The Training Room: Week 3 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Week 3 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert), last update Sep 24, 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.

Week 2 brought much of the same from an injury standpoint, as more notable and important fantasy names went down. I'll keep this short and sweet as the shear volume of players we cover should show you no one is safe any given week. 


On The Mend

Arian Foster (Sports Hernia): Coach O'Brien continues to state Foster is day-to-day. I still think he sits out Week 3, but they'll give him serious consideration to start Week 4. Projection: Foster misses one or two more weeks and comes back either Week 4 or 5. 

Todd Gurley (ACL Reconstruction): Gurley will continue to practice in full to get his reps in and work on his conditioning. I believe this is the week they try and ease him into game situations and see how his knee responds. Projection: Gurley plays Week 3, but will be limited. 

Victor Cruz (Calf Strain): He won't be ready as the Giants play Thursday night, and he'll need to practice at some point soon to give him consideration for Week 4 as well. Projection: Cruz misses 2 more games and returns Week 5. 

Andre Ellington (PCL Sprain): Ellington will continue to be week-to-week, but the fact he's already running means he's closer to getting back on the field. Projection: Ellington misses one more game (two games max if he suffers any setbacks when he attemps to do cutting motions). 

Delanie Walker (Sprained Wrist Ligament): The stability issue is the concern here with Walker's wrist. If he is still dealing with strength deficits due to pain or doesn't feel confident when trying to make blocks or when catching, then the lack of stability could linger. Projection: Walker misses another week and returns Week 4. (Update 9/24/15: Walker returned to full practice Thursday putting him on track to play this Sunday)

Josh McCown (Concussion): McCown continues to be in the concussion protocol and still has not been cleared by the indepedent neurologist overseeing his care. Even if he does return, the Browns are already showing signs of  wanting to make a change just after one game of Johnny Manziel. McCown might not have a job to come back to right away if Manziel continues to show progress. Projection: McCown will be cleared for this upcoming week, but will backup Manziel. 

Reggie Bush (Calf Strain): Bush didn't travel with the team for Week 2 so he could continue to rehab his calf strain. He could have a chance to play this week if he practices, but Bush has tried to come back too soon in the past and it's fair to wonder if he'll try to be fully healthy before making his return. Projection: Bush misses Week 3 and returns Week 4. 


Training Room

Drew Brees

Rotator Cuff Strain

Bottom Line: Whenever the arm is stopped abruptly when trying to throw a football, it can cause trauma and pain to a number of tissues in the shoulder. The rotator cuff's main function is to keep the head of the humerus (ball) centered in the middle of the glenoid (socket) during all motions, so any disruption to the cuff can cause stability issues. I wouldn't completely rule him out of this week, but a game-time decision is looming with this type of injury. 

Projection: Brees starts Week 3. The Saints training staff is going to make sure he gets around the clock treatment to give him a shot at playing Sunday. If the pain subsides and he feels confident enough in his range of motion, velocity and accuracy when throwing the ball, then he'll play. 


Tony Romo

Broken Collarbone

Bottom Line: No surgery for Romo is a good thing as the fracture is stable enough to allow the healing to happen on its own. Healing rates for fractures can be anywhere between 4-8 weeks depending on location and proper circulation. Because this is the second time Romo has fractured this collarbone, the Cowboys will need to make sure he's fully recovered to feel safe putting him back on the field (as to why they used the IR/designation for return). 

Projection: Romo returns Week 12. It will be interesting to see what the Cowboys record will be when he comes back, and it's not out of the realm of possibilities to see him push to come right back in Week 11 when he's eligible to come off the IR/DTR. 


Jay Cutler 

Strained Hamstring

Bottom Line: Cutler will be week-to-week with his hamstring injury. It was weird to see Cutler try and make an attempt to tackle someone when he threw an INT, so there wasn't anything good to come out of that series of events. Due to the fact Cutler is a QB and doesn't have to do as much sprinting and cutting, he might be able to return on the shorter side of the recovery timetable. There were no specific reports as to which hamstring he strained, so that could play a factor in regards to how soon he's able to return. 

Projection: Cutler misses two games. He should be able to give it a go sooner than later, it just comes down to pain tolerance, but nothing is a shoe-in when it comes to Cutler. 


Eddie Lacy

Sprained Ankle

Bottom Line: Lacy will be day-to-day for now, but could have an outside chance to play on MNF as he'll get an extra day of treatment in. This is feeling like a game-time decision, so James Starks would be a solid addition just in case Lacy can't go this week. 

