Training Room: Week 3 Injury Updates
It was a relatively quiet preseason in terms of injuries heading into Week 3, but dress rehearsal week brought some ugly injuries that you just knew at some point were going to occur. Season ending injuries are things you never want to see in preseason, but we had a number of them that will end a player's season before it even starts, which is unfortunate. While most drafts occurred this past weekend, there are some people that are still waiting as long as possible to draft to avoid the injury bug from hitting their team. Although Week 4 of the preseason is meaningless for a lot of the starters, those who have been injured still might try and get some reps in, so let's take a look at injuries to see who's going to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Lumbar Compression Fracture
Bottom Line: Romo took a hit and went down awkwardly in noticeable pain. He was later seen throwing the ball on the sidelines and asking Coach Jason Garrett to go back in the game. Romo had an MRI on his back after the game which revealed a compression fracture at his L1 vertebrae.
Projection: Misses first 6 games, and returns after Week 7 bye. I tweeted out when news broke about Romo's back that compression fractures are not uncommon for a player who has had surgery on his lower back and has had pre-existing issues with his back. He'll wear a brace to protect the fracture and reduce the increased compression from any excessive spinal movement, but will not require surgery. Rehab should begin a few weeks after letting the tissue heal, but the majority of what he might deal with is pain tolerance when suiting back up, as the bone will likely be fully healed, but some of the strength and stability of the soft tissue may not be fully recovered yet.
Bottom Line: Watson went down on the first play of the game and never returned. It was reported not much later that he tore his achilles tendon and will be out the remainder of the season.
Projection: Out the rest of the season. The Ravens injury bug continues to hit hard, as it seems to be a continuation from last year. Watson signed a 2 year, $7 million deal this past offseason, and it's fair to wonder how effective Watson will be next year as he turns 36, especially with a crowded TE corps.
Bottom Line: Oliver was carted off the field after going down his a lower leg injury. The Chargers later confirmed that Oliver had torn his achilles tendon and will be out of the season.
Projection: Out of the rest of the season, healthy in 2017. The Chargers backfield depth gets a little thinner, as Oliver was supposed to back up both Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon. Oliver has not been too relevant over the past year or so as he battled turf toe and was put on IR towards the end of the year. He'll likely return to a backup role next year as he should be close to fully recovered by the time training camp next year roles around.
Bottom Line: The Jets held Marshall out of the third preseason game due to a sore hip. There wasn't any indication leading up to the game that Marshall was dealing with any ailment.
Projection: Ready Week 1. The only thing that would make me question Marshall's availability for Week 1 is if he continues to miss practice entirely with no participation. Keep an eye on his status, but all signs point to him being ready.
Bottom Line: Fitzgerald was held out of the second preseason game due to a slight MCL sprain, returned to practice, and then was held out of both practice and the third preseason game due to the same sprain. He's currently day-to-day.
Projection: Ready Week 1. It's always a little concerning when a player who's had history of MCL issues struggles to return back from a "slight" MCL sprain. It would seem as though Fitzgerald might've experienced a slight setback while in practice leading up to the 3rd preseason game, as to why the Cardinals are being cautious with him. He'll continue to be day to day, but hopefully he'll return to the practice field to make you feel confident that he'll be ready for the regular season.
Bottom Line: Reports are that Green banged knees with a Jaguars defensive back, which lead to him limping off during the game and not returning. He's considered day-to-day for now.
Projection: Ready Week 1. It doesn't sound like anything too serious here to be concerned about. He should be all systems go come Week 1, the Bengals are going to need him.
Bottom Line: Dixon hurt his knee on a goal line carry in the third preseason game against the Lions. He had to be helped off the field and went into the locker room to be examined and didn't return.
Projection: Misses 3-4 games of the regular season. MCL sprains are difficult to return back quickly from, just ask Larry Fitzgerald. Dixon's timeline is fluid and will depend on how he feels when he starts to ramp up the change of direction tasks, but MCL sprains are always a little longer in terms of recovery time, especially for a running back. In the meantime, it certainly seems like Justin Forsett is the guy to own at this point, but the Ravens will likely use a hot hand approach.
Bottom Line: Goff had X-rays on his tailbone after the third preseason game, but X-rays were negative for a fracture. He's considered day-to-day with a bruised tailbone.
Projection: Ready Week 1. Although there are some who think Goff will be under center for Week 1 of the regular season, based on the preseason so far it would be a stretch. Goff will start at some point this year -- probably sooner than later -- but there could be a lot of growing pains in L.A. this year.
Bottom Line: Reports from Ian Rapoport states that Latimer's knee injury is only a minor sprain. Latimer had an MRI, but the results of the MRI were not revealed. He is considered day-to-day for now.
Projection: Ready Week 1. Latimer has not lived up to the hype so far as a 2nd-round pick in 2014. It's hard to say whether or not Latimer will be relevant in fantasy football this year with the way things are shaping up in Denver. Trevor Siemian is the starting quarterback, the Broncos want to run the ball, and Latimer is competing for targets with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Latimer should be ready Week 1, but he's not someone to consider at this point to help your team.