NFL training camps are right around the corner and for fantasy owners that means tracking injuries. Below are players who were either hurt last year or enter training camp injured and their status.
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)
Joe Flacco, QB Baltimore Ravens – Flacco was held out of OTAs in June after tearing both his ACL and MCL last November. He’s now throwing without restrictions and remains on track for the start of training camp. Flacco has been working with Ravens’ receiver Kamar Aiken, who told BaltimoreRavens.com, “He looks 100 percent to me.” Flacco isn’t one of six Ravens placed on the active/PUP list to begin training camp.
Andrew Luck, QB Indianapolis Colts – Luck missed the final seven games of the 2015 season with a lacerated kidney but practiced fully at OTAs. Luck recently signed a six-year, $140 million contract extension. He’ll have no limitations in training camp and should be in line for a bounce back season in 2016.
Tony Romo, QB Dallas Cowboys – Romo had surgery on his troublesome collarbone in March but is throwing without any issue. He’ll be ready for the start of training camp. While Romo won’t have any limitations in camp, he isn’t expected to see much preseason work with the Cowboys looking to develop a competent backup quarterback.
Ameer Abdullah, RB Detroit Lions – Abdullah had surgery on his shoulder in January to repair a torn labrum. Lions General Manager Bob Quinn said in June that Abdullah would be ready for training camp. Abdullah wasn’t placed on active/PUP, so he’s been cleared for football activities. Abdullah should be a full participant when training camp kicks off. Abdullah rushed 143 times for just 597 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. He should see more touches this season.
LeGarrette Blount, RB New England Patriots – Blount missed all of New England’s minicamp practices while still recovering from the hip injury he suffered last December. Blount avoided surgery and he wasn’t placed on the active/PUP list. Blount should be ready to go when camp starts. ESPN Boston suggested his roster spot could be in jeopardy but if healthy, Blount is the favorite to be the Patriots big back this season.
Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City Chiefs – Charles is still recovering from an ACL injury and isn’t expected to be ready for the start of training camp. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he doesn’t want Charles to take any steps back from his recovery. The Chiefs won’t rush Charles, so don’t look to see him much, if any, during the preseason. He’s expected to be ready for Week 1 but Charles is an injury risk for fantasy owners coming off two knee surgeries in the last four years. Spencer Ware has the early inside track to be Charles’ backup.
Lance Dunbar, RB Dallas Cowboys – Dunbar suffered a serious knee injury last October. Surprisingly, Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones said recently the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Dunbar participating in training camp. The more likely scenario is Dunbar beginning the season on the reserve/PUP list. An excellent receiver, Dunbar could see some work on passing downs once he’s healthy.
Kenyan Drake, RB Miami Dolphins – Drake is dealing with a hamstring injury he suffered in minicamp. The Dolphins aren’t concerned the injury will force Drake to miss the start of training camp. It’s worth noting though that hamstring issues plagued Drake throughout his college career. Drake has now suffered eight hamstring injuries since he was a freshman at Alabama. He’ll battle with Jay Ajayi and newly signed Arian Foster for reps in Miami’s backfield.
Justin Forsett, RB Baltimore Ravens – Forsett broke his arm last season but enters training camp fully healthy. Forsett opens training camp atop the Ravens depth chart at running back. He’ll face competition for touches from Buck Allen and rookie Kenneth Dixon.
Dion Lewis, RB New England Patriots – Lewis is recovering from an ACL injury and will start training camp on the active/PUP list. Lewis began running without a brace in mid-June. The Patriots are typically cautious with veterans early in camp and that will likely be the case with Lewis. The Patriots are hoping to have Lewis for Week 1 but it’s not a given at this point. Look for Lewis to regain his role as New England’s primary third-down/passing game back once he’s healthy.
Darren McFadden, RB Dallas Cowboys – McFadden broke his elbow in an accident at home in June. The injury required surgery and McFadden is expected to miss a majority of training camp. The Cowboys are hoping to have McFadden back by their third preseason game. That’s the best case scenario. Either way, McFadden should be ready when Dallas hosts the Giants in Week 1.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seattle Seahawks – Rawls suffered a fractured ankle and ligament damage last December. He missed all of OTAs but Rawls said he’ll be ready for the start of training camp. Even if Rawls is ready for the start of camp, he isn’t expected to play much in the preseason. Rookies Alex Collins and C.J. Prosise will see plenty of preseason work while Rawls gets ready for opening day. Rawls will get first crack at being the starter as long as he’s healthy but one of the rookies could earn more playing time with an impressive preseason.
