Training camps are in full swing and preseason games start this week. 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)
Kellen Moore, QB Dallas Cowboys – Moore broke his ankle in practice and will be sidelined 3-4 months. The best-case scenario for the Cowboys is Moore returning some time before Thanksgiving. Moore was scheduled to be Tony Romo’s backup this season. With Moore injured, Dallas pursued Nick Foles but he signed with the Chiefs. Rookie Dak Prescott is currently the Cowboys No. 2 quarterback should something happen to Romo. Apparently Jerry Jones learned nothing from last season.
Jay Ajayi, RB Miami Dolphins – Ajayi returned to practice last Friday. He had been dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee. Miami head coach Adam Gase said Ajayi still isn’t 100 percent healthy. Ajayi returned because he didn’t want to miss any more practice time and fall behind Arian Foster. Ajayi split first-team reps when he returned but Foster is expected to be the starter in Week 1.
Kenneth Dixon, RB Baltimore Ravens – Dixon returned to practice last Thursday. He sprained his MCL and missed just a week of practice. Dixon is fighting for snaps in a crowded backfield that includes Justin Forsett, Buck Allen and the rejuvenated Terrance West.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB Dallas Cowboys – Elliott injured his hamstring in practice last Wednesday. Some reports have Elliott missing around 5 days, while others have him listed as week to week. Expect the Cowboys to be cautious with their star rookie running back, as soft tissue injuries can linger. With Elliott and Darren McFadden both out, Alfred Morris is working with the first-team offense.
Matt Forte, RB New York Jets – Forte is still dealing with a hamstring injury. He returned to practice last Tuesday on a limited basis. Forte is expected to sit out the Jets first preseason game even if he’s practicing full-time this week.
Dion Lewis, RB New England Patriots – Reports about Lewis have been all over the place. The Boston Globe reported Lewis could open the season on the PUP list. The Boston Herald then refuted that report and said Lewis is unlikely to open the year on PUP. The bottom line is fantasy owners won’t really know his status until later on in training camp. Lewis is currently on active/PUP while he recovers from ACL surgery. He currently has an ADP of Round 5.
Ryan Mathews, RB Philadelphia Eagles – Mathews returned to practice last Friday. Mathews had been dealing with an ankle injury he suffered while training on his own this summer. Mathews missed the first nine days of training camp but he’s the favorite to open the season as the Eagles starting running back if he can stay healthy. Mathews’ ADP is in the late seventh round.
Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota Vikings – Peterson has been sitting out of practice with a slight hamstring strain. He’s expected to be back on the field Wednesday. Unless his hamstring flares up again in camp, Peterson will be fine.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks activated Rawls off the active/PUP list on Sunday. Rawls suffered a serious ankle injury in December but he’s expected to be ready for Seattle’s opener against Miami. The Seahawks drafted Alex Collins and C.J. Prosise but Rawls will be the lead back as long as he’s healthy. He offers some value at his current fourth round price tag.
Wendell Smallwood, RB Philadelphia Eagles – Smallwood injured his quad last Tuesday. The rookie had been seeing some reps with the first-team offense while Mathews was sidelined. Smallwood is battling with Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner for touches behind Mathews this season.
John Brown, WR Arizona Cardinals –Brown has been sidelined since the start of training camp with a concussion. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said last week that Brown is making progress. Brown is progressing through the league’s concussion protocol. He’s questionable to play in Arizona’s first preseason game Friday night.
Corey Coleman, WR Cleveland Browns – Coleman is dealing with a hamstring injury and may not play in the Browns first preseason game. Coleman said he felt some fatigue in his left hamstring during last Friday’s practice. Don’t expect the Browns to push it with their rookie receiver. Coleman will likely be held out against the Packers Friday night.
Josh Doctson, WR Washington Redskins – Doctson is still recovering from an Achilles injury but ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini reported last Wednesday that he’s expected to return within two weeks. He’ll miss the Redskins preseason opener Thursday night. Doctson has been sidelined with the injury since May. The rookie will compete with Jamison Crowder to be Washington’s third receiver if he can get back on the field soon.
Julian Edelman, WR New England Patriots – The Patriots activated Edelman off the active/PUP list on Sunday. Edelman has undergone two surgeries on his foot since November but he’s been cleared to practice and is on schedule to play in Week 1. Edelman’s fourth round ADP could see a slight bump now that he’s back at practice.
Andrew Hawkins, WR Cleveland Browns – Hawkins suffered a hamstring injury last Tuesday. Hawkins was limited to eight games in 2015 because of concussions. There’s no timetable for Hawkins’ return. The veteran is expected to open the season as the Browns slot receiver.
Alshon Jeffery, WR Chicago Bears –Here we go again. Jeffery suffered a mild hamstring injury last Thursday but returned to practice on Monday. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but Jeffery has a history of missing time because of hamstring/groin injuries. Jeffery appears to be fine but this is a situation for fantasy owners to keep an eye on going forward.
Jordan Matthews, WR Philadelphia Eagles – Matthews has a bone bruise in his knee. He’s expected to be sidelined two –to-four weeks. The Eagles are hoping Matthews can return for the third preseason game but that’s probably a best-case scenario. Philadelphia is thin at receiver with retreads like Rueben Randle and Chris Givens behind Matthews. They need him healthy for the start of the regular season.
DeVante Parker, WR Miami Dolphins – Parker has missed practice time while dealing with a hamstring injury. Parker has an ADP of Round 5 but the second-year receiver can’t seem to stay healthy. He’s considered day to day.
Sammy Watkins, WR Buffalo Bills – The Bills activated Watkins off the active/PUP list on Monday. Watkins passed his physical and is now eligible to practice. Watkins had offseason foot surgery but he appears fully recovered. He has an ADP in the early third round.
Eric Ebron, TE Detroit Lions – Ebron is dealing with a right ankle sprain. He went down in practice Saturday holding the back of his leg. It originally looked like Ebron suffered a serious Achilles injury. He later told teammates he’ll be okay and posted a video of him laughing while driving a car. He’s expected to miss a week or two of practice but it appears Ebron escaped a severe injury.
Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks – Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Graham is close to coming off the PUP list. Graham is still recovering from a patellar tendon tear he suffered last November. He should be considered questionable for Week 1.