Tom Brady, NE – Knee Reconstruction
Patriots’ QB Tom Brady passed a big test on Thursday night. Not only did he start the team’s first pre-season game but he played for most of the first half and he looked very good throwing for two touchdowns. As expected Brady wore a knee brace and he spent a lot of time throwing from the shotgun formation. It would be interesting to know how his knee felt after the game, but I suspect that the Patriots will keep that information quiet. If he doesn’t miss any practice time I think it will be safe to assume that his knee is fine.
Reggie Bush, NO – Recovering from Microfracture Knee Surgery
Saints’ RB Reggie Bush, who missed practice last week after tweaking his surgically repaired knee, was able to practice this week without much of a problem and it looks like he will play in tonight’s pre-season game. Bush is still dealing with some soreness in the knee but it isn’t stopping him from taking part in team drills. He continues to get treatment on the joint before and after practices and he will likely spend a lot of time in the training room as the medical staff tries to keep the swelling and soreness to a minimum. We’ll continue to monitor his progress.
Chris Wells, ARI – Sprained Ankle
Cardinals’ rookie RB Chris Wells did not play in Thursday night’s pre-season game as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle, but team officials are hoping that he can start practicing with the team at some point next week. Wells has spent this past week practicing on his own under the supervision of the training staff. According to reports he is now running and cutting at full speed and he is experiencing very little discomfort during and after individual drills. Wells is definitely getting closer to full strength, but Tim Hightower has taken hold of the starting job and he may start the season as the team’s top back. Wells has a lot of catching up to do and the longer he is out the further he falls behind.
Brian Westbrook, PHI – Ankle Surgery
As expected Eagles’ veteran RB Brian Westbrook was inactive for Thursday’s pre-season opener. However head coach Andy Reid indicated that Westbrook is getting closer to full strength and there are reports that he could be cleared to practice with the team as early as this weekend. Westbrook, who is recovery from ankle surgery, has looked sharp while practicing on his own this week. He is running, cutting and jumping without a problem and Reid told reporters that he hopes that the medical staff will clear him to take part in team drills on Saturday. Even if he does return to practice with the team don’t be surprised if his participation is limited as a precaution and there is a good chance that he won’t take a single snap until the regular season.
Donnie Avery, STL – Stress Fracture
Rams’ top receiver Donnie Avery will miss the next 4-6 weeks after an MRI on his sore left foot revealed a stress fracture. Avery complained of soreness in his foot following practice last Friday and initial X-rays were negative. But the medical staff ordered a precautionary MRI and unfortunately it revealed a fracture that will force Avery to miss the entire pre-season. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo said that the goal is to get Avery back in time for the start of the regular season, but his status for Week 1 is definitely in question. It’s way too early to tell when he will be cleared to return, but even if he makes it back for the start of the season it is going to take him several weeks to work himself back into playing shape.
Antonio Bryant, TB – Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Bucs’ WR Antonio Bryant will miss the next 3 – 4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Bryant missed several practices the last two weeks because of pain and discomfort in his knee. The medical staff was hoping that treatment and rest would alleviate the problem. However it didn’t and head coach Raheem Morris confirmed that Bryant had the knee “scoped.” Morris went on to say that the problems in his knee were being caused by torn cartilage. According to reports the surgeons successfully repaired the damage and it looks like he will be back before the start of the regular season. Morris did say that they are targeting the final pre-season game for his return. We’ll know more about his status for that game and his availability for the regular season in a couple of weeks.
Mark Clayton, BAL – Torn Hamstring
According to several local newspapers in Baltimore WR Mark Clayton’s hamstring is torn and his status for Week 1 is questionable. Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters over a week ago that Clayton had “blood in the area” and Clayton himself said on a couple of occasions that the muscle was not torn. But there are now reports that his hamstring is torn and that the team doesn’t know when he will be ready to play. Needless to say he did not play in Thursday’s exhibition game and it appears that he will miss the entire pre-season while he recovers.
Anthony Gonzalez, IND – Strained Hamstring
Colts’ WR Anthony Gonzalez, who has been dealing with a minor hamstring strain since last weekend, will not play in tonight’s pre-season game. However team officials expect him to return to practice very soon. Gonzalez pulled his hamstring in practice last Saturday and he’s been very limited since. The injury is not considered serious and he’s already running at full speed. So he could be back on the field with teammates as early as next week.
