Footballguys Daily Email - Volume 9, Issue 112 (Wednesday, August 13th)
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Hi Folks,Welcome to Thursday. I'm going to switch gears a little bit here today and give you guys a bonus. Instead of covering the 15 stories or so we've been hitting each day, I'm going to hit just a couple of stories and then we're going to give you our Injury Recap that I talked about yesterday. It's a comprehensive look at all the injuries across the league that you'll want to keep up with. It's just one tiny part of the 50,000 or so pages of Footballguys content that we'll provide to our folks that purchase our Footballguys subscription. If you like that, you'll love what we do from here on to the Super Bowl. Knock yourselves out. J
The Perfect Draft - 12-team League
One of our most anticipated articles every year is my Footballguys partner and buddy David Dodds' Perfect Draft series. Read and Dominate.
Training Camp Update #3
Bob Henry and the Footballguys Staff have another HUGE Training Camp Update ready for you. It's everything you need to know about every situation on every team. I hope you didn't have any plans for the next couple of days...
Coaching Database - Free Sample Linked
Stop what you're doing and listen to me. Seriously. You have got to click the link in the headline. The Coaching Database is a feature available to our folks that have purchased the Footballguys subscription but this is so cool we wanted to show it to everyone. The link in the headline will take everyone to Mike Martz' page. Once there, play around with the page moving your mouse over the different columns. Move down to 2007 and mouse over "PPG" which is points per game scored by the team as a whole. You'll see that Martz' team last year scored 21.6 points per game and that it's exactly 100% of the league average. Mouse over to the RB column and it'll show you that Martz' RBs scored 237 fantasy points last year (and which RBs make up this number) and that this number was just 80% of the league average for RBs. Not surprisingly, mouse over to the WR number and you'll see that Martz' WRs scored 457 points and that was 137% of the league average. And that's just for 2007. We have the same data for every year Martz has been a coach. It's insane. You seriously have to see how cool this is. If you click one link today, make it this one.
Fantasy Interview Series - Bruce Henderson
We continue our Fantasy Interview Series with Draft Dominator Guru Bruce Henderson. Get a look behind the scenes at how the best draft software in the industry came about.
Fantasy Interview Series - Mike Hall
Mike Hall, owner of www.MyFantasyLeague.com has been a friend for a long time and he's the latest subject in our Interview Series. See what he sees coming in the League Management Industry.
Fantasy Interview Series - Joe Bryant and David Dodds
Our Clayton Gray interviews my partner David Dodds and myself. We must be really scraping the bottom of the barrel for Interview Subjects...
INSIDE THIS ISSUE1. STL - Low-Key Talks Occurring Between Rams, RB Jackson
2. CIN - Bengals Talking With Representatives Of Free Agent WR Henry
3. Panthers Injury Update; RB Stewart May Play In Second Preseason Game
4. SF - 49ers QBs Hill & Smith Split Second-Team Reps
5. CIN - Bengals RB Johnson Set To Return
Source: Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As of Wednesday afternoon, running back Steven Jackson's contract holdout had reached 20 days, easily the longest holdout in the 14-season history of the "St. Louis" Rams. Although nothing close to a breakthrough has occurred, the Post-Dispatch has learned that there have been low-key talks in the last day or two between Rams president of football operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt and Jackson's agent, Eugene Parker. That's the first indication of any dialogue between the parties since the first day of training camp - July 25.
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I guess there is some solace to be taken in the fact that they're at least talking. Even if it's "low key". The good news is that this kind of deal can heat up in a hurry with one side conceding or both sides coming to an agreement. Let's hope that happens quickly.
Source: Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer
Agent Marvin Frazier has confirmed that the Cincinnati Bengals are talking with representatives of free-agent WR Chris Henry. Henry was waived by Cincinnati on April 3rd after being arrested five times during his tenure with the Bengals. The wide receiver is suspended for the first four games of this season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
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We talked about how Chris Henry is sort of like that beautiful but psycho ex girlfriend. She starts to look better as the psycho time memories start to fade a bit. That's where this looks like it's going.
Source: Associated Press, NFL.com
Carolina Panthers HC John Fox commented that RB Jonathan Stewart may play in Thursday night's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Stewart missed last week's game as he continues to recover from offseason toe surgery. Players who will not travel with the team to Philadelphia because of injuries include CB Chris Gamble (hamstring), S Chris Harris (groin), WR D.J. Hackett (toe), WR Steve Smith (concussion) and WR Dwayne Jarrett (leg).
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This would be big if Stewart is able to start here. He's received mixed reports on the toe with some feeling he's right on track but others expressing concern. A great outing in a game situation would do a lot to make a statement. Let's see if he can be ready.
Source: Matt Maiocco, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
J.T. O'Sullivan continues to take all the snaps with the first-team offense for the San Francisco 49ers. Alex Smith and Shaun Hill split the second-team reps today. For the day, O'Sullivan completed 8 of 15 passes. Smith struggled today, completing just 3 of 7 passes with an interception. He also had a difficult time in 7-on-7, throwing another pick. Maiocco speculates that Smith seems to be losing ground to O'Sullivan. Hill completed 6 of 8 overall in the first practice reps he has taken since August 6th.
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Just more to support the idea that J.T. O'Sullivan could be the starting QB for the San Francisco 49ers. Things move pretty fast.
Source: Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com
Cincinnati Bengals RB Rudi Johnson says he'll return to practice tonight and play Sunday night vs. Detroit. Johnson has been out nearly two weeks with a hamstring injury. Johnson says the hamstring tightened up on him after he went through the heavy running of the first two sets of two-a-day practices during the first week of training camp. He said he brought it back slow because he believes he came back too soon from the hamstring injury he suffered in the third game of the regular season last year. "It could have been a pinch or anything, I was going to be careful," Johnson said. "Got to be smart. You live and learn a little bit. I came back too soon a few times last year. But when I came back too soon the first time, that was it for the rest of the year."
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I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Johnson's hamstring began to heal more quickly after Chris Perry turned in a nice game. I'm hearing some pretty serious whispers about how much Johnson has left here and he's definitely got some things to prove.
August Injury Report
Professional football players are often injured during the course of an NFL season, and sometimes those injuries can linger to affect a player in the following season . The below is a review of the most significant injuries still affecting fantasy-relevant skill position players as we continue through the 2008 preseason. For further details on the players listed below, check out their player pages here at Footballguys.com or run a search for the person in question on the Footballguys.com News Blogger.
Arizona's Matt Leinart missed most of 2007 due to a broken collarbone. He was reported in early May to be nearly 100% recovered and throwing well during minicamp. It appears Leinart will be back under center during 2008. As of the end of June, Leinart was said to be improving his understanding of the 2 minute drill and looks poised to return to the driver's seat for Arizona. He passed for 7/8 for 91 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions in the first preseason game - Leinart is back in the saddle for the Cardinals.
