Training camp is now in full swing and that means injuries! If you follow camp really closely you will be sent on an Odysseus like, um, odyssey into a world of sirens (beat reporters with reports of amazing feats of football mastery), six-headed monsters (RBBCs), Calypso, a luring goddess (Erin Andrews), Hades (PUP List/IR), Poseidon (Roger Goodell), Lotus Eaters (Ricky, Santonio, LenDale), Charybdis (the whirlpool), and Teirisias the blind prophet (Adam Schefter). So let’s set sail! And forget about those sacrifices to the Gods; let’s make this interesting!
Montario Hardesty: The Hardesty button to button, whu oh! Montario twistario’d his knee and will be out 2 weeks(ish). We have five weeks until real football starts, so this might not be a big deal, but Jerome Harrison, who proved last season that his ability and the Browns’ stout offensive line, equal record breaking rushing totals, just might get a leg up on Monty Hardesty. You also have to be a little concerned with Hardesty’s knee injury history. It looks like both will get their opportunity this season so I’d grab the one who falls the furthest.
Knowshon Moreno: He hurt his hamstring, but if you follow the NFL on Twitter it looked like he might have been beheaded and fed to a grizzly or a pack of pikas. His injury went from a torn ACL to a torn hamstring to a “popped” hamstring, whatever that is. It’s now being reported that he has a slight tear and will be out 2-3 weeks. At the same time Correll Buckhalter hurt his upper back and came out of practice. I don’t see Buckhalter being able to hold up to any kind of workload and Kolby Smith is just not very good, so there is no doubt they need Moreno healthy. If they go RB shopping, start worrying.
Dez Bryant: Bryant has a high ankle sprain that could keep him out up to the start of the regular season, but they are hoping he’ll get to play in the last preseason game. This would seem to be the worst injury so far in training camp and could put Bryant behind Roy Williams‘ eight ball. Much will depend on how quickly he heals and how well he can keep up while learning from the sidelines. This will probably drop his ADP to a more reasonable level for a rookie receiver on a team with a lot of mouths to feed.
Wes Welker: Welker has come off the PUP list and started practicing. We’ll have to monitor his progress, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t take a chance on him if you have an early draft, especially in PPR leagues.
Owen Daniels: At some point O.D. had a setback in his rehabilitation and it doesn’t look like he will be practicing anytime soon. He has to be dropped on your draft boards no matter how high his upside is. If you are in a dynasty league and own Daniels you might take a flier on James Casey. He could do something if OD is out indefinitely.
Mike Williams: The Bucs rookie wide receiver has been getting nothing but praise and has been rewarded for his play by running with the first team. There is no reason to think that Williams can’t lead the Bucs in receiving this season. That of course doesn’t mean he’ll be a #1 fantasy receiver or even a #2, so keep your expectations low, but if he slips in drafts, he’s worth a late grab.
Carnell Williams: “Caddy has a flat” has been written about ten million times, but it is applicable once again. He left practice with an ankle injury, but it’s supposedly not serious. Even though he played in every game last season he was on the injury report religiously. I won’t be risking a draft pick on him.
Marshawn Lynch: The injury to Moreno makes it easy to foresee a scenario where Lynch is sought after by a team that loses a starter. If you have an early draft and he falls to his ADP which is around the 13th round, there is no reason not to grab him. He could easily end up starting somewhere this season.
Louis Murphy: The Raiders’ two best receivers are down, Murphy with a concussion and Schillens with a foot injury. That leaves Darrius Heyward-Bay to get as many snaps as he can handle. I’m staying away from all Oakland receivers, but we will at least get to see if Bey has any shot at being a competent receiver.
Jeremy Shockey: The greased-one is already experiencing swelling in his knee and has been sidelined. There is a good chance we will once again be grabbing the founder of Wendy’s David Thomas or maybe even his fry cook, Jimmy Graham this season.