Tom Brady, NE – Sore Shoulder
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady, who appeared to injure his right (throwing) shoulder during the team’s exhibition game against the Redskins, has already returned to practice and according to team officials he is going to be OK. The fantasy football world collectively held it’s breath after Brady was driven into the turf by Redskins’ DL Albert Haynesworth during the first half of last Friday’s game. Brady landed awkwardly on his right shoulder and he was definitely in some discomfort as he left the field. He did not return to the game, but head coach Bill Belichick said that he was replaced for “non-injury reasons.” If you saw Brady trying to loosen his shoulder on the sidelines after being replaced you knew that Belichick wasn’t telling the truth. After the game Belichick refused to go into detail regarding Brady’s injured shoulder and as expected the rumors regarding his Week 1 status began. There was the predictable speculation that Brady was out for a significant amount of time. But Brady quickly ended the speculation by taking part in Monday’s practice. He was back on the field on Tuesday throwing the ball lightly and his workload has gradually increased this week indicating that if there is an injury, it isn’t serious. Brady did not play in the team’s final pre-season game but the team expects him to be at full strength for the start of the regular season.
Matt Cassel, KC – Sprained MCL
The status of Chiefs’ QB Matt Cassel for the start of the regular season is in question after an MRI on his injured knee revealed a sprain to the medical collateral ligament. Cassel was hurt in last week’s exhibition game and there was some concern that the injury would keep him out for an extended period of time. But after undergoing an MRI and consulting with specialists Cassel was diagnosed with a moderate MCL sprain and the team’s medical staff said that he could be out anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks. According to reports Cassel’s recovery has gone as planned and it looks like he will be able to play soon. But a recent report out of Kansas City says that the team is preparing to be without Cassel for the first game of the regular season. That doesn’t mean he won’t play. At this point it is still too early to tell so the Chiefs just want to make sure that they have a backup plan ready in case their top QB isn’t cleared for Week 1 action.
Kyle Orton, DEN – Compound Finger Dislocation
Broncos’ QB Kyle Orton is expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season despite suffering a nasty looking injury during last week’s preseason game. Orton appeared to suffer a deep laceration on his right index finger when his hand was hit by a defender on the follow-through of a throw. But the injury was more than just a laceration. Orton’s finger actually dislocated and the bone pushed through the skin. Team trainers were able to reduce the dislocation on the sideline but he was taken back to the locker room for precautionary X-rays. According to reports X-rays were negative but he did receive a number of stitches to close the laceration. Orton did not play in Thursday’s preseason game but team officials are optimistic that he will be able to practice at some point next week and play in Week 1. We will keep you posted.
Matt Schaub, HOU – Sprained Ankle
Texans’ QB Matt Schaub continues to wear a protective walking boot and he has been ruled out of tonight’s pre-season finale. However head coach Gary Kubiak has said that Schaub has made a lot of progress in his recovery and that he is “confident” that he will play in Week 1 against New York Jets. Schaub sprained his ankle in Monday’s exhibition game and he was seen with a protective boot on his foot as he left the stadium. X-rays were reportedly negative and he has apparently been diagnosed with a sprain, however Kubiak has indicated that the injury is not serious and has mentioned that the boot is being used to speed up the recovery process. His status for next week’ practice is unknown but the team is counting on him being ready for start of the regular season.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – Leg Contusion
Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew gave his owners a scare last night as he left the team’s final exhibition game with a leg injury. Jones-Drew was hurt on the first drive of the game when he was tackled at the end of a reception. MJD appeared to get hit in the lower leg and he was slow to get off the field. He was eventually taken back to the locker room where he was examined and treated. He did not return to the game, but X-rays after the game were negative and the injury has been diagnosed as a contusion. He is scheduled to undergo a precautionary MRI today but head coach Jack Del Rio appears confident that his starting running back will be fine for the regular season opener.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Sprained MCL
Broncos’ rookie RB Knowshon Moreno, who continues to recover from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, is getting closer to full strength and it looks like he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Moreno was actually on the field before last Sunday’s exhibition game testing his knee and according to reports he looked to be a decent shape. He finally made his return to practice earlier this week and although he has been held out of contact drills head coach Josh McDaniels indicated that the rookie was healthy enough to play in a game. The medical staff held him out of Thursday’s pre-season game but Moreno could return to full practice as early as this weekend. Moreno has missed a lot of playing time this preseason because of the injured knee so don’t be surprised if his carries are limited early in the regular season.
