The Training Room: Week 2 Injury Updates
It seems that since I've been writing injury reports for 4for4, the first week of each season has not been kind to players when it comes to injuries. I looked back at last year's injury stats and we had 12 offensive players go out with injuries in Week 1. This year we have 15 players who suffered an injury. There are always some prominent players that go down with an injury at some point during the season, but it's even more difficult to stomach when it happens Week 1. Let's navigate through the myriad of injuries and figure out what to expect over the coming weeks.
On The Mend
Tre Mason (Hamstring Strain): Mason didn't have a good shot at playing this past weekend, but another week should allow him to get healthier. The fact that he was testing his hamstring prior to last week's game against the Seahawks should be an encouraging sign he could be close. He'll continue to be day to day for now, but check his status to make sure's participating in practice in some manner to ensure he's progressing in the right direction. Projection: Starts Week 2.
Mike Evans (Hamstring Strain): Clearly Evans was throwing people off the scent when he said a few weeks back that he was able to play if the regular had started early. He'll need to practice in some manner to make me feel more confident in possibly using him, but for some reason I feel like he'll be headed for another game time decision this weekend. Projection: Starts Week 2 but could be on snap count.
Arian Foster (Sports Hernia): I still say pump your breaks when it comes to Foster's potential return. The fact that he is cutting and planting off the leg with no reports of discomfort is a great sign, but I truly believe the Texans will wait it out to make sure Foster is as close to full health as possible. At this point in time it's anyone's guess as to when Foster returns, but it's encouraging when he's telling teammates he feels as if he can play sooner than later. Projection: Returns Week 6 against the Jaguars or Week 7 against the Dolphins.
Victor Cruz (Calf Strain): The fact that Cruz has yet to start running should be a telling sign that he is dealing with a pretty significant strain. I was more optimistic initially on his recovery, but clearly he hasn't made much progress since the injury occurred. There's a good chance he's out an extended amount of time. Projection: Potentially misses 2-4 games depending on when he's able to start running.
C.J. Spiller (Knee Scope): Spiller continues to rehab from his knee scope, and it sounds like he could potentially return this week. However, the fact that he wasn't even on the practice field doing side work late last week makes me a little skeptical that he'll be ready for this upcoming week. I'll wait till I see Spiller on the practice field to feel confident that his return is close. Knee scopes are generally 4-6 week recovery periods, but the tissue that was cleaned out plays a huge factor in that timetable. Projection: Misses Week 2 and returns Week 3.
Bottom Line: Not something you want to see happen to a guy most people spent a 1st round fantasy pick on. Bryant will have a screw placed into the fractured area to stabilize it, but also to hopefully accelerate the healing process. Blood flow is always a concern in this area, so hopefully he'll get good union of the fracture around the screw to prevent any setbacks.
Projection: Returns Week 9. Week 9 would be 8 weeks removed from his surgery, and even then I'm not sure he'll be completely ready. You have to remember the Cowboys invested a ton of money in Bryant, so they're going to take every step necessary to make sure he's as healthy as possible when he returns. Based on WR's who have suffered Jones fractures, rushing them back isn't the greatest idea, as most suffer some sort of complication or setback that delays their timetable (Marvin Jones tried coming back too quickly and ended up missing the entire season. Julio Jones needed a bigger screw placed into the compromised area due to it fracturing again).
Bottom Line: Ellington was diagnosed with a grade 1 PCL sprain, which is clearly the best case scenario. However, PCL injuries are week to week injuries and are tough to determine a proper timetable for, just ask the Ravens Breshad Perriman. Pain tolerance, strength/stability in the knee, and ability to ramp up agility work all play a factor when it comes to rehabilitation and progress back to full health. Unfortunately just because Ellington has a grade 1 sprain doesn't necessarily mean that he'll miss less time.
Projection: Misses 2 games. Coach Arians has not officially ruled out Ellington for Week 2, but I just don't see Ellington, who has an extensive injury history, suiting up this week.
Bottom Line: Coach Kubiak states that all systems are go for Anderson this Thursday against the Chiefs. He'll more than likely miss a day or two of practice, but shouldn't be in danger of missing Thursday night football.
Projection: Starts TNF against the Chiefs. Keep an eye on this injury because if he aggravates it, it could turn into something that could nag him as the season progresses.
Bottom Line: The way Jackson pulled up and overextended his leg as he was trying to slow down looked more than just a minor strain. Reports have stated that he'll miss 3-4 weeks which means he's dealing with a more severe strain to his hamstring. He'll be week to week until we get any further updates as to how he is feeling.
Projection: Misses 4 weeks. For a guy who relies so much on acceleration and deceleration to stretch the field, ramping up his activity and going through his re-conditioning might be problematic.
Bottom Line: Hilton's knee was heavily wrapped in ice when he returned from the locker room. Coach Pagano says that he has some swelling in the knee, so he'll continue to be day to day until further notice. Location of the bruise is important for his timetable for recovery, and if there is any indication that there's a bone bruise, that could limit his ability to really put a lot of pressure through the leg.
Bottom Line: He'll be day to day for now. The Broncos play Thursday night, but this doesn't seem like a major issue that would keep Thomas out for any length of time.
Projection: Starts Week 2 against the Chiefs.
Bottom Line: Walker had a cast on his hand after the game even though x-rays were negative for a fracture. The medical staff is more than likely taking precaution to reduce any further soft tissue compromise and to help with swelling. The cast should come off by mid week and we'll get a better idea of how he feels. Coach Wisenhunt said Walker has a shot to play Week 2, but that doesn't exactly give me confidence that he's a shoe in. Sounds more and more like he'll be a game time decision.
Projection: Starts Week 2 against the Browns.
Bottom Line: McCown pulled a John Elway as he helicoptered through the air in the endzone. He was taken to the locker room shortly after that play and was ruled out the rest of the game due to a concussion.
Projection: Misses 1 game. The Browns are planning as if they are going to miss McCown for Week 2, so that doesn't exactly give me confidence that McCown will get cleared in time. Although he doesn't have any prior history of head injuries, it still seems as if the Browns will be cautious with their veteran QB.
Bottom Line: Diagnostic testing revealed only a sprain to Carr's thumb, which is best case scenario and Coach Del Rio states that Carr will be ready Week 2. Swelling in the thumb will be very important to get down to allow improved grip strength and ability to feel comfortable throwing the ball.
Projection: Starts Week 2 against the Ravens. The Raiders don't have many options behind Carr as Matt McGloin waits in the wings and the Raiders have also reached out to Christian Ponder just in case Carr doesn't get healthy in time. He's not an option to consider after the Ravens did a good job of holding down Peyton Manning.
Bottom Line: Bush is considered week to week after getting an MRI on his ailing calf.
Projection: Misses 2 games. Not good for a guy who's had lower leg issues over the past few years. Calf strains are tricky as the risk of re-aggravation is high if not properly managed early on, so the Niners will make sure he's as close to full health before giving him the green light.