Name: Carson Wentz
Age: 25 years old (turns 26 in late December)
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Stats: 3,782 yards passing, 16 TD, 14 INT. 46 rushes for 150 yds, 2 TD.
2017 Stats: 3,296 yards passing, 33 TD, 7 INT. 64 rushes for 299 yds, 0 TD.
2018 Projections: 526 attempts, 3,816 yards passing, 28 TD, 11 INT. 67 rushes for 280 yds, 2 TD.
Projected 2018 Fantasy Rank (FantasyPros): QB7
– Carson Wentz was having a very solid season in 2017 through 13 weeks, scoring at least 2 TDs in 7 straight weeks at one point while the Eagles were rolling as the top seed in the NFC.
– Let me describe this for you. During a monster performance in week 14 versus the Rams where he already had almost 300 yards passing, 4 passing TDs and setting the Eagles single-season record for touchdowns with 33, Wentz took a huge shot to his lower half on a TD run by Mark Barron, which was negated. 4 plays later Wentz threw a TD to Alshon Jeffery. Wentz then went in to the medical tent under his own power without even the slightest limp. He proceeded to head to the locker room.
– My suspicion is, Wentz’s knee didn’t feel right after the big hit and he continued to play through it. He then was evaluated in the medical tent where likely the head athletic trainer, and eventually team orthopedist evaluated him, likely with a series of knee tests, including anterior draw, posterior draw, and the Lachman’s test. Not happy with the results, meaning that there was “too much give in the knee, where it should be tight” Wentz was sent to the locker room. Once you hear a player is ruled out immediately, you have to be concerned.
– Less than hour after he departed the game, Adam Schefter reported that Wentz had likely torn his ACL and would undergo an MRI the following morning to confirm. Monday morning rolls around, and the MRI confirms that not only did Wentz tear his ACL, but also his LCL as well. The LCL, called the lateral collateral ligament, is on the outside of the knee. It runs up to down and is responsible for preventing the knee from buckling towards the outside.
– Pittsburgh Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradleyperformed Wentz’s ACL reconstruction surgery on December 13th, just 3 days after sustaining the injury. Initial RTP timeline was 9-12 months, the standard ACL recovery time period, which would put him returning around late August/early September, just in time for the 2018 season assuming his rehab went well. Typically, people are not back to 100% until a couple months after they have officially returned to sport, and are able to get their bearings back.
– Ok, so let’s talk about the studies revolving ACL reconstruction surgeries and how the players perform when they return. Well, I’m probably starting to sound like a broken drum, as this is the 4th ACL tear in less than 10 episodes, but that’s what makes this data so important, because this injury is so COMMON.
– What does the data say? Here’s the highlights: there is a 94% success rate after ACL reconstruction surgery, which means there is a 6% re-tear rate. There’s a 6x increased risk of a 2nd ACL injury when compared to healthy subjects. 30% of athletes suffered a 2nd ACL injury within 24 months of return to sport, and within those 21% had a contralateral ACL tear, and 9% had a graft re-tear.
– We know that movements that involve landing, cutting or pivoting pose the greatest threat to the integrity of the ACL. So what does the data say about QBs who suffered ACL tears? There’s a good article from the USA Today in 2016 that discusses the injuries to Donovan Mcnabb, Tom Brady, RGIII and some others. The data is pretty clear; there is an expected drop in performance after an ACL tear, especially in players who are mobile – like Wentz and fellow ACL-tear mobile QB DeShaun Watson. Wentz’s has the ability to extend the pocket with his mobility, as shown by his 300 yards rushing in 2017 before the injury.
– An article from NBC Sports from March of this year reviewed ACL injuries in WRs, and the data is quite interesting. Listen to the Cameron Meredith episode for the full study details, but the jist of the study is that high-level athletes who were around age 25 when they tore their ACL, and remember Wentz was 24 when he tore his, manage to do quite wellupon return. The physical therapists have nearly perfected the ACL reconstruction rehab and as long as Wentz doesn’t rush his rehab – like Andrew Luck tried to do with his shoulder rehab – there’s a very good chance he will have a wonderful career.
The good news is that Wentz practiced, in full pad,with the first-team offense this past weekend. Progress! All signs are pointing that Wentz will be able to play in Week 1 against the Falcons.
Is Wentz at risk to tear his ACL again? Yes, about 6 times increase in fact! 30% of athletes suffered a 2ndACL injury within 2 years of return to sport.
2018 Health Outlook:
Amidst Wentz’s fantastic 2017 season, he unfortunately suffered a devastating knee injury that ended his season short. Nick Foles managed to carry the team to a Super Bowl victory to everyone’s surprise. Wentz should be close to 100% by now, and I fully expect him to suit up in week 1. While there is a always a chance that Wentz suffered some decline in performance secondary to his knee injury, the good news is that he is not a RB or WR, who have a tendency to see a greater drop in performance than QBs.
Risk of Re-Injury: 30% risk of having another ACL tear within 2 years, 6% risk of re-tear.
– There has been some concerning rumblings at Eagles camp regarding Wentz, specifically from Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who stated that he saw “a little hesitation” in Wentz. While this is expected, I’m concerned that the staff may end up holding Wentz out longer that fans and fantasy owners would like.