Arizona's Kurt Warner, who played with a torn ligament in his left elbow last year, still doesn't have a new deal with the Cardinals, though the team is said to be agreeable to working out an extension (Warner is in the last year of his old contract). The elbow doesn't seem to be an issue for either Warner or the Cardinals entering training camp. He has been fully participating in the OTAs during June and is expected to be 100% for training camp.
Atlanta's D.J. Shockley tore both his left ACL and MCL in the preseason last year, and has spent the last year rehabilitating his knee. He was medically cleared to participate in all football activities on May 28th, and is in the mix for QB 3 as of early July. Shockley played in the team's first preseason game during the second half, splitting snaps with Joey Harrington in their ongoing battle for #3 QB on the team.
Carolina's Jake Delhomme is recovering from Tommy-John tendon surgery on his throwing arm (right) elbow. "It feels great," Delhomme said after a rehab session this in February. "Honestly, I feel absolutely great. I have no pain whatsoever.". He was reportedly doing well in light throwing drills during organized team activities during early May - Delhomme appears to be on the road to recovery. Coach Fox spoke of Delhomme's positive presence on the field on May 30th, saying "Having him back out there, his enthusiasm, is a joy to watch for sure." Delhomme has been the starter since day 1 of training camp, but only attempted one throw in the first preseason game due to game circumstances. However, he's reportedly thrown many nice passes during training camp - his elbow appears to be 100%.
Chicago's Rex Grossman ended the season on the sidelines due to a sprained MCL in his left knee. He was re-signed to a one-year deal during February, so presumably Grossman's knee isn't an issue heading into the summer organized training activities. He is locked in a battle with Kyle Orton for the starting job as of early July. "I think right now it is highly competitive," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said on June 18th. "They both have done a great job doing what we ask them to do up to this point." Grossman and Orton both played in the team's preseason opener.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers suffered from hamstring problems at the end of the 2007 season - the injury doesn't appear to be chronic but it is an item to keep an eye on during training camp this year. He is poised to be the Packers' starting QB as of early July, despite the Brett Favre drama. With Favre now in New York with the Jets, Rodgers is set to be the Packers' new starter.
Houston's Matt Schaub, who underwent surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder during the offseason, participated in drills during the team's May minicamp. Coach Kubiak commented "As for Matt, since we're in shorts, he'll be able to do everything. If we were in pads (hitting), I'd hold him out." The team expects Schaub to be ready for the regular season. He started and played one series in the preseason opener, hitting 4/5 for 29 yards before taking a seat on the bench.
Indianapolis' Peyton Manning had a sudden arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee, the Colts revealed on July 14th. Manning had a a bursa sac removed from his left knee, after it started to lead to complications with infection. Manning "had been receiving conservative treatment for an inflamed bursa sac in consultation with the club's medical staff since February, 2008. This course of treatment was productive until Peyton experienced increased pain and early signs of infection." Colts' president Bill Polian said in the press conference. "The procedure was routine. The Colts' medical staff expects a full and complete return to action." Manning is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which will cost him most, if not all, of training camp. He missed the first 2 preseason contests as expected (the Colts played in the Hall of Fame game). Stay tuned...
Miami's Chad Pennington admitted on July 24th that he played the majority of the 2007 season with two torn ligaments in his right ankle, suffered in the season opener against New England. Head Coach Eric Mangini commented, "He had a pretty serious ankle injury and he fought through it, worked through it. It's tough when you get banged up early and the train doesn't stop. You've got to keep going. It's something he handled really well." Pennington was in the lead for the starting role in New York before the Favre trade, and now he is the favorite to start for Miami.
Miami's QB Josh McCown was doing chores on his property in Jacksonville, Texas with his brother Luke when some bad luck rolled Josh's way. The pair were clearing some brush when "I was holding down a little piece of a tree trunk and my little brother, Luke, had the chainsaw. He hit a knob and the chainsaw jumped.'' A split second later, Josh had a chunk of his index finger missing as the chain saw chewed into his hand. The injured QB was rushed to the hospital and received 6 stitches to close the wound, but it appears that the McCowns were fortunate in that no serious damage was done to Josh's hand. "I clenched my fist to make sure the tendon was working. I walked out of the emergency room and got a football out of the trunk and fired a few passes to Luke, and knew I could've played that day. My daddy would say, 'Let's get it sewn up and go to work.'" The injury is not expected to be an issue going forward. However, the team signed Chad Pennington after Brett Favre landed in New York - McCown's playing time may be very limited if Pennington fits in with the Dolphins quickly.
New England's Tom Brady was hobbled by a high right ankle sprain during the Super Bowl, but Brady checked out fine in mid-March and hasn't had any troubles with the bothersome right ankle. He won't be restricted for the offseason workout programs or minicamps, which bodes well for Brady being 100% by training camp. He addressed the situation on June 10th, and responded to a direct question about whether his ankle was limiting him by stating "Not at all," he said, adding he will be ready for training camp in six weeks. "My body feels great. My leg feels great. My mind feels great. Yeah, I'm ready." Brady took the night off during the first preseason game but the move was simply due to the coaching staff wanting a long look at the backup candidates. Brady is in fine shape entering the second week of preseason games.
New York Jets rookie Erik Ainge was sporting a large cast on his right arm in May due to surgery on the little finger of his throwing hand, which was broken during Tennessee's spring camp in 2007. The Jets advised Ainge, a fifth round draft pick, it would be in his best interests to have the surgery sooner rather than later. Ainge sat out of the preseason opener.
Oakland's JaMarcus Russell injured his throwing arm elbow on Tuesday, July 29 when he banged it against Darren McFadden's helmet in drills. "Just a little soreness from the other day," Russell said. Coach Lane Kiffin said the trainers noticed Russell was struggling a bit, so they took him out of practice on Wednesday July 30th as a precaution. "We'll look at it again in the morning," said Kiffin, adding that Russell did have X-rays that came out negative. "And really with that, it's not something that is about looking at him in the training room. It's about getting him out here." Russell did play in the first 2 drives during the preseason opener, with a lackluster 2/5 for 13 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions in the passing department.
Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb indicated in early April that his surgically reconstructed knee is getting "much better" than it was during 2007 and he looks forward to being the starter in Philadelphia for 6 or 7 more years. He has been bothered by tendonitis in his right shoulder and missed the latter part of mid-June OTAs due to the problem, but a precautionary MRI indicated no structural damage. On July 22nd, McNabb said he was past the tendonitis - "I haven't had any recurrence," he said. "It's fine, and I don't expect to have any recurrence. It took rest and stretching. In this position I play, it's just repetition and continuing to throw the routes and getting that velocity back that you would throw in game speed." McNabb looked sharp in the preseason opener with 10/13 for 97 yards and 1 TD - he seems to be rounding into top shape as training camp progresses.
Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger has been hampered in training camp due to a groin injury, but did start the team's first preseason game on Friday night. It appears the groin injury is improving as of the second week of training camp.
