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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Early Injury Report - Wildcard Week
Philip Gentles
January 5, 2009
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This early injury report will provide in-depth injury information on key fantasy players that suffered injuries in the previous weekend's games. All player injuries will be tracked during the week via our Mid-Week Practice & Injury Report which is published on Thursdays and updated on Fridays. Be sure you check out our Priority News often during the week as all breaking player news will be posted there.

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady, NE - Fractured Finger and Three Fractured Ribs

According to several unconfirmed reports Patriots’ QB Tom Brady has been playing with a fractured ring finger on his right hand and three crack ribs since Week 13, but the injuries will not affect his status for the team’s first round playoff game against the Ravens. Brady apparently injured his finger during practice leading up to their Week 13 game against the Dolphins and he hurt his ribs during that game. He’s been limited in practice since then because of what the Patriots were calling “injuries to his finger and ribs,” but it now appears that his injuries are more serious than what the team was indicating. Brady declined to go into detail about his injuries during an interview on Monday but he did say he was feeling well. He’ll probably take part in portions of practice this week and he will start on Sunday against Baltimore, but he is far from 100% and without his favorite target Wes Welker to throw to he could be in for a tough game. 

Charlie Frye, OAK - Lower Back Stiffness and Sprained Ankle

Raiders’ QB Charlie Frye left Sunday’s game with injuries to his lower back and ankle, but according to reports neither injury appears to be serious. Frye, who was knocked around during a physical first half, reportedly complained of soreness in his lower back and he was forced out of the game after spraining his ankle. He did not return and watched the second half from the sideline. The team expects him to make a full recovery in time for OTA’s.

Chad Henne, MIA - Undisclosed Eye Injury

Dolphins’ QB Chad Henne missed the entire second half of Sunday’s game because of blurred vision and he was scheduled to visit with an eye specialist on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. According to reports Henne said that he began experiencing blurred vision after Steelers’ LB Lamar Woodley landed on the left side of his head as he was sacked in the second quarter. He remained in the game but his vision reportedly worsened in the locker room at halftime and the medical staff decided to hold him out of the second half as a precaution. The injury appears to be a concussion, however the Dolphins are referring to it as an “eye injury” and his visit to the eye specialist on Monday indicates that his vision is a concern. We’ll know more about the injury over the next couple of days, but no matter what it is he has plenty of time to recover during the off-season.

Pat White, MIA - Concussion

Dolphins’ rookie QB Pat White is recovering well after being knocked unconscious during Sunday’s loss to the Steelers. White, who was injured when his helmet collided with the helmet of  Steelers’ DB Ike Taylor as he tried running for a first down in the second half. He regained consciousness while on the ground and he was seen moving his arms and legs but he was still secured to a spine board, carted off the field and taken to the hospital as a precaution. Tests at the hospital confirmed that he had suffered a concussion but he avoided serious injury and he was allowed to leave. He was present for the final team meeting at the Dolphins’ practice facility on Monday despite complaining of a headache.

RUNNING BACKS

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG - Stress Fractures on Both Feet / Ankle Spurs

Giants’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who has reportedly been playing through stress fractures of the fifth metatarsal on his right and left feet, is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair both injuries during the off-season. Bradshaw revealed last week that he first began to feel discomfort in his right foot and because he began overcompensating he developed a similar problem in his left foot. According to reports tests have confirmed that he has stress fractures in both feet that need to be surgically repaired. Bradshaw will also undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove problematic bone spurs from his ankle. He’ll likely have the procedures done at different times so it looks like he will be spending a large portion of the off-season in recovery.

Tashard Choice, RB, DAL - Concussion

Cowboys’ RB Tashard Choice took a knee to the helmet during the first quarter on Sunday and he was forced to leave the game. Choice, who was diagnosed with a concussion while on the sideline, told reporters that he did not suffer from memory loss and despite feeling “dazed” he was fine. He did not return to the game indicating that the medical staff was concerned about the injury. Choice has already declared himself ready for the team’s playoff game against the Eagles, however it is still way too early to tell if he will be cleared in time. He’ll likely be held out of all contact drills in practice this week and a decision on his availability won’t be made until game day.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR - Achilles’ Tendonitis

According to reports Panthers’ RB Jonathan Stewart aggravated his sore and swollen Achilles’ tendon during Sunday’s game and the problem kept him on the sideline during the fourth quarter. Stewart appeared to hurt his leg on a run in the third quarter and after being examined on the sideline the medical staff decided to shut him down for the day. Stewart has been dealing with heel and Achilles’ issues since college and despite missing nearly all of the OTA’s, training camp and pre-season, being limited in practice each week during the regular season and splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams he still found a way to be productive. Just imagine what he would do if he was healthy and featured in the Panthers‘ running game. There are unconfirmed reports that Stewart will look into undergoing another surgical procedure during the off-season to address the issue. Hopefully he can return to the field in 2010 completely healed.

