Smith, CAR - Concussion  *Update*

Panthers' WR Steve Smith, who was shaken up during Saturday's preseason game, has been diagnosed with mild concussion and he will likely miss at least a few days a practice and he could be held out of the team's next exhibition game as a precaution. Smith was hurt after being hit following a 19-yard reception in the first quarter. He stayed in the game but he complained of dizziness in the locker room at halftime. The team's medical staff does not believe that the injury is serious, but they will keep him out of contact drills until at least Wednesday so that he has time to recover.

Reggie Williams, JAC - Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Jaguars' WR Reggie Williams is still at least a week away from making his return after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on July 30 to repair cartilage damage in his knee. Williams originally injured his knee prior to the start of training camp and was placed on the team's active PUP list when camp began. He was activated and cleared to practice on July 29 but he reinjured his knee on the same day and had to be carted off the field. An MRI that evening revealed cartilage damage and the medical staff determined that the best course of action was to surgically repair it. Head coach Jack Del Rio said right after the procedure that the team expected Williams back in two to three weeks. There has been speculation that Williams might not be back until early September, but if initial timetable is accurate he could resume practicing by the end of the week.

TIGHT ENDS

Antonio Gates, SD - Dislocated Big Toe / Off-Season Surgery

Chargers' TE Antonio Gates continues to tell reporters that he will be ready for the start of the regular season, but according to several online reports there is a chance that Gates might not be cleared to play until after Week 1. Gates, who continues to recover from off-season toe surgery, has not been cleared to practice with teammates and as expected he was inactive for the team's preseason game this past weekend. Gates is reportedly running and making cuts during individual drills, but he still experiences discomfort in his toe and he often complains of soreness in his foot after workouts. Gates has indicated that he won't return until he is 100%, and his current status would suggest that he is far from being completely healthy. He has begun to do more in practice, but he appears to be at least a couple of weeks away from joining his teammates. Things could be better for Gates and since there is a chance he could miss the start of the regular season you may want to drop him a few spots on your cheat sheet.

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