Pittsburgh's Charlie Batch broke his collarbone during the preseason opener and is out a minimum of 6 weeks due to the injury. Byron Leftwich was signed to help take up the slack at backup QB while Batch is out.
San Francisco's Alex Smith had an offseason shoulder surgery, but was able to take part in the team's minicamp in early May. He should be ready to practice without restrictions in training camp this summer. Head coach Nolan expects Smith and Shaun Hill to split first-string snaps during the team's upcoming training camp. Each QB will also start one preseason game. Smith played in the preseason opener.
San Diego's Phillip Rivers is recovering from a torn ACL that he played through in the AFC Championship game. He expects to be 100% for the start of regular season, and the team seems confident that Rivers will be ready to go when the games start counting. He ran the first team offense in an early-June organized team activity - "He's just making great progress," head coach Norv Turner stated on June 2nd. In late July, Rivers claimed he was 100% recovered: "I've been going full-go now for over a month," Rivers said. "There's nothing I can't do. There are times throughout the day I can't tell which knee I hurt." Rivers played several series in the preseason opener and looked unhampered by the previous injury.
Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck tweaked his back in the preseason opener vs. Minnesota and missed practice on Sunday and Monday as a result. The team is being cautious with him, but the injury doesn't appear to be anything serious at first blush.
Tampa's Chris Simms is looking for a job with another organization - he's been recovering from a emergency spleen removal over the last 2 seasons and doesn't believe he's in the team's future plans. We'll see where he lands (if anywhere). As of the second week of training camp he's still with the Buccaneers.
Tampa's Jeff Garcia missed the preseason opener due to a strained right calf - he is expected to also miss the next preseason contest vs. New England, with a target of playing in the 3rd preseason game vs. Jacksonville. He partially participated in practices on Monday, August 11th.
Washington's Jason Campbell - who has recovered from the dislocated left knee cap that derailed the final month of his 2007 campaign - strained his left hamstring during an early-May minicamp practice. The injury isn't considered serious at this time, but keep an eye on Campbell's recovery - hamstring pulls can become chronic complaints if they don't respond well to treatments. On June 2nd, Campbell commented on the hamstring injury "I don't have any problems with (the hamstring). It's something that's behind me." Campbell played and looked sharp in the preseason opener (7/10 for 71 yards passing, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions).
Washington's Colt Brennan had an offseason hip surgery that kept him out of OTAs this past spring. - he is expected to fully participate in training camp, according to head coach Jim Zorn when he was asked in mid-June. Brennan has played well in both preseason games and appears to be past the hip surgery.
Atlanta's Michael Turner underwent shoulder surgery during the offseason, and was limited during the team's first minicamp He has been carrying the load in training camp and played in the preseason opener - Turner appears to be past the shoulder injury as of the second week of preseason games.
Baltimore's Willis McGahee has a left knee problem entering the first preseason game, and was not be able to take the field. "Right now, we need to get the fluid out of his knee and get that thing settled down a little bit," coach John Harbaugh said on August 3rd. The team hoped McGahee would be able to return to action, but the determination has been made that he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee to clean out the loose bodies causing the problem. He will miss the next 2-4 weeks, and may not be available for the season opener vs. Cincinnati. Rookie RB Ray Rice will likely carry the load for Baltimore until McGahee is back to 100%. The left knee is the same knee that has been reconstructed after a college injury, and was also injured in high school, so there is reason for concern about the proposed time frame on McGahee's recovery, depending on what damage the surgeons find when they open up his knee.
Buffalo's Marshawn Lynch had a lasik surgery on his eye during spring OTAs, but only missed a few practices before returning to action. He's good to go for training camp, and the team is talking about increasing his workload to include more 3rd down situations.
Carolina's Jonathan Stewart, who joined the team via the 13th pick overall in the draft, is recovering from a toe surgery performed by the Panther's team physician. He did not participate in the teams' first minicamp on the field (though he was present for the activities) - presumably, the team is comfortable his rehab is going well or they wouldn't have used a first round selection to add Stewart to the team. On June 15th head coach John Fox stated "He's out of his boot and he's on schedule. He will be coming here shortly and will be doing rehab with our medical people and they are telling me he will be ready for July 25 (the start of training camp)." Stewart has been participating in training camp on a limited (once-a-day) basis, but didn't play at either Fan Fest or in the first preseason game due to soreness in his surgically repaired toe. DeAngelo Williams has seized the early lead in the battle for playing time in Carolina.
Ex-Lion/Now Chicago's RB Kevin Jones is coming off a torn ACL in his right knee. Jones has signed with the Chicago Bears and practiced with them for the first time on Saturday, August 10th. "Both guys [Jones included] looked pretty good for the first time out," HC Lovie Smith said after the practice. "We'll just bring them along from there." Jones will battle Matt Forte for playing time in the wake of Cedric Benson's offseason release from the club.
Ex-Bear Cedric Benson suffered a broken leg late during the 2007 season,
but is expected to be healthy for training camp season. He has off-field issues
that may keep him from landing with a team, including 2 offseason DUI citations
that led to his release from Chicago's squad.
Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson was limited during 2007 by a nagging hamstring injury. He is adding weight during the offseason and plans to play more in a power-running style during 2008 - the team doesn't seem concerned about the hamstring heading into training camp. However, Johnson's sore hamstring flared up leading into the preseason opener vs. Green Bay and Johnson didn't make the trip to play.
Cincinnati's oft-injured Chris Perry (who missed all of 2007 with his latest injury, an ankle/shin complaint) is expected to (finally) practice with the team during training - we'll see if he has any pop left after missing 26 out of the last 32 games he was eligible to play in. The team has a crowded backfield with Kenny Watson, DeDe Dorsey, rookie free agent James Johnson, and starter Rudi Johnson also in the fold. Perry did play extensively in the first preseason game vs. Green Bay.
Ex-Bronco Travis Henry battled rib and knee injuries during 2007 - he agreed to restructured contract in February but was released anyway, and recent reports are he has missed yet another league drug test due to marijuana use (making Henry subject to further league suspension).
Denver's Ryan Torain suffered a left elbow injury during morning practice
on Wednesday, August 6th - he'll be out 6-8 weeks as a result of breaking the
radius bone where it meets the elbow. There are rumors that Torain may end up
on IR as a result of the injury, with the recovery time estimate being moved
up to 3 months or more after surgery was performed on the break.
Denver's Michael Pittman aggravated a left hamstring injury on August 7th as he was stepping in to help fill the void left by Ryan Torain's injury.
Green Bay's Ryan Grant tweaked a hamstring after ending his holdout, and sat out of the preseason opener vs. the Bengals.