Pierre Thomas, NO - Three Fractured Ribs

Saints’ RB Pierre Thomas, who was inactive on Sunday because of a rib injury, told reporters on Monday that he was recovering from three fractured ribs but that he plans on playing following the team’s first round bye. The Saints reported that all tests including X-rays on his injured ribs were negative so obviously they weren’t honest about what happened. He’ll likely need several more weeks to recover so if he plans on playing during the post-season he’s going to have to do so hurt. Keep an eye on his recovery this week and we’ll have an update on his status a some point next week. 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Anquan Boldin, ARI - Sprained Ankle and Undisclosed Knee Injury

According to reports the Cardinals are concerned about WR Anquan Boldin’s sprained left ankle and team officials aren’t optimistic about his chances of playing against the Packers. Boldin injured his ankle and knee when he was hit while trying to make a catch over the middle in the first half of Sunday’s game. He did not return and his ankle was reportedly giving him trouble after the game. Boldin, who was seen moving around on crutches, underwent an MRI on his leg on Monday however the results have not been made public. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Boldin’s sprained ankle was sore and he indicated that he was concerned about his status. Whisenhunt did mention that Boldin’s knee injury was not a big problem and that it wouldn’t prevent him from playing. But his ankle will likely keep him out of practice this week and it could keep him from facing Green Bay.

DeSean Jackson, PHI - Strained Groin

Eagles’ WR DeSean Jackson slightly pulled his groin during Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys however head coach Andy Reid expects him to be ready for their opening round playoff game. Jackson reportedly strained his groin as he was tackled on a punt return and he was later seen limping around the locker room after the game. Reid spoke with reporters on Monday and he mentioned that Jackson was feeling “pretty good.” He might still he limited in practice this week as a precaution but it appears that he will be OK heading into their rematch with the Cowboys.

Hakeem Nicks, NYG - Wrist Soreness

The Giants’ organization reported late on Sunday that rookie WR Hakeem Nicks, who had been bothered by a sore wrist, will undergo arthroscopic surgery during the off-season. The surgery is being called a “clean-up” procedure and team officials expect him to recover in time for the start of OTA’s.

Chad Ochocinco, CIN - Bruised Knee

Bengals’ WR Chad Ochocinco slipped and bruised his knee during pre-game warm-ups on Sunday and after being held without a catch in the first half the medical staff decided to keep him out for the remainder of the game as a precaution. Ochocinco was hurt while running a route prior to Sunday’s game. He said that the turf was a “mini ice skating rink” and that he slipped while trying to make a cut. He limped off the field and was examined and treated by the team’s training staff. He was cleared to play in the game but he was very effective. It looked like he was having trouble gaining separation but I’m sure Jets’ DB Darrelle Revis had a lot to do with that. An MRI on Ochocinco’s knee reportedly showed no structural damage and head coach Marvin Lewis indicated that Ochocinco would be in the starting lineup against the Jets on Saturday. Ochocinco admitted on Monday that he couldn’t extend his knee and that’s something to definitely keep an eye on. Watch his recovery closely this week.

