The Training Room: Preseason Week 3 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Preseason Week 3 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert) on Aug 26, 2015

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Russ is a Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at Lattimore Physical Therapy in Rochester, NY. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University at Buffalo as well as his Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. His board certification credentials in sports is what is required for PT's that work at the NFL level. Russ provides a unique perspective on NFL injuries as they relate to fantasy football.

Follow Russell on Twitter: @russmanalastas.

By now we should come to expect a big time player is going to get injured during the season at some point. But for these injuries to happen more frequently during offseason workouts, OTA's, and preseason games, it leaves you scratching your head as to what the primary reason is for it. Fatigue, light practice schedule, lack of actual full-speed reps during practice? All could be factors that go into the uptick in injuries, but it's tough to put the blame on just one factor. Injuries to superstars like Jordy Nelson and Arian Foster are a big reason many fantasy managers choose to draft as close to the regular season as possible. No one likes to finish up a draft and then find out their stud player gets hurt and is out for the season. With that being said, let's look at some players you'll want information on as you make your final prep for your draft. 


Jordy Nelson

ACL Tear

Bottom Line: This goes to show there are many different ways an ACL tear can happen. Something as simple as a quick cut and change of direction is all it sometimes takes to have a major injury occur. There haven't been any indications that there was further structural damage in the knee, so Nelson should be looking at a normal recovery. 

Projection: Full recovery for 2016 season. Another big name goes down, but luckily the Packers have some depth behind Nelson to fill the void. Randall Cobb and Devante Adams should see an uptick in targets with Nelson out. Maybe I was one year too early in drafting Richard Rodgers, but he should be a guy to look out for late in drafts as a cheap TE option. 


Arian Foster

Sports Hernia

Bottom Line: Temper your expectations when it comes to Foster's current status. The latest report is that BEST case scenario has him returning end of September, which would be roughly 7 weeks removed from his sports hernia surgery. The reason I emphasize best is because there have been many instances in the past where we thought Foster would be able to give it a go just to be disappointed and have to wait longer. 

Projection: Misses first 6 games of the season. Missing the first six games of the season would put him in line to return October 25th against the Dolphins. That would be around 10 weeks removed from his surgery. It seems more and more unlikely that the Texans will put him on the IR/designate for return, which would cost him the first eight game of the season. There are a lot of things that can happen when Foster starts to ramp up his activity, but I still think he'll be on the longer side of the recovery timetable just because of his history with slow recovery from soft tissue injuries. 


Emmanuel Sanders

Hamstring Strain

Bottom Line: When looking back at a study in 2011 which discussed prevalence of hamstring strains in the NFL[1], wide receivers were just behind defensive backs when it comes to risk for hamstring injuries and accounted for roughly 20% of hamstring strains. It also noted that most of hamstring injuries occurred during the preseason, so Sanders falls victim of an injury that still plagues the NFL every year. He'll still be day to day for now until we hear more. 

Projection: Starts Week 1. It makes me a little nervous that he's been held out of preseason and some practices since he experienced soreness on August 14th, but the ample rest gives him time to get his hamstring right. It'll be almost a month when Week 1 rolls around as the Broncos face the Ravens, so all signs point to Sanders being ready. 


Mike Evans

Hamstring Strain

Bottom Line: Lovie Smith announcing that Evans would miss the rest of preseason action was to be expected as soon as Evans got hurt. Keep a close eye on any updates we get on Evans to make sure he's progressing. Coaches are becoming more vague with their answers, as their responses actually don't give us any information that is meaningful or pertinent. 

Projection: Starts Week 1 against the Titans. Hamstring strains are not injuries you want to see players deal with heading into the regular season, but the hope is Evans will get enough rest and rehab to be able to give it a go. 


Lorenzo Taliaferro

MCL Sprain

Bottom Line: Whenever a coach states that a player is going to miss a few weeks from the get go, it usually means they are dealing with a higher grade sprain. 

Projection: Misses 1-2 games of regular season with possibility for more if any setbacks occur. Taliaferro getting hurt opens the door for Buck Allen to be the primary backup to Justin Forsett and to carve out some carries early in the year. There's a good chance Taliaferro will have to be eased back into the rotation to allow his knee to get used to contact.   


Breshad Perriman

Sprained PCL 

Bottom Line: This is not a good start for the rookie. Although we now know the specifics of Perriman's injury, it still doesn't give us a clear indication as to when he'll return. PCL sprains are tricky in that if the sprain isn't severe enough to warrant surgery, then rehab and other conservative measures are the best options. I'd consider him week to week until we hear anything further. 

Projection: Misses anywhere between 1-3 games of regular season and will be eased into action when finally healthy. I have seen nothing from Perriman to believe he is anywhere close to ramping up activity. He has essentially done nothing to give the Ravens any confidence in inserting him into the lineup when the regular season rolls around. Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown have been getting reps in Marc Trestman's new offense and already have an established rapport with Joe Flacco, so they are better bets to start opposite Steve Smith Sr.  


Johnny Manziel

Elbow Sprain

Bottom Line: With Manziel's throwing motion being more three-quarters than your typical over the top throwing motion, there is some possibility that the repetitive throwing motion would put more strain on the inner aspect of the elbow. He'll shut it down for a few days to see if the inflammation and irritation clear, and should resume throwing with minimal issues.   

Projection: Will be available for Week 1. Although, Josh McCown has not looked good so far in preseason and continues to make poor decisions, there is no indication that the Browns are going to make a switch at the beginning of the season. However, it seems Manziel is destined to make some starts this season, it's just a matter of when the Browns feel confident enough in him to pull the trigger.


Jace Amaro

Shoulder Sprain

Bottom Line: The lack of ability to ramp up activity suggests Amaro is dealing with more than a minor sprained shoulder. It looks like Amaro could be in for the sophomore slump right off the bat if he's unable to fully recover from this shoulder injury. He'll continue to be week to week until we get reports that he's able to return to football related activity.   

Projection: Misses 1-2 games at start of the season. Sprained shoulder's are tough on TE's in that the constant jamming of the shoulder when blocking on the interior can continue to irritate the shoulder in addition to catching passes. His timetable could change depending on how he progresses, but it's looking more likely he might miss some regular season time. 


[1] Elliot et al. “Hamstring muscle strains in professional football players: a 10-year review.” Am J Sports Med 2011 Apr;39(4): 843-850

Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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