Houston's Ahman Green was limited throughout 2007 due to a balky knee, injured in the first regular season game. He commented on the situation in December, after being placed on IR ""It's frustrating," Green said. "I tried my best rehabbing and running around. I know from practicing and watching film, I felt good, but it's not quite there. That's the frustrating part. And what it boils down to is not knowing what we're dealing with." In early March, Green stated "I just needed the rest. I never put it in my mind that once the offseason training starts that I will be rehabbing. I've already done that. I feel I'll be in the big group running and doing everything. When minicamp comes around, I'll be ready for that as well." The team has their fingers crossed that Green can play effectively during 2008. Coach Gary Kubiak commented on May 22nd, "He looks good. He's had a good offseason...I want to knock on something every time I say that.". As of the preseason opener, Green has again suffered injury - he injured his groin on the first play from scrimmage and limped off the field. Green's injury was initially classified as "not serious" by the team's trainers, but evaluations are ongoing.
Houston's Chris Brown has struggled with a bad back during training
camp, and wasn't able to play in the preseason opener. The team leaned on Steve
Slaton and Darius Walker in the preseason opener after Ahman Green's groin injury.
Kansas City's Larry Johnson, who was sidelined for much of the season due to a mysterious foot injury, is said to be fully recovered now. "You can't diagnose something and not know what it is. My foot was so swollen, no one knew what was going on. They thought it was a Lisfranc, they thought it was my heel, they thought it was my ankle," Johnson commented in January. What the injury turned out to be was a cracked bone in his fourth toe - which has since healed. On May 27th, Johnson fully participated in OTAs and stated "It felt good to come out here and still be able to come out and run. Body-wise, I'm 100 percent." Johnson rushed for 8/18/1 during the team's preseason opener.
Miami's Ronnie Brown had right knee ACL surgery by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham after being injured Oct. 21st, 2007 (vs. New England). The time frame for recovering from this surgery is 9-12 months, so Brown should be ready for regular season action, though that is not assured as of May, 2008. He's a guy to watch carefully during training camp - the Dolphins' head coach Tony Sparano said in April that he expected Brown and fellow RB Ricky Williams (torn pectoral muscle, surgically repaired November 2007) to be ready for training camp. As of July 2nd, Brown was reported to be optimistic that he will be cleared for contact by the time training camp opens, and back to 100% by the start of the regular season. Brown carried the ball for 3/4/0 in the preseason opener, while Williams posted 5/31/0 in his time on the field, and looked like the strongest back on the field in this particular contest.
Minnesota's Adrian Peterson was slowed by a tweaked knee late in the 2007 season, but fully recovered and was the NFC's most valuable player in the Pro Bowl (he did wear a knee brace for that game as a precaution). He's ready to roll this year.
New Orleans' Deuce McAllister is recovering from a torn left ACL. McAllister reported in late March that the rehab was on track for participating in training camp and that he might be able to participate in the final, June mini camp. In early May, McAllister participated in a team weekend minicamp, running pass-routes at full speed. He said after the camp that he'd been cutting and planting for about three weeks and expected to participate in a limited capacity in the late May organized team activities. As of July 4th, McAllister was optimistic he'd be ready for the season opener, saying "I'm proud and pleased with (my progress)..."I don't know if there's really a 'next benchmark' to be met on my part. It's pretty much just getting out there and trying to make plays. That's what I'm looking forward to. As far as getting out there and doing something I haven't done already up to this point, that would just be playing the game." McAllister was held out of the first preseason game as a precautionary measure, so we still have yet to see him in a game situation - stay tuned. McAllister did practice on Saturday August 9th.
New Orleans' Reggie Bush was sidelined by a torn PCL in his left knee from week 14-17 last season. The injury isn't a concern heading into the 2008 season - he appears to have healed fully through rest and recuperation. As of June 2nd, Bush was reported to be moving well in minicamp sessions. Bush played in the preseason opener and posted 7/22/0 rushing and 1/-1/0 receiving before riding the pine. However, he missed Saturday's practice with swelling in the left knee - perhaps due to further issues with the PCL - the Saints hope he'll be back at practice soon.
Oakland's Justin Fargas missed the final games of 2007 due to a sprained MCL - he was re-signed to a contract extension during the offseason and is expected to be 100% for training camp. He played in the first preseason game and gained 5/25/0 in a shortened appearance.
Oakland's Michael Bush didn't play in 2007 while rehabbing a broken leg, but is now ready to battle for playing time with the Raiders. He participated in the teams' rookie minicamp this year after the NFL draft. On June 4th, he was noted for making numerous good catches during the team's OTAs. He played in short yardage situations during the team's preseason opener and racked up 8/27/1 rushing with 2/29/0 receiving.
Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall came down with a hamstring injury after his first day of minicamp and did not practice during the second session. The team doesn't think this is going to be an ongoing issue, but it wasn't the best way to begin Mendenhall's NFL career. Keep an eye on Mendenhall during training camp to see if tender hamstrings are an chronic issue for him as this sort of injury can become a constant drag on performance. Mendenhall played in the first preseason game and put up 7/34/0 vs. Philadelphia.
Pittsburgh's Willie Parker suffered a broken right fibula, and underwent surgery to repair the break in late December 2007. The team expects him back at 100% for the 2008 regular season. As of late March, he was clocked with a 4.4 40-time, and as of April 22nd he said he was "If not 100 percent, I'm real close to it.". Parker flashed his old speed in the preseason opener, with 3/20/0 rushing (a long of 11 yards) in a cameo appearance (he just played in the opening drive).
San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson sat out of much of the AFC Championship game due to a sprained MCL - rest and time should take care of the injury, however. He's someone that all fantasy owners with #1 picks will be watching carefully during training camp to see how his knee responds when the pads go on and the hitting starts. Tomlinson indicated in April that he's 100% and added "We'll have to see how it goes. It may be good for me to play in one preseason game." On May 16th Tomlinson declared "I'm running and cutting and everything is good. I'm ready to go." Tomlinson, as is usual for him, did not play in the preseason opener, and is currently nursing a slightly strained groin. He wasn't scheduled to play before suffering the groin strain - his absence from the game was expected.
St. Louis' Steven Jackson, who struggled with nicks and dings during 2007, and who also was nursing a sore ankle and tweaked groin earlier this spring, is reportedly 100% healthy and ready to go for training camp as of July 9th. "I'm looking to have a great year and lengthen my career with St. Louis. Hopefully, I'll retire as a Ram." However, Jackson has been sitting out of camp due to a contract dispute, so we have yet to see him in any sort of meaningful action this year.
Tampa Bay's Cadillac Williams continues his rehabilitation from a serious
knee injury (torn patellar tendon), but his status for 2008 is not yet known.
Ernest Graham is apparently in possession of the #1 slot on the team. Tampa
Bay opens training camp soon and Williams is not ready for contact. As a result,
Williams likely will begin this season on the physically unable to perform list
(meaning he couldn't be activated until after week 6, if then). At last report
in early August, Williams was running "parachute drills" - sprints
with a parachute attached behind him - but hasn't been cleared for contact.
Tennessee's LenDale White is working his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage (an injury he played through in 2007) and was limited at the team's first minicamp White is reported to be "rehabbing like crazy" - "We're just taking our time,'' he said in early May. "I am feeling good. We just don't want to blow it out.'' White rushed for 6/33/0 in the preseason opener vs. St. Louis.
