The Training Room: Preseason Week 4 Injury Updates

Aug 27, 2014
The Training Room: Preseason Week 4 Injury Updates

With only a week left until the start of the regular season, fantasy football players are foaming at the mouth for the start of another year (myself included). Last year’s bliss of being crowned champion, or heartache of what might’ve been are all forgotten as the new year approaches. Preparation is everything when it comes to fantasy football. Below I break down six players with injury issues, big and small, headed into the 2014 season.

Cam Newton

Hairline Rib Fracture: Force to the ribcage that is greater than the bone can withstand can lead to a fracture. A hairline fracture is a small break in the bone which can be very painful.

Bottom Line: A hairline fracture to the rib is very painful and tough to manage without rest. Unfortunately, with less than two weeks to go until the regular season starts, Cam might not have enough time to let the rib fully heal before taking hits to it again. Quarterbacks have played with fractured ribs before, so I don’t think there’s too much to be concerned about moving forward. He’ll wear extra padding around the rib probably for the rest of the season and has other options for pain management before the first regular season game if it’s not under control. I don’t doubt his ADP will drop a bit due to this injury, but Newton's production shouldn't be impacted significantly.

Steven Jackson

Hamstring Strain: The hamstring muscle is the primary muscle in the back of the thigh responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. When it relates to sports, it's a very important muscle in aiding to accelerate/decelerate the lower body to allow proper running and cutting.

Bottom Line: Jackson has been sidelined multiple times over the years due to his balky hamstrings and other lower leg injuries. He is at a very high risk of re-injuring his hamstring due to prior history of the condition, but all signs are pointing to him being ready for Week 1. Look for Jackson to hopefully get some reps in during the last preseason game. If you’re drafting prior to the last preseason game, I would bank on S-Jax missing a few games during the season to help with your decision on draft day. However, at his current ADP, he'll provide value when on the field.

Sammy Watkins

Rib Contusion: Direct Trauma to the ribcage area can cause pain, irritation, and bruising to the muscles and cartilage that help support the area.

Bottom Line: Watkins has been practicing on a limited basis but failed to play in the Bills third preseason game this past weekend. He’ll more than likely wear some extra padding around the injured rib moving forward but I don’t see there being any long term issues here. His lack of reps with EJ Manuel could be the bigger problem moving forward, as they have not been able to connect much in preseason action.

Arian Foster

Injury History: Hamstring strain in 2012, calf and hamstring strains in 2013 which led to back surgery and ended his season. This year he's already dealing with a hamstring strain.

Bottom Line: Where do we start? Foster has been one of the most dynamic runners in football when he stays healthy, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case as of late. The fact that he's already missed the majority of preseason action and practice time due a hamstring strain is a big red flag. It seems that his back is holding up well after having season ending surgery last year, but a problem that can arise from back surgery is the potential for nerve root irritation where the surgery was performed. I would be very cautious when it comes to Foster. He will almost certainty miss time.

Sam Bradford

Torn ACL: 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. A tear to this ligament leaves the knee very vulnerable to further damage and instability.

Bottom Line: It’s a tough blow for Bradford who has dealt with multiple long term injuries throughout his career. He’ll miss the entire regular season and look to start fresh entering next year. Shaun Hill is a capable backup and should be a decent value late in 2QB leagues.

Matt Schaub

Elbow Tendinitis: Repetitive stress from throwing and overhead motions can lead to irritation to the muscles/tendons/ligaments to the inside part of the elbow.

Bottom Line: It’s never a good sign when your QB is dealing with soreness in his elbow this close to the season opener. You don’t hear much about elbow pain in quarterbacks compared to, let’s say baseball pitchers, as the weight of the football alters where the stresses are put on in the arm (stress is placed more on the shoulder with a football compared to the elbow in baseball). Hopefully some rest over the next 2 weeks will do Schaub's elbow some good, but I don't believe he'll be the starter for long as Derek Carr is waiting in the wings if things go south for Schaub.

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