This injury update will normally cover the key player injuries from the previous week’s NFL action. This week we cover the key player injuries heading into week 1 games.
Cam Newton, CAR – Hairline Rib Fracture
Panthers’ QB Cam Newton, who continues to recover from a hairline rib fracture, will remain limited in practice this week as a precaution. However head coach Ron Rivera has told reporters that Newton will definitely start for the team in Week 1 against the Buccaneers. Newton continues to deal with soreness in his side but he will be fitted for a protective flak jacket and the medical staff will do what they can to limit his discomfort on gameday.
Matt Schaub, OAK – Elbow Tendinitis
Raiders’ QB Matt Schaub is still dealing with tendinitis in his throwing elbow and according to reports the team will start rookie Derek Carr in Week 1 against the Jets. Schaub’s injury has limited his involvement in practice this past week and after a scheduled reevaluation on Monday the team’s medical and coaching staffs agreed that Schaub wouldn’t be ready to play. Schaub has struggled throughout the preseason and there is speculation that the team is using his elbow injury as an excuse to play Carr. Regardless Schaub has been benched and Carr is the team’s week 1 starting QB.
Jamaal Charles, KC – Foot Contusion
Chiefs’ RB Jamaal Charles did not play in the team’s preseason finale, but team officials expect him to start in Week 1 against the Titans. Charles suffered a foot contusion while moving out of his training camp dorm and while the injury isn’t serious he has been limited since then as a precaution. According to reports Charles is very close to full strength and he will be in the starting lineup this upcoming Sunday.
Steven Jackson, ATL – Strained Hamstring
Falcons’ veteran RB Steven Jackson, who has been dealing with a strained hamstring, is expected to be in the team’s starting lineup against the Saints on Sunday. Jackson missed a large portion of training camp and the preseason while recovering from his hamstring injury. However his leg appears to be OK and team officials are confident that he will be ready for their regular season opener. We should know more about his official status later in the week.
LeSean McCoy, PHI – Undisclosed Thumb Injury / Turf Toe
Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy is a little banged up heading into the regular season, but his injuries aren’t considered problematic and team officials expect him to be at full speed for their Week 1 game against the Jaguars. The turf toe injury is something we will continue to monitor because if it does linger it could limit his involvement in practices between games.
Knowshon Moreno, MIA – Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Dolphins’ RB Knowshon Moreno has been the most impressive running back in Miami this preseason and according to local newspapers it appears that he will be the team’s top running back when they face the Patriots in Week 1. There was concern that Moreno’s degenerative knee condition would prevent him from being an effective runner this season. And while it will eventually cut his career short, his knee seems to be OK right now and team officials believe he could be headed for another big year. Moreno will still split snaps with Lamar Miller, but he is a better blocker and receiver so expect to see him on the field a lot this upcoming Sunday.
Bernard Pierce, BAL – Mild Concussion
Ravens’ RB Bernard Pierce, who is 10 days removed from a mild concussion, is reportedly symptom-free and team officials expect him to start in Week 1. Pierce made his return to the practice field this past weekend and according to reports he hasn’t suffered any setbacks. He continues to be held out of contact drills as a precaution, but barring an unforeseen issue he will be in the team’s starting lineup on Sunday.
Allen Robinson, JAC – Strained Hamstring
Jaguars’ rookie WR Allen Robinson was limited in practice on Monday and although he remains optimistic about his chances of playing in Week 1 his status remains in question. Robinson suffered a strained hamstring early in training camp and he missed the entire preseason as a result. The team is trying to get him ready in time for their first regular season game and GM Dave Caldwell recently told reporters that there is a chance that Robinson could play against the Eagles. But despite the recent optimism surrounding his injury status, if he is active on Sunday he probably won’t get a lot of playing time. He still at least two weeks away from being 100%.
Kenny Stills, NO – Strained Quadriceps
Saints’ WR Kenny Stills aggravated his problematic quadriceps injury during the team’s exhibition game against the Colts and his status for Week 1 remains a question mark. Stills was scheduled to be reevaluated on Monday and while he results of that evaluation have not been made public there are reports that suggest that Stills will try to practice with the team this week in an attempt to get ready for the game against the Falcons. Hopefully we will know something more concrete about his status in a day or two.
Sammy Watkins, BUF – Rib Contusion
Bills’ rookie WR Sammy Watkins reinjured his ribs in the team’s preseason finale and there was some concern about his status for Week 1. But Watkins, who will probably be limited this week while he recovers, looked comfortable in practice on Monday and he should be healthy enough to play on Sunday against the Bears.
Wes Welker, DEN – Concussion
Broncos’ WR Wes Welker took part in non-contact team drills in practice on Monday, however he still hasn’t been cleared for contact and his status for Week 1 remains a question mark. Welker is recovering from his third concussion in less than 10 months and despite him being virtually symptom-free the medical staff remains extremely cautious. Welker’s activity level will be gradually increased this week and if he continues to be symptom-free Welker might be able to take part in contact drills as early as Thursday. We will keep you posted.
Rob Gronkowski, NE – Recovery from ACL and MCL Tears
Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski, who had surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL less than 8 months ago, recently told reporters that his knee continues to get stronger and that he has received clearance to play in Week 1 against the Dolphins. As expected the team has been tight-lipped about his status, but Gronkowski has said that he will be healthy enough to play in the season-opener. He admitted that he will be limited in his first game back since having his knee surgically reconstructed so keep that in mind when you set your lineup.
Jordan Reed, WAS – Sprained Thumb
Redskins’ TE Jordan Reed is still dealing with a minor thumb injury, however his thumb will be taped on Sunday and team officials expect him to start against the Texans. Reed’s injury was diagnosed as a minor sprain and he has spent a lot of time in the training room getting treatment and undergoing rehab. His recovery has reportedly gone well and his thumb shouldn’t affect his performance this upcoming weekend.