Washington's Clinton Portis suffered a strained hip flexor during an early May minicamp - the injury hasn't hampered him since, though. In mid June he commented "I feel much better. As much as I didn't want to be here [in the offseason], to go out there and be able to run downfield 100 yards and jog back and turn around and run 100 yards again [without being fatigued], it feels great." Portis tweaked an ankle early in training camp, but the injury is considered minor. Portis posted 7/18/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving in the preseason game vs. Buffalo during a shortened appearance.
Washington's Ladell Betts sat out the last few practices during the final week of July due to being kicked in the thigh twice during workouts. The move was precautionary, and the team hopes some time off will allow his contusions to heal up. Betts ran for 5/41/0 and snagged 3/41/1 receiving vs. Buffalo during the first full week of preseason games - his thigh injuries seem to be a thing of the past.
Atlanta's Brian Finneran was not medically cleared to play in the April minicamp after missing all of 2006 and 2007 due to 2 reconstructive surgeries on his left knee during the past 2 years. He did participate in June workouts, and stated after the activities concluded "I had to go through these whole OTAs healthy, which was my number one goal. I'll just look forward to training camp now." Speaking to the fact that few players reenter the league after 2 seasons off, Finneran stated: "It's rare that it happens. I think six guys have done it since 1994. It's tough to do." Finneran made it through the first day of full contact drills without mishap - he is on the comeback road now. Finneran played in the preseason opener and grabbed 3/33/0, continuing his comeback bid.
Atlanta's Laurent Robinson missed time at the end of the first week of training camp due to tweaking a buttock muscle/hurting his tailbone. The injury isn't considered serious at this time, but he did miss the first preseason game as a result of the injury.
Atlanta's Joe Horn has a sore hamstring and missed the first preseason game due to the nagging injury. It is currently unclear when he might return to the practice field.
Arizona's Anquan Boldin, who was slowed by a dislocated toe late in the 2007 season, avoided surgery on the digit as rest and time off the foot allowed the injury to heal naturally. Boldin is embroiled in a contract dispute with the team, though, and skipped voluntary workouts as a result, so we haven't seen him performing much since the injury occurred. Once he arrived to training camp, Boldin tweaked a hamstring in practice, and it hasn't healed well. The team performed a MRI on the injury at the end of July to assess why the injury was lingering - keep an eye on Boldin's progress returning from this injury, as a hamstring injury is the sort of item that can dog a player for months if not allowed to heal properly. "I think we're going to try to do some things with Anquan, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with him going into the game without having done a lot of reps," coach Whisenhunt said on August 4th, explaining why Boldin would sit out the first preseason game. Boldin did practice with the team on Sunday August 10th, and appeared to be past the hamstring strain - he ran crisp routes and didn't look slowed during drills. Stay tuned to see how the hamstring reacts to being tested as the week goes along, but right now Boldin appears to be on the road to playing in the next preseason game.
Arizona's Early Doucet missed the first preseason game due to a lingering hamstring injury.
Baltimore's Mark Clayton didn't practice during the initial week of training camp because of a sprained right shoulder. He is no longer wearing a protective sling and took part in some exercises on the side on Saturday August 2nd - he returned to practices on August 3rd. However, he did not play in the season opener due to continuing concern over the shoulder.
Baltimore's Demetrius Williams couldn't play in the first preseason game due to a sore leg.
Carolina's D.J. Hackett struggled with a high right ankle sprain throughout 2007 and aggravated the injury in January during the Seahawks' playoff run. He was signed by Carolina despite the ankle problem during the offseason, so the team evidently believes that the injury is a thing of the past. Hackett fully participated in the Panthers' May minicamp He had some problems with a sore knee early in June, but returned to practices on June 4th after getting the swelling in the joint under control. Hackett has been fully participating in training camp but didn't catch a ball in the first preseason game due to a sore toe (Jake Delhomme only threw 1 pass with the first team before taking a seat on the bench, though, so don't read too much into the first preseason game).
Carolina's Steve Smith missed the team's Monday practice after sustaining a concussion in the first preseason game vs. the Colts. The team characterizes Smith as "day to day" with the injury - it's not considered a major problem as of Monday, but concussions have a tendency to cause complications days after the initial injury. Stay tuned...
Chicago's Mark Bradley had his knee scoped in late May - speculation at the time indicated he might not be recovered from the procedure in time for the start of training camp. Bradley has been participating in training camp, however, and caught 1 pass for 7 yards in the preseason game vs. Kansas City.
Cincinnati's Chad Johnson had arthroscopic surgery on both ankles in mid-June. He is running and working on rehabbing the joints as of early July. "He feels a lot better than when he first had (the surgery), but we're not going to push it. The key is not to let him do too much too soon," said Charles Collins, who is helping coach the Bengals receivers this offseason. "He's got to build up his ankle first. Then the closer we get to camp, we'll let him time up some things in the last couple of workouts." On August 4th, less than a month after June 18 arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle, Chad Johnson looked sharp in one-on-one drills as he returned to practice. So far, so good.
Cincinnati's T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been missing practice time due to a sore hamstring. He did not participate in the preseason opener vs. Green Bay on Monday Night Football, August 11th.
Cleveland's Joe Jurevicius is recovering from a staph infection in his knee that was contracted about 2 weeks after an offseason surgery to clean out the knee. He has had at least one additional procedure on the knee to treat the staph infection. The team has signed Donte Stallworth to be the team's #2 WR behind Braylon Edwards (Jurevicius requested to be demoted to #3 on the depth chart prior to Cleveland signing Stallworth, in order to save wear-and-tear on his aging knees, according to reports out of Cleveland). After a fourth surgery ("...a further clean out to help him in his recovery and control his symptoms") on his knee in early July there were rumors swirling in Cleveland that Jurevicius was going to need yet another, additional procedure on the knee (perhaps microfracture surgery), but neither the team nor Jurevicius commented on the whispers. Jurevicius' status for 2008 is very dicey - he didn't participate in the first preseason game vs. the Jets.
Cleveland's Braylon Edwards suffered a gash on his right heel during a photography session on Saturday, when Donte Stallworth's cleat accidentally cut Edwards during a run downfield. Edwards had stitches to close the wound and stayed in an area hospital overnight for precautionary reasons. Edwards will probably miss the second preseason game vs. the New York Giants on August 18th as a result of the injury. He had 1 catch for 2 yards and a TD in the preseason opener vs. the Jets Thursday August 7th prior to getting cleated by Stallworth.
Ex- Cowboy Dallas' Terry Glenn battled through knee pain/rehab from 2 right knee surgeries throughout the 2007 season, and was reported to be considering microfracture surgery on his right knee during January of 2008. He is believed to have postponed the surgery until after his retirement from the NFL - but it isn't a comforting sign for Glenn owners that he is still having pain issues in the knee, which limited his time on the field last year. Glenn was released by Dallas in a dispute over an injury waiver and hasn't latched on with another team.