Brandon Marshall, DEN – Lingering Hip Soreness / Hamstring Soreness
Broncos’ WR Brandon Marshall will not play in tonight’s pre-season game because he will be in Atlanta attending the trial on his misdemeanor charge. But chances are that he probably wouldn’t have played anyway as he continues to deal with soreness in his surgically repaired hip. Marshall has been limited throughout training camp because of problems with his hip. Team officials have said that the injury isn’t serious and they all believe that he will be ready for the start of the regular season. He’ll probably be cleared to play in Week 1, but his hip might still be an issue. Marshall admitted that the discomfort in his hip affected his production toward the end of last season. So if he isn’t 100% by Week 1 don’t be surprised if his production suffers because of it. Marshall is also dealing with soreness in his hamstring as well, and although secondary injuries like this can occur if an athlete overcompensates, the Broncos have not said if the hamstring is related to his hip problem.
Santana Moss, WAS – Strained Hamstring
Another pre-season and another hamstring injury for Redskins’ WR Santana Moss. Moss, who has a long history of hamstring strains, suffered yet another injury to his hamstring about a week ago and he was inactive for Thursday night’s pre-season game as a result. Moss has seen limited action in practice this past week and while the injury is not considered serious we’ve seen injuries like this become lingering problems. Let’s just hope that Moss makes a quick recovery.
Terrell Owens, BUF – Acute Turf Toe
Bills’ WR Terrell Owens made a successful debut in last Sunday’s pre-season opener catching two balls on the team’s first drive. But he admitted on Twitter after the game that he injured his big toe and he’s been held out of practice this week as a result. Head coach Dick Jauron did not mention the injury to Owens in the post-game press conference however Owens, who has dealt with turf toe in the past, said that his toe was in a lot of pain after the game. He’s been held out of practice this week as a precaution and he will likely miss this weekend’s exhibition game. Jauron told reporters that Owens was feeling better and it looks like he will be able to return to practice next week. Turf toe is typically the kind of injury that lingers and it can have a substantial effect on mobility. However T.O. has played through this kind of injury before and he’s found a way to handle it so I wouldn’t be concerned about his status.
Steve Smith, CAR – Bruised Shoulder
Panthers’ WR Steve Smith will miss at least two weeks after bruising his shoulder in a collision during practice on Wednesday. Smith told reporters that he thought his shoulder was “broke” after the collision and he said that he was in a tremendous amount of pain afterwards. He was carted to the locker room where he was examined and X-rayed. According to reports the X-rays were negative. An MRI was done on his shoulder however the results have not been released to the public. Smith’s agent has called the injury a strain but head coach John Fox classified in the injury as a bruise and he has listed him as a day-to-day. In fact Fox said that “he’s not week-to-week or out for the season” and predicted that he would be healthy before the end of the pre-season. So it looks like Smith will be ready for the start of the regular season.
Dallas Clark, IND – Mild Concussion
Colts’ starting TE Dallas Clark will not play in tonight’s pre-season game because he is still recovering from a mild concussion. Clark was injured in practice and he’s reportedly still dealing with irregular bouts of dizziness and headaches. Team officials have called the injury minor and there is optimism that he will be cleared for contact on Monday. He’ll probably play in the team’s second pre-season game and he should be completely healthy when the regular season begins.
Heath Miller, PIT – Sports Hernia Surgery
Steelers’ TE Heath Miller, who had been recovering from a June sports hernia surgery, returned to full practice last weekend and after practicing in full this week without a problem he was activated for Thursday’s pre-season game. Miller has admitted that he is a bit behind in his conditioning. But he looked fine on Thursday night catching one pass and making several key blocks at the line of scrimmage. The early word is that his groin held up well during the game and that he wasn’t experiencing any post-game soreness. We’ll know more about his groin over the next couple of days, but it looks like it is no longer an issue.
Ben Utecht, CIN – Concussion
There are reports coming out of Cincinnati that Bengals’ TE Ben Utecht, who suffered a concussion last week, could miss the entire season. Utecht has a history of concussions and it appears that this most recent concussion is serious enough that team doctors have advised him that he could risk permanent brain damage if he tries to comeback this season and play. The Bengals have already lost starter Reggie Kelly for the season and backup Daniel Coats is currently out because of an ankle injury. The only healthy TE in camp is rookie Chase Coffman and he’ll be given every opportunity to start. But don’t be surprised if the Bengals’ sign at least one veteran free agent.