Danny Woodhead, RB San Diego Chargers – Woodhead sprained his ankle during minicamp but the injury proved to be minor. Woodhead is 100 percent healthy heading into training camp. Historically undervalued, Woodhead has an appealing Average Draft Position of Round 7 in PPR leagues.
Danny Amendola, WR New England Patriots – Amendola had knee and ankle surgeries early in the offseason. The surgeries are considered minor but Amendola will begin training camp on the active/PUP list. The Boston Herald said Amendola is questionable to play in Week 1.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR Carolina Panthers – Benjamin tore his ACL last August. He was limited to individual drills at OTAs but Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he expects Benjamin to be ready for the start of training camp. Benjamin’s Average Draft Position is currently in the third round.
Dez Bryant, WR Dallas Cowboys – Bryant missed seven games with a fractured foot last season. Despite being cleared for football activities, he only did individual drills during OTAs. The Cowboys are bringing Bryant along slowly but expect him to be a full participant once training camp starts.
Victor Cruz, WR New York Giants – Cruz will be ready for the start of training camp after getting in limited work during OTAs. Cruz hasn’t played in a game since he tore his patellar tendon in October of 2014. He missed all of 2015 while battling a calf injury. Cruz will work primarily out of the slot with Odell Beckham and rookie Sterling Shepard expected to be the Giants starters.
Josh Doctson, WR Washington Redskins – Doctson has been sidelined with an Achilles injury. He’s expected to be cleared for the start of training camp. The rookie will compete to be Washington’s third receiver behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in training camp.
Julian Edelman, WR New England Patriots – Edelman missed the final seven games of the 2015 season after having surgery on his fractured foot. Edelman then underwent a second procedure on his foot this offseason. He’ll begin training camp on the active/PUP list. Edelman is expected to be ready when the Patriots take on the Cardinals in Week 1.
Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers – Nelson tore his ACL last August and missed the entire 2015 season. Nelson said in June that he was ready to play in a game and all reports suggest he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery. Nelson was expected to be a full-go in training camp but wasn’t cleared to practice yet and placed on the active/PUP list. Nelson can come off the PUP at any time. Chances are he’ll be cleared for football activities sooner than later.
Breshad Perriman, WR Baltimore Ravens – Perriman will open training camp on the active/PUP list. Perriman suffered a partially torn ACL during OTAs. He was able to avoid surgery but Perriman is coming off a rookie season where he missed the entire year because of multiple PCL issues. There’s no timetable for Perriman’s return. The Ravens are hoping to have him back on the field at some point during training camp.
Steve Smith, WR Baltimore Ravens – Smith ruptured his Achilles’ tendon last season and will open training camp on the active/PUP list. There’s optimism that the 37-year-old receiver will be ready by Week 1 but his availability isn’t a sure thing. Smith caught 46 passes for 670 yards and three scores in seven games last season.
Sammy Watkins, WR Buffalo Bills – Watkins had surgery in May to repair a small broken bone in his foot. Watkins posted a video of himself running in a straight line in early July. Watkins said that he’s nearing 100 percent and that he plans to return early in training camp. Watkins’ Average Draft Position is the early third round.
Jared Cook, TE St. Louis Rams – Cook had foot surgery in June and missed OTAs. He was placed on the active/PUP list to start training camp. Cook is competing with Richard Rodgers for snaps at tight end in the Packers offense.
Tyler Eifert, TE Cincinnati Bengals – Eifert injured his ankle in the Pro Bowl. He had ankle surgery in May and will miss all of training camp. Eifert’s surgery carries with it a 3-4 month recovery before he can return to the field. Recent reports say Eifert is likely to miss the start of the regular season. Eifert’s absence should mean even more targets for A.J. Green early in the year.
Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks – Graham ruptured his patellar tendon last November. The injury is historically the most difficult for NFL players to return to their prior form. The Seahawks haven’t given a timeline for Graham’s return but head coach Pete Carroll said he’s on track to play in Week 1. That may be wishful thinking given the severity of the injury. Even if Graham is ready by the opener, don’t expect to see much of him in training camp or throughout the preseason.
J.J. Watt, DE Houston Texans – Watt is recovering from back surgery and will begin training camp on the active/PUP list. There are reports Watt could be sidelined up to 10 weeks and miss the start of the regular season. Normally a top fantasy option, the Texans defense gets downgraded without arguably the top defensive player in the NFL. The Texans first three games are against the Bears, Chiefs and Patriots.
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