Denver's Brandon Marshall suffered a very serious forearm injury in March when he severed an artery, a vein and a nerve in his forearm along with tendons to five muscles. As of April the arm is doing well - "All we have to do now is wait for the artery to come around, but everything else is healing well." Marshall said in early April. He is expected to complete rehabbing the arm by June and the team hopes he'll be ready for training camp in July. There is also a pending DUI trial awaiting Marshall in June - which could be a concern regarding team or league suspension if he is found guilty. He was cleared to fully participate in team activities on June 28th, and stated at that time "I guess I'm a fast healer. I feel great. And if we had a game today, I'd be in it. I'm full-speed ahead now, leaving all that stuff behind me." As of July 11th coach Mike Shanahan has full faith in Marshall, stating "I feel very good where Brandon's at. I think he'll be fine.". Marshall has participated in training camp and caught 2/9/0 in the preseason game vs. Houston. He has been suspended for 2 (or possibly 3) games by the commissioner due to off-field issues, but health-wise Marshall appears to be in the clear.
Denver's Darrell Jackson has been saying that his injured toe (which has flared up in the past) is doing well this year. "The toe is feeling pretty good," Jackson said in late May. "I didn't have any problems with it last year, and this is just another year to give it a chance to rest and heal. It's all good to go." Jackson caught 1 pass of 14 yards in the preseason opener vs. Houston.
Denver's Edell Shepherd tore his ACL on the first day of training camp, and is done for the season.
Detroit's Shaun McDonald is recovering from knee surgery, and did not take part in an early-May minicamp, but was on the field to observe. The team hopes he'll be ready to play when training camp rolls around. The Lions expected to remove McDonald from the PUP list on Monday, August 11th - he should start practices soon thereafter.
Green Bay's Greg Jennings sat out of practice on Saturday, August 9th due to tweaking a knee - the issue isn't considered serious as of Monday. However, he did miss the preseason opener vs. Cincinnati due to the injury. He shouldn't miss much time if the initial assessment of the injury is correct.
Houston's Andre Johnson had an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee in mid-May, and missed a month of OTAs as a result. We'll see if he is in the lineup when the Texans open training camp in late July - he is supposed to be recovered by then. On Saturday August 2nd, while running a deep pass route, Johnson pulled up and limped to the sidelines, noticeably favoring his left groin area. I just tweaked my groin a little bit, Johnson said after practice. That's about it. Nothing really major. I'll go in and get some treatment over the next two days and I'll be fine. I didn't tear anything or anything like that. It's hot out here. Sometimes those things happen. You have little tweaks and stuff like that. Other than that, I'm fine. It's no big deal. I didn't tear anything. I slowed down actually when I felt it tighten up on me. That was a good thing. Other than that, I don't think it will be a problem. However, Johnson was unable to play in the preseason opener due to the groin injury - the team is approaching his return to full action with caution.
Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right knee this January and has been rehabilitating the inflamed capsule in his left knee, injured during a September game vs. Denver last season. . On July 9th, head coach Tony Dungy was hopeful that Harrison would be ready for the start of regular season, though Harrison is just now beginning to run and his status for the start of training camp is up in the air. "Right before we closed out our OTAs he was there and he was running," Dungy said. "For the first time in a long time I saw a smile on his face because he was running pain free. So we feel good about where he's going to be physically opening up this year. Everything we've heard and communicated from the Philadelphia police department, he's not a suspect in what's going on there. So again, we feel pretty good about where he's going to be." Harrison did play in 2nd preseason game vs. Carolina, and grabbed 3/22/0. "I think Marvin did fine," coach Tony Dungy said after the contest. "I really wasn't thinking he was going to play. He wanted to go tonight."
Jacksonville's Mike Walker, returning to action this year from a season-ending knee injury, has been solid during spring workouts, with no complications showing from his injury/surgery. "He had a couple of nice catches. As he builds himself into shape, he'll only get better. He caught the ball well, which I think he'll always do," wide receivers coach Todd Monken said of Walker on June 10th. Walker made 2 catches in the preseason game vs. Atlanta, and seems to be in the mix for the Jaguars (who have had a plague of injuries hit their receiving corps).
Jacksonville's Jerry Porter suffered a hamstring injury in late May, which didn't heal properly. He had surgery on Friday, July 18th to repair a torn hamstring tendon, and is now expected to be out until at least week 1 of regular season, which means he'll miss all of training camp. Porter's fantasy prospects as the #1 in Jacksonville take a significant hit due to this ongoing injury/rehab - he could be hampered for a significant portion of the regular season unless his recovery goes very well.
Jacksonville's Reggie Williams suffered a right knee injury during training camp and had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on the injured joint (torn cartilage). The team has not announced a time table for William's return to the field - they are hoping he'll be available for regular season. "He is going to need a little clean-out with some cartilage," coach Jack Del Rio said. "He should return to form. I'll give you a time frame once I get one. I don't want to guess, but he will need to have that procedure done and then rehab and get back to full speed."
Jacksonville's Troy Williamson sat out of practice on Wednesday August
6th, although at the time coach Del Rio asserted he could have gone
Williamson also sat out of practices on Thursday due to an unspecified
injury. The reason given for Williamson not playing vs. Atlanta on Saturday
the 9th was that he had put in limited practice time. Stay tuned.
Minnesota's Bobby Wade was scheduled for an undisclosed procedure on his sore knee during the offseason - there was no word on his expected timetable for recovery. He is in the Vikings' plans for playing the slot receiver role according to OC Darrell Bevell, so it appears that there are no pressing concerns about Wade, who had 2 receptions for 38 yards vs. the Seahawks on Friday August 8th.
New England's Wes Welker opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list for unexplained reasons. He was removed from the list on August 2nd, but did not catch a pass in the first preseason game vs. Baltimore.
New Orleans'Marques Colston is experiencing swelling in a knee a required drainage on the joint as training camp opened. He had a minor arthroscopic procedure in February but had experienced no problems during spring workouts - this situation looks relatively minor as of late July. However, Colston missed the first preseason game due to his ongoing recovery from the knee injury.
New Orleans'Devery Henderson suffered a hamstring injury early on in training camp and missed the team's first preseason game as a result of the injury. The team hopes he will return to action soon.
