Marc Bulger, STL – Fractured Finger
According to reports Rams’ QB Marc Bulger will miss the remainder of the pre-season after breaking the pinkie finger on his right (throwing) hand. Bulger was hurt during practice earlier this week and after being treated in the locker room he tried returning. He threw the ball on the side but he told the medical staff that his finger was just too painful. X-rays after practice revealed a fracture and has been fitted for a splint that he will have to wear for the next 4 weeks. The injury will reportedly take anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks to completely heal so it looks like his status for Week 1 is questionable. Bulger told reporters that he will try and play in the team’s first pre-season game but I’m sure it will be more than just a pain-tolerance issue. If his finger hasn’t sufficiently healed I can’t imagine the medical staff clearing him to play. Kyle Boller is the immediate backup QB and he will take all of the team’s first-string snaps while Bulger is out.
Carson Palmer, CIN – High Ankle Sprain
Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer continues to be sidelined because of a high left ankle sprain and although the team is downplaying the severity of the injury they haven’t indicated when he will be ready to return. Palmer was hurt during the team’s first pre-season game and the injury appeared to be mild in nature. However he was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and he has immediately fitted for a protective walking boot that he is still using. As expected Palmer was inactive for the Bengals’ second pre-season game and team officials aren’t sure when he will be able to play. Head coach Marvin Lewis has said that he expects Palmer to be healthy for the start of the regular season, but it would be nice to see him on the field sometime before then.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Undisclosed Ankle Injury
Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered an undisclosed injury to his right ankle during Thursday’s practice and while the exact nature of the injury is currently unknown early indications are that it isn’t serious and that he should be ready for Week 1. According to reports Roethlisberger was hurt when his foot was stepped on during a passing drill. He stayed on the ground for several minutes and was helped off the field. But he wasn’t immediately taken to the locker room. He stayed on the sideline with an ice bag on the back of his ankle until the end of practice at which point he was carted to the training room. Roethlisberger did not speak with reporters after practice but he was reportedly overheard saying “Oh it just feels great. It feels like a car ran over it.” We should know more about the injury and his status for the remainder of the pre-season sometime later today or this weekend. Hopefully this doesn’t keep him out for very long.
Reggie Bush, NO – Strained Calf / Recovering from Microfracture Surgery
Saints’ RB Reggie Bush, who has been dealing with inflammation and discomfort in his surgically repaired knee during training camp, was seen limping during Thursday’s practice and he was limited in the scrimmage as a result. It appeared that he was favoring his problematic knee but head coach Sean
Payton told reporters after practice that Bush was dealing with a mild calf strain. Although not serious the injury could still keep him out of tomorrow’s pre-season game. Payton doesn’t appear to be concerned about Bush but that’s probably because the team’s primary running back Pierre Thomas is healthy and looking good. Bush isn’t very durable so keep that in mind of you plan on drafting him.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Sprained MCL
Broncos’ rookie RB Knowshon Moreno sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee during last week’s pre-season game and it appears that he will be out for at least another week while he recovers. Moreno limped off the field in the second quarter against the 49ers and there was concern that his injury would keep him out for a significant amount of time. However an MRI the next morning showed that the damage to his MCL was minor and that it appeared that he would be healed in time for the start of the regular season. Moreno will likely miss the team’s next two pre-season games but team officials are hoping that he will be cleared in time for their final exhibition game. We’ll keep a close eye on his recovery.
Johnathan Stewart, CAR – Achilles’ Tendonitis
Panthers’ RB Johnathan Stewart, who has missed a large portion of training camp because of lingering problems with his Achilles tendon, will probably miss this weekend’s pre-season game and according to reports there is no indication that the injury has improved. Stewart has only taken part in a few practices since the start of training camp because his Achilles remains sore and inflamed. Head coach John Fox continues to tell reporters that Stewart just needs rest, but Stewart has been dealing with this since early in the off-sesason. So he has had plenty of time to rest. Fox claims that there is nothing structurally wrong with Stewart’s leg but I’m beginning to suspect that there is more to this injury than what the team is reporting. Stewart’s absence is good news for DeAngelo Williams’ owners. If this injury lingers into the regular season look for Williams to see an increase in carries.
Chris Wells, ARI – Sprained Ankle
Cardinals’ rookie RB Beanie Wells had a bit of a setback in his recovery from a sprained ankle. However head coach Ken Whisenhunt is still hoping that Wells will be able to play in Saturday’s pre-season game. Wells missed the team’s pre-season opener because of sprained ankle. He made his return to the practice field earlier this week but he aggravated the injury in practice on Tuesday and was seen limping in the locker room afterwards. Whisenhunt said that Wells was “no worse for wear” after reinjuring his ankle and Wells took part in a few drills on Wednesday and he did a little bit more in practice on Thursday. Whisenhunt indicated that Wells was feeling better and he said that he hoped to have the rookie play “for a few snaps” this weekend. Wells remains behind Tim Hightower on the depth chart and unless he does something special in team’s remaining preseason games he will probably open up the season as the team’s backup running back.
