Training camps and preseason games are underway. While it’s great to see football finally back, unfortunately that also means injuries. As always the injury reports are busy during training camp. Here’s the status of players with the most interest to the fantasy community.
Active/PUP: A player who, as a result of football-related injuries, is unable to take part in training camp practices may be assigned to the preseason PUP list. Players can be moved off the PUP list to the active roster at any time, even after one practice. (Wikipedia)
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Minnesota Vikings – Bridgewater missed the Vikings second preseason game with shoulder soreness. He was unable to throw the ball over the weekend. The injury isn’t believed to be serious but it’s certainly something to be monitored. The Vikings are hoping Bridgewater will be ready to play in their dress rehearsal Sunday against the Chargers.
Colin Kaepernick, QB San Francisco 49ers – Kaepernick didn’t practice last week and missed the 49ers second preseason game with arm fatigue. He did return to practice on Monday. Kaepernick is likely to see significant playing time in San Francisco’s third preseason game versus the Packers. He’s competing with Blaine Gabbert to be the 49ers starting quarterback.
Carson Wentz, QB Philadelphia Eagles – Wentz threw over the weekend but he’s still feeling discomfort because of the hairline fracture in his ribs. While he Eagles hope to have Wentz back at practice soon, there’s no concrete timetable for his return. Sam Bradford is locked in as the Eagles Week 1 starter. If Bradford struggles early in the season, Wentz could still start games later in the year.
Ameer Abdullah, RB Detroit Lions – Abdullah had been wearing a non-contact jersey at practice and he’s missed the Lions first two preseason games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He’s no longer practicing with the non-contact jersey. There’s a chance Abdullah will suit up for the Lions third preseason game. He’s expected to be back for Week 1.
Kenyan Drake, RB Miami Dolphins – Drake won’t practice this week while he continues to deal with a hamstring injury. Hamstring issues have plagued Drake dating back to his college days at Alabama. He’ll start the season buried on the Dolphins running back depth chart.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB Dallas Cowboys – Elliott returned to practice after missing time with a hamstring injury. He was held out of the Cowboys second preseason game as a precaution. The plan is for Elliott to play this week in Dallas third preseason game against the Seahawks barring a setback. Despite the hamstring injury, Elliott is still expected to see a heavy workload early in the season as the Cowboys starting running back.
Matt Forte, RB New York Jets – Forte returned to team drills last week after missing the first month of training camp with a hamstring injury. The Jets want Forte to play a few snaps this week against the Giants. The veteran is on pace to start Week 1, assuming his hamstring doesn’t flare up again.
Matt Jones, RB Washington Redskins – Jones suffered an AC sprain in his shoulder during the Redskins second preseason game. It’s not expected to be a long-term injury but Jones will miss the rest of the preseason and his availability for Week 1 is now in doubt. If Jones can’t go against the Steelers, Rob Kelley is next in line with Chris Thompson and Keith Marshall also fighting for touches in Washington’s backfield.
Jeremy Langford, RB Chicago Bears – Langford got stepped on in the Bears second preseason game and was wearing a walking boot. He shed the walking boot Sunday. Langford didn’t practice on Sunday but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious. He’s been impressive this preseason while running almost exclusively with the first-team offense. Langford is a bargain at his current sixth round ADP.
Dion Lewis, RB New England Patriots – Lewis needs a second surgery on the same knee that he tore his ACL. He’s expected to miss 8-10 weeks. There’s a good chance Lewis will open the year on the reserve/PUP list, making him ineligible to play in the first six games. James White will now take over the role as the Patriots primary passing down back. White’s ADP is in Round 15 and climbing.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seattle Seahawks – Rawls is practicing without limitations but is unlikely to play in Seattle’s third preseason game. The Seahawks don’t want to push Rawls after he had ankle surgery in December. Even with Christine Michael’s impressive preseason, Rawls will open the year as the Seahawks starting running back with Michael expected to see some touches as well. Rawls currently has an ADP of Round 4.
Shaun Draughn, RB San Francisco 49ers – Draughn missed the 49ers second preseason game with a rib injury. He’s expected back at practice this week. 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has already anointed Draughn as San Francisco’s No. 2 back this season. Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins has compared Draughn to the Lions Theo Riddick, who caught 80 passes last season. Draughn is an intriguing late-round pick.
John Brown, WR Arizona Cardinals – Brown has been cleared to practice after missing almost three weeks with a concussion. He should play Sunday in the Cardinals third preseason game against Houston.
Victor Cruz, WR New York Giants – Cruz missed the Giants second preseason game and he continues to be sidelined with a groin injury. Cruz is expected back at practice early this week but that’s been the plan for two years. Anything the Giants get out of him in 2016 will be considered an added bonus.
Josh Doctson, WR Washington Redskins – Doctson still isn’t practicing while battling an Achilles injury. The Washington Post reported that he could open the season on reserve/PUP. That would cost Doctson the first six games. Even if Doctson returns to practice, he won’t start the year any higher than the Redskins No. 4 receiver.
Brandon LaFell, WR Cincinnati Bengals – LaFell returned to practice on Sunday. He’s dealing with a torn ligament in his hand but for now LaFell plans to play through it. LaFell is expected to play and start in Week 1, with impressive rookie Tyler Boyd assuming slot duties early in the year. Boyd is the higher upside fantasy pick with a Round 12 ADP, considering LaFell is already injured and has only one season with at least 50 receptions.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals – Fitzgerald sat out the Cardinals second preseason game with a slight MCL sprain but he returned to practice on Sunday. He’s expected to be available for the Cardinals dress rehearsal Monday against Houston. Fitz offers some value at his current late fifth round ADP.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR New England Patriots – Mitchell is back practicing with a large brace on his elbow. He dislocated his elbow in the Patriots first preseason game. Mitchell is still limited in practice but is expected to be ready for Week 1. The rookie is the favorite to open the season as one of New England’s starting receivers. Mitchell still isn’t even being drafted in a majority of fantasy leagues.
Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers – Nelson was activated off PUP last week and has been participating in individual drills. Nelson had tendinitis in his knee after tearing his ACL last year. The Packers are expecting him to be ready for Week 1 but he’s still yet to see a full practice. Nelson’s ADP has him being drafted in the Top 20 players.
Breshad Perriman, WR Baltimore Ravens – Perriman was activated from the active/PUP list on Monday. He suffered a partially torn ACL in June and has missed all of training camp. After also missing his entire rookie season due to injuries, Perriman still has a long ways to go before he’s on the fantasy radar.
Steve Smith, WR Baltimore Ravens – Smith was activated from the active/PUP list last week. The veteran is coming back from a torn Achilles suffered last season. It’s still unclear if the 37-year-old Smith will play in the preseason but he’s expected to be in the starting lineup for the opener when the Ravens face the Bills.
Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll admitted last week that he doesn’t know if Graham will be ready to play in Week 1. Carroll said the team doesn’t have a specific timetable for Graham and that they’re just trying to get him back without any setbacks. Graham still isn’t participating in team drills after tearing his patellar tendon last season. He has an ADP of Round 10 and should be considered questionable for Week 1.
Rob Gronkowski, TE New England Patriots – Gronk left practice last Monday in what is being called a “minor” injury. However, he missed the Patriots second preseason game and hasn’t practiced since. If Gronk doesn’t return to practice soon, his minor injury is going to start causing a panic.
Greg Olsen, TE Carolina Panthers – Olsen missed the Panthers second preseason game while dealing with a minor back issue. He returned to practice on Monday. The Panthers may keep Olsen out the rest of the preseason to rest his back but he’s in no danger of missing Week 1.