New York Giants' Plaxico Burress struggled with ankle (torn ligaments in his right ankle suffered in week 2) and knee pain throughout the season and played through a separated shoulder (suffered in the NFC title game vs. Green Bay) and a sprained MCL in his left knee (incurred by slipping in the shower a few days before the Super Bowl) during the Super Bowl. Burress has a history of playing through pain - hopefully, with an offseason to recover he'll be ready to go for training camp. On July 7th he insisted that he is almost 100% healthy and excited about the 2008 season ""I'm close to 100 percent," Burress said. "The knee is 100 percent healthy. The shoulder is 100 percent healthy. The ankle is probably about 90 percent. I played on it so long with it hurt that's why it took so long to heal up. I'm looking forward to it being 100 percent in a few weeks. I'm excited to be playing when I'm 100 percent. I don't remember what it feels like to play pain-free." Burress is waiting on a contract extension from the Giants but is optimistic a new deal will be done soon. He sat out of the early weeks of training camp due to a sore right ankle (which is supposedly unrelated to last year's ligament injuries), and did not play in the preseason opener vs. Detroit. It is unclear when Burress might take the practice field heading into the second round of preseason games. He asserted on Monday, August 11th that he won't start practicing until the ankle is "100%" - "I'm going to make all the right judgments as far as my health. I've stressed that to them. When I get out there I'm going to be running 100 miles per hour with no restrictions. That's what I'm trying to accomplish."
New York Giants' David Tyree had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in Mid April and will be out of action at least until training camp begins in late July. He may begin the season on the physically unable to perform list. On June 10th, Tyree commented "Whether I'm on the roster, off the roster, the fifth receiver or the third receiver, they're going to make decisions based on what's best for the team," Tyree said. "My job is to go out there and make the plays when I'm given the opportunity. When you look back at what I've done when given the opportunity, I've showed up. I can't do any more than that." He didn't participate in the first preseason game vs. Detroit.
New York Giants' Mario Manningham suffered a hip flexor during rookie camp workouts back in May - we'll see if the problem resurfaces as training camp progresses. On August 5th it was revealed that Manningham would continue to miss practice time due to bleeding in his strained quadriceps muscle - Manningham didn't participate in the preseason opener vs. Detroit due to the injury.
New York Giants' Steve Smith missed the preseason opener due to a sore groin.
New York Jets' Brad Smith struggled with an undisclosed injury during spring sessions, mostly spent riding a bike on the sidelines in late May. We'll see if the problem resurfaces during training camp. In July Smith said his problem was a sore back, and that he was fully recovered. He didn't make a catch in the first preseason game.
New York Jets' Laveranues Coles missed the preseason opener due to a sore leg, and couldn't complete the team's practice on Friday, August 8th.
Oakland's Javon Walker was beaten up during a robbery in Las Vegas during
the offseason, and suffered a concussion, an orbital bone fracture (around the
eye socket) and a broken jaw. He is expected to be ready for training camp,
although his conditioning wasn't optimal even prior to the beating. He has also
been working to rehab the knee injury that dogged him during 2007. He may not
be 100% for the opening sessions, depending on how quickly he can return to
training after recovering from his most recent injuries. Stay tuned. Addressing
his flirting with retirement, Walker stated on August 9th "But people need
to know I am fully committed to this team. I will not leave. I am very excited
about the season."
Oakland's Ron Curry had left foot surgery in early May - he is expected to be just fine for training camp, but we'll have to see how the limb holds up to the pounding of two-a-days. He returned to practices in mid-June, saying "Regardless of who was here, I felt like I always been productive, whatever they ask me to do. And it's not going to change this year ...You know, Javon, he's going to be the guy, and I'm just going to be out there making the plays when they go to me." Curry sat out of the preseason opener vs. San Francisco due to a sore hamstring.
Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson has struggled with a sore hamstring at points during spring camps, but he is signed to a contract and expected to fully participate in training camp. He's in the mix for returner and WR3 duties entering training camp. Jackson led the team with 5/51/0 receiving in the preseason opener vs. Pittsburgh - he seems to have worked through the sore hamstring issue.
Philadelphia's Reggie Brown hopes to get back on the field after nursing a sore Achilles during the first weeks of training camp and missing the preseason opener.
San Diego's Vincent Jackson has been hampered by a hamstring injury during the opening weeks of training camp. The team expects him back at workouts soon, though.
St. Louis' Donnie Avery has been battling a pelvis injury (stress fracture) during the first weeks of training camp, and couldn't get on the field for the preseason tilt vs. Tennessee.
San Francisco's Bryant Johnson was unable to play in the preseason opener due to a sore hamstring.
San Francisco's Ashley Lelie didn't play in the first preseason game due to a calf injury.
Seattle's Deion Branch may be on IR during 2008 due to a torn left ACL that was surgically repaired in January. The earliest he might be expected back would be 9 months after the surgery (which is after the start of regular season) - Branch wouldn't be expected to be at 100% until after 12 months or more of rehab work with this sort of injury/surgery. "When you throw Branch's injury into the situation and Bobby's situation, our wide receiver group, I couldn't tell you how we're going to line up right now," said coach Holmgren in mid-June "I think the running backs and the wide receivers are talented, but it's the two positions I have the most questions about going into training camp. We're a little bit young, we're new here and those types of things." Branch hasn't participated in training camp, as expected.
Seattle's Bobby Engram will miss 6-8 weeks after cracking a bone in his shoulder, the team revealed on Monday, August 11th. Nate Burleson figures to be the team's #1 WR in Engram's absence.
Tampa Bay's Joey Galloway was spotted running parachute drills during the first week of training camp, a sign that he is almost healthy after battling a groin injury earlier this spring. He partially participated in practice on August 4th, but was not in pads - he's still working his way back into "football shape". Galloway sat out of the team's first preseason game.
Tennessee's Roydell Williams is recovering from a broken right ankle/surgery to repair the break (suffered last January during the playoffs), and will not participate in the team's May organized team activities as he continues to recover from the injury. He also missed the June workouts, commenting on June 23rd "It has been really tough," Williams said. "I've had to sit and watch the guys at practice and I have to sit and watch guys run the new offense. So I have to learn the offense from on the sideline. And usually after the season I do a lot of speed work and I'll get a jump on conditioning. But I can't do any of that now, so I have a big challenge ahead." Williams was expected to begin working with the team on Monday, August 11th.
Tennessee's Justin McCareins was expected back at practices on Monday, August 11th after nursing a sore hamstring during the first part of training camp.
Tennessee's Biron Ealy (groin injury) was expected back at practices on Monday, August 11th after missing time due to his injury.
Washington's Antwaan Randle El had a minor arthroscopic right knee surgery to remove bits of floating cartilage from his knee in early May. The team expected the knee to fully recover in 3-4 weeks and said at the time that Randle El should be ready for OTAs later in the summer, before training camp. As of June 13th, head coach Jim Zorn expected Randle El to be fully participating at the start of training camp. "It's coming along," Randle El said at that time. "I've been doing some jogging and a little sprinting, so it has been feeling better than what it had been [the first few weeks after the procedure], and that's a good sign. Would I rather be out there right now? No question about it, but we said we were going to be smart about it. We're going to take our time to make sure it's right for the season. That's the most important thing." Randle El played in the second preseason game vs. Buffalo (3/30/0 receiving), and suffered a minor right wrist injury during the game. X-rays were negative - he'll be monitored as the week goes along.
Washington's Anthony Mix suffered bruised ribs during the preseason game vs. Buffalo - x-rays were negative and at first blush this doesn't look like a serious injury.