Wes Welker, NE - Torn ACL and MCL

Patriots’ WR Wes Welker will miss the post-season after he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee during Sunday’s game. Welker’s knee gave out as he tried to make a cut during a run after a catch in the first quarter. He had to be helped off the field and he was taken to the locker room on a cart. An examination in the locker room revealed severe damage to his ACL and MCL. He underwent an MRI on his knee on Monday but the team has not made the results available. If the initial diagnosis is confirmed Welker will not play during the playoffs and since the injury happened this late in the season he could end up missing training camp and a portion of the 2010 regular season while recovering from reconstructive surgery. This is going to be an interesting off-season for Welker and the Patriots.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

Calais Campbell, DL, ARI - Fractured Thumb

Cardinals’ DL Calais Campbell fractured his left thumb on Sunday and underwent surgery to repair the damage on Monday, but according to reports he could still play in the team’s first round playoff game. Campbell had several screws surgically inserted into his thumb to stabilize the fractured bone and it could take anywhere from 6 - 8 weeks to completely heal. However Campbell told a reporter that he could still play in the game against the Packers. His thumb would have to be padded and heavily wrapped, but at this point the medical staff isn’t sure if he will be able to take the field against the Packers. Check with The Huddle later in the week for an update.

Vontae Davis, DB, MIA - Sprained Wrist

Rookie DB Vontae Davis was on and off the field on Sunday against the Steelers because of what is being called a sprained wrist. Davis left the game after getting hurt in the first quarter and he was taken back to the locker room where he was evaluated, treated and taped. He returned to the field in the second quarter but he appeared to aggravate the injury and he did not play in the third and fourth quarters. He was seen with an ice bag wrapped on his wrist after the game and according to reports the injury is being classified as a sprain. The severity of the injury has not been made public, but team officials expect him to be completely healthy in time for the team’s off-season conditioning program.

David Harris, LB, NYJ - Sprained Ankle

Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan confirmed on Monday that the team’s leading tackler LB David Harris sprained his ankle during Sunday’s win over the Bengals and he said that he is concerned about his status for their rematch with Cincinnati this upcoming Saturday. Harris injured his ankle in the second quarter and he was unable to finish the game. According to reports he was seen walking without a limp after the game, however Ryan indicated that Harris would at the very least be limited in practice this week. The injury does not appear to be serious and he will likely be active against the Bengals, but he won’t be 100% for the game

Terence Newman, DB, DAL - Knee Contusion

Cowboys’ DB Terence Newman banged his knee during Sunday’s win over the Eagles and he missed some time while he received treatment. But he was able to return and finish the game and it looks like he will be able to play in the team’s opening round playoff game. Newman told reporters after the game that he bruised his knee and that while he was feeling sore he expected to be fine.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DB, ARI - Knee Contusion

Chargers’ DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left Sunday’s game on a cart and the injury appeared to be serious. However Rodgers-Cromartie has been diagnosed with a knee contusion and there is a chance that he will recover in time for the team’s opening playoff game against the Packers. He was reportedly cleated while making a tackle in the first quarter. He also banged his knee on the ground on the play and he was in so much pain that he had to be carted off the field. Rodgers-Cromartie was spotted limping in the locker room after game however he told reporters that he was going to be OK. His status still remains uncertain and he’ll likely miss some practice time this week while he recovers.

Pat Sims, DL, CIN - Fractured Forearm

Bengals’ DL Pat Sims has been placed on Injured Reserve and he will miss the post-season after X-rays on his injured forearm confirmed that he fractured his forearm. Sims, who was carted to the locker room after getting hurt in Sunday’s game, was understandably upset after the game . It isn’t clear if he will need surgery to repair the damage, but it could take up to 2 months for him to recover.

Justin Tuck, DL, NYG - Torn Shoulder Labrum

According to reports Giants’ DL Justin Tuck, who has played the entire season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, is scheduled to undergo surgery later this month to repair the injury. Tuck will probably miss a large portion of the team’s off-season conditioning program while he recovers, however the medical staff expects him to be 100 percent in time for the start of training camp.

Mario Williams, DL, HOU - Shoulder Discomfort Inflammation

Texans’ DL Mario Williams played much of the season with discomfort and inflammation in his shoulder and according to reports he is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on the joint at some point during the off-season. It isn’t clear what the medical staff will repair but team officials have indicated that Williams will undergo a routine procedure. He’s expected to be completely healthy in time for the team’s off-season conditioning program.

Charles Woodson, DB, GB - Bruised Shoulder

Packers’ DB Charles Woodson left Sunday’s game with what is being reported as a jammed shoulder, however the injury does not appear to be serious and team officials expect him to be ready for their playoff match up against the Cardinals. Woodson admitted that his shoulder was sore after the game but he did say that he could have returned to the game if the team needed him. Expect Woodson to be limited during practice early this week but if all goes well he should be in the starting lineup on Sunday against Arizona.

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