The Training Room: Preseason Week 2 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Preseason Week 2 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert), last update Aug 20, 2015

Russ Manalastas's picture

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 Manalastas on Twitter: @RussPT.

Before we get into the vast array of injuries that surprisingly occurred in Week 1 of preseason football, I wanted to introduce a new feature to our injury reports this upcoming season here at 4for4. We now have an Injury Glossary available to our subscribers to help you decipher the various injuries that occur throughout a full NFL season.

In the glossary, there will be a description of the injury, we’ll discuss the different severities of sprains/strains that I get asked frequently about throughout the year, and we also have attached a document that specifically goes over the NFL’s concussion and return to play protocol. If there is any injury that isn’t covered in the glossary, I’ll cover it directly in this column and will update the glossary accordingly. It will also help keep me from being too redundant each and every week when discussing the same injuries players are dealing with.

Week 1 of preseason football has come and gone with a number of players suffering injuries significant enough to discuss this week. Let’s take a look at some notable names and injuries that could alter your draft strategy.


Kelvin Benjamin

Torn ACL

Bottom Line: This one is tough to swallow for Panthers fans as their weak WR corps gets significantly worse with the loss of Benjamin. When our senior editor John Paulsen sent me the video clip of Benjamin hurting his knee when it first happened, although it was hard to see entirely, the mechanism fit for an ACL rupture. Benjamin will likely wait for the swelling around the knee to settle and do some rehab to restore as much range of motion and strength in the leg to allow for a faster progression after he undergoes surgery. 

Projection: Fully recovered for 2016 season.  Cam Newton should have his favorite target back for next year healthy and ready to go. Benjamin's MRI results didn't show any other damage to the surrounding ligaments or tissue, so an isolated ACL tear is the best possible outcome in a very brutal situation. 


LeSean McCoy

Hamstring Strain

Bottom Line: The Bills have had a ton of injuries to their RB corps as of late, with McCoy being the headliner. Shady's MRI results were encouraging enough that the Bills brass didn't feel the need to panic. He'll be week to week for now, but there's no chance he plays any preseason snaps the rest of the way. 

Projection: May be limited, but should be ready for Week 1.  MRI results are great to rule out any significant tissue trauma, but sometimes they have a poor correlation to how much pain an athlete experiences. How McCoy progresses from here on out is the more pressing issue, so keep checking back with us to see how things are going with him. The recent run of toe issues and now the hamstring has me slightly concerned about his health for the season, but he's been relatively healthy prior to these injuries. He's going to need to be as healthy as possible as the Bills plan on using a heavy run game to hide their QB play. 


Julius Thomas

Fractured Hand

Bottom Line: A stable fracture is when the bone breaks but stays in place, which is best case scenario to allow full recovery in the hand without need for surgery. Thomas will be in a cast for a few weeks to allow proper mending of the fractured bone and then he’ll try to rehab the hand to improve grip strength to minimize the amount of muscle lost when he was immobilized.

Projection: Might be limited early, but should be ready to start of season. He’ll more than likely wear some protection when the season starts, and although the hand may not be fully recovered by the time Week 1 rolls around, there shouldn’t be any long term concerns. 


Alshon Jeffery

Strained Calf

Bottom Line: Jeffery is currently walking around in a boot. The reason he's in a boot is to help reduce strain on the calf when walking to help expedite healing. Sometimes the boot will have a little bit of a lift in the heel to also help shorten the calf and prevent it from being overstretched in the boot as well.

Projection: Ready for Week 1. There’s a more than likely chance that Jeffery misses the rest of preseason in hopes that he gets completely healthy. I wouldn’t expect too much issue with the calf unless he suffers a setback at some point when trying to ramp up activity. His recovery should be monitored closely throughout rest of preseason. 


C.J. Spiller

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery: When conservative measures have failed to rehabilitate the knee, a doctor will choose to scope the knee to clean out any tissue that may be irritating it.

Bottom Line: Details are unknown as to what tissue was cleaned out of Spiller’s knee that was causing him pain, but my guess it was either some frayed cartilage or some loose bodies (tissues that are floating in the knee that could be causing irritation to the joint) that was contributing to the issues he was having.

Projection: Starts season but sees limited touches in first game. Spiller will be just about 4 weeks removed from his surgery at the start of the season, so although I’m not overly concerned, I’m going to need to see reports that he’s progressing well and able to ramp up activity pretty quickly to feel confident in drafting him. If you do plan on drafting him, Khiry Robinson would be a good handcuff to target late in your draft just in case.


Kevin White

Shin Stress Fracture Surgery: Repetitive strain to the bone due to running or working out can cause excessive breakdown of the bone. If the bone fails to build up quickly enough to help improve the density of the bone, it can lead to a stress fracture in the bone.

Bottom Line: Something just didn’t seem right when White kept sitting out practice with general leg soreness. Now we know the reason why he was not able to get back to practice, as the stress fracture in his leg developed due to the repetitive strain without adequate recovery. Intramedullar nailing is usually the surgery they will opt to do for this type of injury, where they use the nail to stabilize the fracture for a quicker recovery. It’s unclear how long it will take White to recover from this injury, but it will be at least a few months until he's cleared to run again. 

Projection: Misses entire 2015 season. He should not be on anyone’s radar when it comes to re-draft leagues. In dynasty leagues, you should be in a wait and see mode to figure out how well he’s recovering. The Bears will likely be cautious with their rookie receiver in hopes that he has a full recovery for the future. 


Zach Ertz

Sports Hernia

Bottom Line: It can be tricky to figure out a timetable for recovery from this injury, as Arian Foster just had the same surgery not long ago. Senior Editor John Paulsen and I have had some discussion about this injury and came to the conclusion that most players recovering from this surgery most likely won’t be fully recovered at the 4-6 week timetable that is usually given.

Projection: Misses first two games of regular season. Although this is just a guess, I don't share the same optimism the Eagles are showing about whether or not Ertz will be ready for the start of the regular season. Kyle Rudolph had the same surgery last year and returned 8 weeks after his repair, so it’s tough to determine whether or not Ertz will miss one game or multiple games at this point. Once he’s able to ramp up his activities we’ll be able to get a better idea of when he might be able to return, but for now keep an eye on any updates on Ertz’s condition.  

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