Injury Expert: Ahmad Bradshaw, RGIII, Stevie J & more
Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL. Just about every player deals with something throughout the season. And while NFL teams are required to release injury reports throughout the season, each team and coach have their own spin and level of disclosure.
Throughout the season I will bring my medical expertise and professional experience to 4for4 Fantasy Football, giving my opinion on NFL injuries and their impact on fantasy football. Below I highlight five key injuries to keep an eye on as we head closer to training camps.
Ahmad Bradshaw - multiple foot/ankle surgeries
Whenever an athlete has multiple procedures to the same area it's an obvious red flag. Bradshaw had yet another procedure done in February on his right foot to replace a screw from a previous surgery. He showed up to his first practice with the Colts in a walking boot but downplayed the notion that it was an issue. It's not uncommon for players to wear walking boots to protect tissues and help the healing process but it is still a concern. He hopes to be able to participate in training camp at the end of July.
Bottom Line - The combination of his home field being turf and his extensive history of foot/ankle problems could be difficult for Bradshaw. He has shown to be able to play through these injuries in the past but he needs to prove he's healthy first and show that running/cutting won't be an issue. Continue to monitor his status as training camp progresses. If he proves he's healthy he could be a nice addition to an improving Colts offense.
L5 Back Stress Fracture - There are 5 vertebrae that make up the lower back. Excessive strain to the vertebrae from forceful movements and repetitive end ranges of motions can lead to wearing of the spine where it causes micro fractures in the vertebrae.
ACL/LCL reconstruction - The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the main ligament in the knee that helps prevent rotational/twisting motions and prevents the lower leg from moving excessively on the upper part of the leg. The LCL (lateral collateral ligament) is the main ligament on the outside of the knee that prevents the knee from buckling outward when an external force is applied to it.
There aren’t many days that go by without some sort of update on RGIII’s surgically repaired right knee. Reports are very positive that he continues to rehab with no setbacks. The concern that I have is that he is coming back from two ACL surgeries on the same knee which can be a tall task even for the most gifted athletes. Swelling and soreness in the knee after performing cutting/rotational movements can also delay progressing through the necessary steps for him to even be considered for week 1.
Bottom Line - His repair on his LCL has gone overlooked and may play a bigger factor as to how he progresses. With RGIII’s determination I wouldn’t expect too many setbacks but that can all change once he straps on the pads and starts taking hits to the lower body. Rehab usually goes well under a controlled environment but it's how the knee responds to contact that will determine if he's truly ready to start in Week 1.
Lisfranc Surgery – A lisfranc injury is an injury to the bone/ligaments of the foot where the bones of the midfoot meet the forefoot. The main role of the midfoot/forefoot is to help stabilize the foot and dissipate forces as it lands and pushes off the ground to walk or run.
There is some real concern over Holmes’ progress since he had surgery to help heal his lisfranc injury. It’s been close to 8 months since the surgery was performed and reports are that Holmes is still limited to just working out and is still in the early stages of just walking without compensation. There have been many football players that have returned from a lisfranc injury (Matt Schaub, Darren McFadden) but ultimately it’s the healing of the bones and ligaments where the injury occurred that dictates how much Holmes will be able tolerate moving forward.
Bottom Line - The PUP list is sounding more like a realistic place for Holmes to start the season, and he might not even be fully recovered when he is finally able to suit up and get back on the field. Given the poor QB situation in New York, I wouldn't consider Holmes an option until he actually gets on the field and shows some production.
Hamstring Strain – The hamstring is the muscle in the back of the thigh that comes from the pelvic bone and attaches behind the knee. It’s responsible for bending the knee, extending the hip, and for proper acceleration/deceleration when running/cutting.
Demarco Murray returned to minicamp last week after dealing with a strain to his hamstring. Murray has not been the healthiest RB since he came into the league so this is something to keep an eye on as training camps open up. Hamstring strains have a tendency to linger if they are not managed properly as they are very important in helping to decelerate the body and change direction which is what Murray does on the regular.
Bottom Line - His injury history (high ankle sprain, fractured ankle) and the demand of his position are why I keep an eye on Murray. Players that have had past issues staying on the field seem to have something creep back up on them as the season progresses.