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)
Tony Romo, QB Dallas Cowboys – Romo suffered a broken bone in his back against the Seahawks in the Cowboys third preseason game. The timetable for his return is roughly 6-10 weeks. Reports have ranged from Romo practicing as soon as three weeks to him missing the first eight games. The bottom line is rookie Dak Prescott will take over as the Cowboys starting quarterback for at least the first few games of the season. The fourth-round draft pick has been impressive this preseason but losing Romo is obviously a huge blow to the Cowboys offense. Romo’s absence will impact all the Dallas skill position players, including Dez Bryant who has been selected in the first round in many fantasy drafts over the last month. Prescott will open the year as a QB2 with upside.
Carson Wentz, QB Philadelphia Eagles – Wentz is out for the remainder of the preseason while he continues to recover from a hairline fracture to his ribs. One of Wentz’s fractures has healed but the other is still only 60 percent and he’s still experiencing pain. There’s a chance Wentz could still make starts this year but it won’t be until much later in the season. Right now his only fantasy value is in dynasty leagues.
Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City Chiefs – Charles didn’t play in the Chiefs third preseason game. He’s practicing in full now, so Charles’ knee looks to be 100 percent recovered from the ACL tear he suffered last year. Charles is expected to be ready for Week 1. If he can’t go, Spencer Ware will get the start and see the majority of touches.
Kenneth Dixon, RB Baltimore Ravens – Dixon tore his MCL in the Ravens third preseason game. He doesn’t need surgery but Dixon will be sidelined for at least four weeks. The Ravens backfield is a mess heading into the season, so Dixon still has a chance to be a fantasy factor once he returns in early October.
Carlos Hyde, RB San Francisco 49ers – Hyde suffered a concussion in the 49ers third preseason game. He’s now in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Hyde has just over two weeks to get cleared in time to face the Rams in Week 1. If he can’t play, Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis will likely split touches in the 49ers backfield.
Keith Marshall, RB Washington Redskins – Marshall is expected to miss at least three weeks with an elbow injury. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Marshall could open the season on injured reserve. With Matt Jones’ Week 1 status in doubt, undrafted rookie Rob Kelley is likely to open the year as the Redskins starting running back.
Branden Oliver, RB San Diego Chargers – Oliver tore his Achilles’ in the Chargers third preseason game and is done for the season. Oliver’s injury leaves San Diego thin at running back behind Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead. Look for Woodhead to get even more snaps this year with Oliver out.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seattle Seahawks – Rawls didn’t play in the Seahawks third preseason game. He’s practicing without limitations and Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol said Rawls will play in Week 1. It appears Rawls’ ankle is no longer an issue. Rawls will be the Seahawks starter but Christine Michael will also see carries after an impressive training camp.
Jonathan Williams, RB Buffalo Bills – Williams suffered a rib injury in the Bills third preseason game. The Bills said the injury is minor but Williams has already been ruled out of Buffalo’s final preseason game. The rookie is battling with Mike Gillislee to open the year as the Bills No. 3 back.
John Brown, WR Arizona Cardinals – Brown returned to practice last week after being cleared from a concussion. He then missed a practice with headaches but returned the next day. Brown was held out of Arizona’s third preseason game and head coach Bruce Arians said the receiver is still experiencing headaches. Brown is expected to be in the starting lineup when the Cardinals take on the Patriots in Week 1 but the fact that he’s still suffering from headaches is concerning.
Dez Bryant, WR Dallas Cowboys – Bryant suffered a concussion in practice last week and missed the Cowboys third preseason game. He participated in individual drills during Sunday’s practice. Bryant is done for the preseason but should be cleared in plenty of time for Week 1. His fantasy value takes a little hit with Romo being out for at least half the season.
Bruce Ellington, WR San Francisco 49ers – Ellington strained his hamstring in the 49ers third preseason game. He has a chance to make an impact for the receiver-starved 49ers but Ellington hasn’t been able to stay healthy this preseason.
A.J. Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals – Green limped off the field in the Bengals third preseason game but said after he just banged his knee. He’s fine. Green will be a target monster early in the year with tight end Tyler Eifert out for at least the first month.
Brandon Marshall, WR New York Jets – Marshall missed the Jets third preseason game with a sore hip. Marshall has had hip problems in the past but this isn’t believed to be a serious injury. Still, it’s something to monitor with the start of the season right around the corner.
Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles – Matthews returned to practice on Monday. He’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his knee and has missed the Eagles last two preseason games. Matthews is expected to be good to go for Week 1.
Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers – Nelson participated in his first full practice on Monday. He’s been dealing with tendinitis in his knee after tearing his ACL last August. It’s been a bit concerning that it’s taken Nelson so long to get back on the field but the Packers insist he’ll be ready for Week 1. This is a step in the right direction.
Kenny Stills, WR Miami Dolphins – Stills suffered a lower body injury Monday in practice when he pulled up short running a route. Stills collapsed along the sideline and was reportedly in considerable pain. Stills has been starting opposite Jarvis Landry this preseason. If he’s out for an extended period of time, DeVante Parker will move into a starting role and see more snaps.
Tyler Eifert, TE Cincinnati Bengals – Eifert has resumed jogging and is targeting a return between Weeks 4-6. He’s recovering from offseason ankle surgery. With Eifert out the first month of the season, A.J. Green will dominate targets, especially in the red zone.
Rob Gronkowski, TE New England Patriots – Gronk returned to practice last week but was held out of the Patriots third preseason game as a precaution. Gronkowski missed nine days of practice with an undisclosed injury. He’s in no danger of missing Week 1.
Zach Miller, TE Chicago Bears – Miller returned to practice last week after missing the first two weeks of training camp with a concussion. He was held of the Bears third preseason game as a precaution but Miller is set to go for Week 1. Miller is a low-end TE1 most weeks as the third option in the Bears passing game behind Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White.
Greg Olsen, TE Carolina Panthers – Olsen returned to practice on Sunday. He’s been sidelined with a back injury but it was never believed to be serious. The Panthers are just taking it easy with one of their top offensive weapons. Olsen will be in the starting lineup when Carolina faces the Broncos in Week 1.
Ben Watson, TE Baltimore Ravens – Watson tore his Achilles’ in the Ravens third preseason game. He’ll miss the 2016 season. With Watson, Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams all injured, the Ravens are down to Crockett Gilmore at tight end. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did say he expects to have both Pitta and Williams back after the final preseason game. Heading into the year, the Baltimore offense is one fantasy owners should avoid.