– Despite his injury, I think Wentz has tons of upside in 2018. He is loaded with weapons, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement.
– Wentz has the potential to outdo his 2017 season where he set the Eagles all-time TD record
– I think there’s about 24 QBs that could land in the top 12 this year, so I won’t be reaching for a QB. With that being said, I would not shy away from drafting Wentz if he was available.
– Look for him and the Eagles to have another stellar season as they try to defend their Super Bowl title.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Kareem Hunt
Name: Kareem Hunt
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2017 Stats: 16 games, 272 rushes for 1,327 yards, 8 TD. 53 rec for 455 yards, 3 TD
2018 Projections: 16 games, 249 rushes for 1,112 yards, 8 TD. 53 rec for 425 yards, 2 TD
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: RB7
Injury: Hunt sustained a hamstring injury during OTAs in June, which led to him taking time off OTAs and minicamp. While he did miss time, it appeared to be more for precautionary reasons and doesn’t appear to be more than a mild strain of the hamstring. Strains are graded on a 1-3 scale, with a grade 1 being a mild overstretching of the muscle fibers, grade 2 being a partial tear, and grade 3 being a full thickness tear. Based on Hunt’s progression, he’s likely to have suffered a very low grade 2 strain. Barring a setback, he should be 100% ready to go for the 2018 season.
2018 Health Outlook: Hunt enters the year as the primary ball carrier and should be 100% heading into the season. While hamstring strains do have a tendency to linger or reoccur, he appears to have had more than enough time to rest, rehab, and recover to head into the new season fully healthy.
Risk of Re-Injury: 10%
Recommendations: Draft Hunt with maximum confidence as your RB1 as he heads into his second year as the clear lead back. With backup Spencer Ware attempting to come back from a multi-ligament knee injury, Hunt should be in line for more touches this season. Hunt heads into the 2018 season with minimal injury worries.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Keenan Allen
Name: Keenan Allen
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
2015 Stats: 8 games, 67 rec for 725 yards, 4 TD
2016 Stats: 1 game, 6 rec for 63 yards, 0 TD
2017 Stats: 16 games, 102 rec for 1,393 yards, 6 TD
2018 Projections: 16 games, 96 rec for 1,250 yards, 7 TD
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: WR6
Injury: Allen returned last season from an ACL tear that cut his 2016 season short as he missed the last 16 weeks of the season. He returned last year and dealt with minor injuries to his shoulder (Week 7 during practice) and his low back (during Week 15 game), both of which were minor enough to not cause any missed time. Allen has had a history of small, nagging injuries that have slowed him down from time to time, but he appears to have shown no ill effects from his ACL reconstruction 2 years ago. Oftentimes, players do extremely well two years after an ACL tear, requiring that extra year to really achieve true comfort level with their reconstructed knee.
2018 Health Outlook: Allen enters the 2018 season fully healthy and ready to go. With Hunter Henry expected to miss all of 2018 after tearing his ACL, Allen will serve as the center of the passing game for quarterback Philip Rivers. Last season, Allen proved he could be the go to guy in a high powered offense. Expect more of the same from him this season.
Risk of Re-Injury: 10% for his knee, 0% for the shoulder and back
Recommendations: Draft Allen with full confidence. He’s currently going as fantasy teams’ WR1 and is coming off the best season of his career as the focal point of an explosive offense. With Allen being 2 years removed from ACL reconstruction, this shapes up to be another exciting season for the Chargers stud wideout.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Terrelle Pryor
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Terrelle Pryor, Sr.
Team: New York Jets
2016 Stats: 139 targets, 77 receptions, 1007 yards, 4 TD’s
2017 Stats: 37 targets, 20 receptions, 240 yards, 1 TD
2018 Projections: 35 receptions, 432 yards, 2 TD’s
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: WR82
Injury: During Week 2 of the 2017 season, Terrelle Pryor sustained an ankle injury during a game against the Los Angeles Rams. Though he managed to play through Week 9, he was eventually forced to shut down his season early and underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery on November 20, 2017 to repair torn ligaments in his ankle.
After signing with the New York Jets in the offseason, Pryor sustained another ankle injury during training camp in May. This time it was an ankle fracture that required surgical fixation and likely required him to stay off the injured leg for about 2 months. As of this week, Pryor stated that he is finally pain-free and is practicing at full-speed. He will not play in this week’s preseason game against his former team, the Cleveland Browns, and it remains to be seen if he will return to game action this preseason.
2018 Health Outlook: Although promising that Pryor is pain-free and back at practice, his conditioning and chemistry with his new teammates likely suffered as a result of his rehabilitation from ankle surgery in May, which likely required an extended period of no weightbearing. This is a similar injury to what Odell Beckham suffered last year, and the results are generally excellent when surgery is done to restore the normal anatomy. The procedure that he had in November of 2017 is the same surgery that Cam Newton underwent in 2014. Nevertheless, two injuries requiring surgery on the same ankle in a 6-month span make for a difficult recovery, especially this close to the start of the season. It remains to be seen whether he will have any residual instability in his ankle during game action.
Risk of Re-Injury: Moderate