Willie Parker, PIT – Strained Hamstring
Steelers’ RB Willie Parker, who has missed the team’s final two exhibition games because of a strained hamstring, told reporters earlier this week that his leg was feeling much better and team officials expect Parker to be ready to start the season. Parker was held out of Thursday’s exhibition game and has been limited in practice for nearly two weeks because of a strained hamstring. According to reports Parker’s hamstring has improved and barring a setback he should be able to practice with the team next week and play in Week 1.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR – Achilles’ Tendonitis
Panthers’ RB Jonathan Stewart has missed a large portion of the preseason because of a lingering Achilles’ problem and now his status for the start of the regular season is in question. Stewart, who has been dealing with Achilles’ tendonitis since early in the off-season, was inactive for Thursday’s pre-season finale and according to head coach John Fox he has lost ground to rookie Mike Goodson. Stewart has missed 14 straight practices because of the injury but he was officially absent from practice on Monday for “personal reasons” and there is speculation that he actually went to have his injured leg examined by a specialist. This injury has lingered for over 4 months and despite spending most of the time resting and receiving treatment it does not appear that the injury is improving. There is obviously more to this than what is being reported. Even if Stewart is cleared to play in Week 1 he won’t see a lot of playing time. We’ll know more about his status next week.
Greg Jennings, GB – Mild Concussion
Packers’ WR Greg Jennings was inactive for Thursday’s pre-season finale because he continues to recover from a mild concussion, however Jennings told reporters that he expects to practice with the team next week and play in Week 1. Jennings was injured when he was hit by two defenders following a reception in the first quarter of last week’s exhibition game. He did not immediately leave the field and he was later seen laughing with teammates on the sideline, but he admitted after the game that he was knocked unconscious for a couple of seconds. According reports precautionary testing came back negative and the medical staff expects him to make a quick recovery. He was limited to non-contact drills this week but he should be cleared for full contact at some point next week.
Hakeem Nicks, NYG – Strained Hip Flexor
Giants’ rookie WR Hakeem Nicks, who has been tearing things up in the preseason, left Thursday night’s game with a strained hip flexor and his status for Week 1 of the regular season is unknown. Nicks was injured in the third quarter and was seen limping in the locker room after the game. The severity of the injury is currently unknown but we should know more about it later on today. Nicks had a fantastic preseason making a number of big plays and prior to getting hurt last night he had a 64-yard touchdown reception as well. The kid is full of talent and if healthy he could end up having a big rookie year.
Kevin Walter, HOU – Strained Hamstring
According to reports Texans’ WR Kevin Walter will not play in tonight’s pre-season finale because of a strained hamstring, however head coach Gary Kubiak indicated that his absence is strictly precautionary and that he expects him to play in the team’s regular season opener. Walter pulled his hamstring in Monday night’s exhibition game and he has been out of practice getting treatment and recovering. Walter admitted that his hamstring was a bit sore; however he told reporters that he could play right now if he had to. Luckily he still has over a week to get ready for Week 1, so don’t be surprised if he is limited early in practice next week so that his leg gets as much rest as possible before the first game of the new season.
Ben Utecht, CIN – Severe Concussion
Bengals’ TE Ben Utecht will miss the remainder of the season after being placed on Injured Reserve with a severe concussion. Utecht, who has a history of head trauma, suffered a serious concussion several weeks ago and he had been listed as “out indefinitely” as neurologists monitored his recovery. Unfortunately Utecht has been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and since he would risk permanent damage if he attempted to play the medical staff has decided to end his season. There are reports that suggest Utecht is considering retirement.