Washington's Santana Moss is reported to be over all the nagging injuries that hampered him during 2007 (groin, heel and hamstring injuries) and to be 100% healthy as of the first week of Washington's training camp. "I look at it like I'm one of the guys that this team is counting on, so I have to be accountable for myself and try to set an example for the younger guys, and it seems like everything is going to be great for us skill guys this year," Moss said. Moss played in the preseason game vs. Buffalo and grabbed one reception for 14 yards.
Washington's rookie WR Devin Thomas suffered a hamstring pull early in training camp. Thomas missed the preseason opener, the Hall of Fame game against the Colts on August 3. Head Coach Jim Zorn said, "We don't know the extent of it yet. We'll get it calmed down and after we evaluate it what it means for getting him back out there." Thomas did not have a catch in the second preseason game vs. Buffalo. He returned to practice on Monday, August 11th for the first time since injuring his hamstring. Head coach Jim Zorn is hopeful that Thomas can make his preseason debut vs. the Jets.
Washington's rookie WR Malcolm Kelly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on August 5th, and was initially expected to miss two weeks recuperating from the surgery. He has yet to return to practice.
Arizona's Leonard Pope ended the 2007 season on IR due to a dislocated right ankle suffered in early December - hopefully, he'll be back to 100% by the time training camp rolls around. He couldn't participate in the May minicamps as the ankle was still an issue during the spring sessions. He joined full team workouts on July 29th - he had 1 catch for 1 yard and 0 TDs in the preseason opener vs. New Orleans.
Atlanta's Martrez Milner ended the 2007 season on IR due to a November 2007 ankle injury - he hasn't yet been able to get in the action due to soreness in his knee, ankle and toe.
Baltimore's Todd Heap was healthy and able to participate in May's minicamp, but his backups Dan Wilcox (recovering from toe surgery) and Quinn Sypniewski (knee injury) were both unavailable. The team hopes that Heap can stay healthy this year (something he couldn't do all last season - he tore his left hamstring during the season and couldn't get the injury healthy). Heading into training camp, Heap has managed to stay healthy and atop the depth chart. However, on August 2nd Heap was injured during practice, limping off the field Saturday morning with a right calf injury. He had the calf wrapped, but otherwise the injury didn't appear to be serious at first glance. "I think his is more of a fatigue thing," coach John Harbaugh said on August 3rd. "He's got some kind of a tweak in there, but he's fine." However, Heap was bothered enough by the injury to miss the preseason opener vs. the Patriots. Stay tuned.
Baltimore's Quinn Sypniewski will miss the entire 2008 season following a serious knee injury he suffered in minicamp, according to coach John Harbaugh. "It looks like now we're not going to have him back", Harbaugh said. "He had surgery. The ligament tore off the bone, and the piece of the bone that came off the ligament shattered, which made it a situation where it's going to be 6-9 months [to recover]."
Cleveland's Kellen Winslow had offseason knee and shoulder scopes after his Pro Bowl appearance - he should be fine for the start of training camp. In mid-June, he was participating in team drills, and sprinting long distances. "He's feeling better, so he's doing a little bit more," head coach Romeo Crennel said on June 12th. However, Winslow has strained a hamstring during training camp, and sat out of the preseason opener vs. the New York Jets. Hopefully, he'll be able to rehabilitate the hamstring in time for regular season.
Denver's Tony Scheffler, who reinjured his troublesome left foot on May 19, said as of June 27th that he is fully recovered and is ready to hit the field for training camp on July 25. "It feels pretty good," Scheffler said. "It's back to normal, and I am doing everything with the rest of the team, looking forward to getting this behind me." Scheffler led the team in receiving vs. Houston in the first preseason game, snagging 3/47/0.
Detroit's Dan Campbell is currently recovering from a third surgery on his right elbow. He expects to be ready for camp, but the coaches will monitor his progress carefully. Campbell played in two games during 2007 before going on injured reserve. He started practicing with the team on August 11th after completing his rehabilitation of the elbow surgery.
Indianapolis' Tom Santi is recovering from surgery to remove an infected bursa sac (similar to Peyton Manning's surgery) - Santi is expected back at practices soon. Santi missed the Hall of Fame game, and didn't make a catch vs. Carolina in the second preseason contest.
New Orleans'Jeremy Shockey is recovering from a broken leg suffered late in the '07 season, and was unable to play in the Saints' preseason opener after being traded early in training camp.
Ex-Saint Eric Johnson has been released after nursing an injured ankle during the spring sessions: "It was an offseason injury which is something that is really frustrating," Johnson said in early June. "I'm just waiting for it to heal up. Just want to work through it, but there's not really much I can do about it right now. I should be ready for training. I'll have about a month to really go out there and run before training camp."
New England's Ben Watson underwent surgery on his left ankle during early March, a procedure that revealed cartilage damage and scar tissue, but the team refuses to give further details on the situation. He participated in practices on July 24th (after rumors he might start the season on the PUP), but did not have a catch in the preseason opener vs. Baltimore.
New York Jets' TE Chris Baker, who has been nursing a sore back during the opening weeks of training camp, played in the preseason opener and caught a pass.
Philadelphia's L.J. Smith struggled with various injuries (knee, groin and rib) throughout the 2007 season, but he was franchised and signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract during the offseason On August 4th, Smith returned to training camp practices after fighting through a nagging calf strain - "It was good to get him back out there," head coach Andy Reid said. "He's had a calf strain and it looks like it's healed up. He had an MRI and the MRI showed that it looked like it was healed up and ready to go. He came out and did a nice job. Again, I look forward to seeing him with the pads on [Sunday]." He had 1 catch for 14 yards in the preseason opener vs. Pittsburgh.
San Diego's Antonio Gates had left foot/big toe surgery in late February to repair an injury suffered during the 2007 playoffs. He is expected to be ready for the start of regular season, although he may miss part of training camp. "It's just determining when I'm going to be ready," Gates said in early May. "I know I'm going to be ready. It's just when." As of July 23rd, Gates said his foot was 65-70% healed and that he was starting to do simple running drills. He also stated he had no time table for a return to action - it looks like Gates may miss all of training camp and regular season is becoming dicey. Scott Chandler has been working with the first team extensively in Gate's absence, and is expected to continue to do so during the opening weeks of training camp. Gates did not play in the preseason opener, as expected.
Washington's Tyler Ecker is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp due to a mid-June groin surgery - he'll be out for at least 8 weeks, meaning he'll miss all of training camp.
Miami's Jay Feely is battling a sore groin during training camp, and is in a battle for a roster spot with Dan Carpenter. Coach Tony Sparano says the battle is "very even" as of the first preseason game. Feely didn't kick in the preseason opener, while Carpenter hit 41- and 49- yard field goals and kicked off the ball well, too.
Detroit's Jason Hanson strained his thigh and may miss up to 2 preseason games - for now, the team ha signed Dave Rayner to fill in for Hanson.
That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Thursday and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.J