Projection: Lacy plays Week 3 against the Chiefs, but is limited with James Starks handling the majority of the touches. 


Carlos Hyde

Thigh Contusion

Bottom Line: Hyde will be day to day for now, but thigh contusions, especially to the outer area of the thigh, can be extremely uncomfortable when trying to put full weight on the leg. There is also a thick band of connective tissue on the outer aspect of the thigh called the iliotibial band (IT band) that could further contribute to his pain. It wouldn't be surprising to see Hyde take more time to come back fully healthy than try and rush back. 

Projection: Hyde misses 1 game. Pain is the main reason why I believe they sit Hyde down and let him try and work his way back without having to rush it. (Update 9/24/15: Hyde practiced in full on Wednesday and the pain that I initially thought was going to be a problem seems to be a non-issue. 


Lamar Miller

Sprained Ankle

Bottom Line: If you've noticed anything about player's discussing their own injuries, they are usually overly optimistic. Check back to see if Miller is participating in practice in some sort, as the severity of his injury is unknown.

Projection: Miller starts Week 3. He'll likely be limited in practice the majority of the week, but I haven't seen any red flags that make me think he's going to miss this week. 


Tevin Coleman

Bruised Ribs

Bottom Line: Coleman will miss at least one game, with the potential to miss more depending on how he feels when taking contact to the area of the broken rib. He'll immediately be fitted for rib protectors to help soften the blow once he's able to return to the practice field. 

Projection: Coleman misses two games. He will be able to wear protective padding, so I believe he'll be able to gut it out and return to the field sooner than later. 


Jordan Cameron

Strained Groin

Bottom Line: I was hoping to not have to write about Jordan Cameron this year in this column, but it only took until Week 2 to see his name pop up on the injury radar. It sounds like he'll be more week-to-week than day-to-day at this point, and he's been on the slower side of healing based on his previous injuries, so a backup plan sounds in store for Cameron owners. 

Projection: Cameron misses one week. The severity of his groin strain is unknown, but any injury to Cameron is never a good sign. (Update 9/24/15: Cameron got in a limited practice session on Wednesday which means he's got a good shot to play this Sunday barring any setbacks.)


Davante Adams

Sprained Ankle

Bottom Line: Adams will be limited in practice this week, but with the Packers not playing until Monday night, he'll have more than enough time to be ready. 

Projection: Adams starts Week 3 against the Chiefs. He returned after he originally hurt his ankle in Week 2, so I don't see this being an issue to be overly concerned about. 


Eric Decker

Sprained PCL

Bottom Line: PCL injuries are coming to the forefront this year as I think this is the most I've covered this injury since I started with 4for4. He'll be day to day as his MRI results seemed to have yielded just a minor sprain. 

Projection: Decker misses one game and returns Week 4. I don't think he'll be ready to go on this upcoming weekend after playing on MNF. (Update 9/24/15: Decker says that he won't return the field unless he's 100%. Although he's been practicing on a limited basis this week, I still don't see him suiting up)  


Jericho Cotchery

High Ankle Sprain

Bottom Line: Cotchery will be week-to-week, but there's a good chance he's going to miss multiple weeks due to the injury. Coach Rivera hasn't ruled out Cotchery for this week, but this is the same coach who didn't completely divulge Kelvin Benjamin's knee sprain was a torn ACL. 

Projection: Cotchery misses 3-4 games. High ankle sprains are difficult injuries as the pain with any rotational movements/cutting is what is most limiting. The Panthers receiving corps continues to get thinner and thinner, and Cam Newton will have to keep utilizing his legs to keep them in games. 


Jason Witten

Ankle Sprain and Knee Sprain 

Bottom Line: Witten has shown to be very durable throughout his career, but spraining both ankles and a knee is difficult to come back from in a short period of time. He'll be week-to-week until he's able to get in some practice time and test out his legs. 

Projection: Witten misses one or two games. The multiple body parts is what could limit his ability to return sooner than later, but like we've stated, Witten doesn't miss many games, so he'll be doing everything he can to get back ASAP. (Update 9/24/15: Witten has been practicing on a limited basis, but the fact that he's practicing is a great sign for his chance to play Sunday. It's looking more like Witten won't miss any time, but there's a chance he might not be moving as well due to the injuries) 

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