Donnie Avery, STL – Foot Stress Fracture
Rams’ WR Donnie Avery is only two weeks into his recovery from a stress fracture in his left foot and he is already asking the medical staff permission to practice. According to reports Avery is no longer wearing a protective walking boot and he claims that his foot is complete pain-free. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo has confirmed that Avery is pushing the training and coaching staff for a quick return. Unfortunately the injury requires at least 4 weeks of rest before it can completely heal so it appears that Avery will remain out of practice until the start of the regular season. Avery’s foot will be reexamined prior to Week 1 so based on what the medical staff see there is still a chance that Avery could even miss a couple of regular season games so consider his Week 1 status questionable.
Steve Breaston, ARI – Sprained PCL and Bone Bruise
Cardinals’ WR Steve Breaston, who is recovering from a sprained posterior cruciate ligament and bone bruise in his knee, will probably miss this weekend’s pre-season game. However the good news is that the injury isn’t believed to be serious and he could be back on the practice field next week and he could play in the team’s final two exhibition games. Breaston injured his knee in last week’s pre-season game and he reportedly said that his knee felt sore and stiff. An MRI the next day revealed minor damage to the PCL in his knee and a bone bruise that was causing a bit of discomfort. As expected he hasn’t practiced since getting hurt but head coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that the team isn’t concerned about his status. Barring a setback, look for Breaston to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Antonio Bryant, TB – Arthroscopic Surgery
Bucs’ WR Antonio Bryant continues to make positive strides in his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery and team officials are confident that he will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season. Bryant, who had cartilage surgically repaired, is already off crutches and according to reports he has already begun to do some light jogging. Head coach Raheem Morris told reporters that he was pleased with Bryant’s quick recovery but he indicated that there was little chance of him playing during the pre-season. In an interview Bryant said that he wants to gat back on the field as soon as possible but that he will be a patient as the medical staff requires so that he doesn’t aggravate the problem.
Mark Clayton, BAL – Partially Torn Hamstring
Ravens’ WR Mark Clayton, who is recovering from a partially torn hamstring, has been running and cutting at close to full speed while working with team trainers this week. However head coach John Harbaugh said that Clayton is “not close to coming back” and his status for Week 1 remains questionable. Harbaugh acknowledged that Clayton has made some progress in his recovery, but he indicated that Clayton isn’t ready to return to team drills. There is a good chance that Clayton will miss all 4 of the team’s pre-season games. Clayton’s goal is to be ready for the start of the regular season but it is still too early to tell if his hamstring will be completely healed by then.
Calvin Johnson, DET – Sprained Thumb
Lions’ WR Calvin Johnson left last Sunday’s workout after jamming his hand and he has been diagnosed with a sprained thumb. However the injury is not considered serious and he should be completely healthy for the start of the regular season. X-ray’s on Johnson’s thumb were negative but additional testing revealed a ligament sprain and he was fitted for a splint and cast. Johnson made his return to the field on Tuesday wearing the cast and as expected he was held out of all contact and team drills. Head coach Jim Schwartz told reporters that Johnson will not play in this weekend’s pre-season game and it appears that Johnson will target next week’s exhibition game for his return. There is a good chance that he will have his thumb taped as a precaution when the cast is finally removed, but he should be fine when the regular season begins.
Terrell Owens, BUF – Turf Toe
Bills’ WR Terrell Owens continues to deal with a lingering case of turf toe and while the team isn’t concerned about his Week 1 status he will miss at least one more pre-season game as a precaution. Owens originally jammed his big toe during the team’s first pre-season game and he’s been in and out of practice since. Owens practiced on Monday but he apparently complained of soreness in his toe after a brief workout and he sat out the remainder of the day. Head coach Dick Jauron told reporters that Owens would not practice until sometime next week and he hopes that his toe will be heal before Week 1. Remember, TO has played entire seasons with turf toe so he is more than capable of producing even if this lingers into the regular season. But it would be ideal if he was healthy so don’t be surprised if he is limited for the remainder of the pre-season.
Steve Smith, CAR – Bruised Shoulder
Steve Smith’s agent told reporters shortly after his client injured his shoulder that he would be out for at least two weeks. But Smith surprised us all when he was back on the practice field only a few days later. He took part in only a handful of individual drills, but his return was very promising and it looks like he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Smith, who was inactive for the team’s last pre-season game, continues to complain of stiffness and soreness in the joint and there is a chance he will miss this weekend’s game as well. But team officials believe that he will play in at least one pre-season game and that he will be completely healthy when Week 1 rolls around.
Mike Walker, JAX – Sprained Ankle
There was growing speculation that Jaguars’ WR Mike Walker, who has a history of nasty knee injuries, was dealing with yet another knee injury. Walker has missed almost two weeks of practice and it was only being called a leg injury. So with his history local newspapers were trying to connect the dots and they speculated that it was his knee. But head coach Jack Del Rio recently classified the injury as a “lower leg” problem and according to reports it appears that Walker has been dealing with a sprained ankle. Team officials are excited about what Walker brings to the team’s passing game, but he continues to have durability issues and he can’t contribute if he’s always hurt. We’ll keep an eye on his recovery.