1.) Colts GM Chris Ballad insisted that Andrew Luck, recovery from shoulder surgery, was placed on the physically unable to perform list, or PUP, but is expected to be activated before week 1. If he indeed does start the year on the PUP, he would be out the 1st 6 games, which could significantly impact not only his draft position but also TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Jack Doyle, Frank Gore & Robert Turbin. Scott Tolzien would serve as the Colts’ primary QB, which is very concerning for all of these offensive players. If Luck is able to develop the strength in his shoulder & be able to get his velocity and accuracy close to where he was pre-injury, I think the Colts will activate him. Expect this to be headline news each week until some more clarity is presented.
2.) Cam Newton, after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, is experiencing soreness that is completely expected for his recovery. The shoulder muscles take a long time to fully recover, so pushing through some soreness should be expected but it is also a sign to back off & let his shoulder rest. I fully expect him to be ready for Week 1 & definitely get some snaps in during the pre-season games. Nothing major to be concerned about yet!
3.) Joe Flacco is improving in his rehab from a mild disc herniation in his back. It appears that Flacco is heading in the right direction & is getting reps to be able to play in some preseason games. Consider Flacco week to week, and I would expect him to be ready to play in the 3rd preseason game as long as he does not suffer a setback during his rehab.
4.) Redskins TE Jordan Reed has been reportedly dealing with 2 separate injuries, a toe injury as well as an ankle injury. He has a sprained big toe. Big toes, like thumbs, are very important to our feet. While we know that he sprained it, he likely went to Dr. Anderson’s to make sure he did not fracture it (as in a sesamoid fracture). Pushing off, cutting and evening putting pressure on it. Additionally, Reed suffered an ankle sprain, but unclear of the variety (low vs. high) and of the severity. He went to renowned Foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in NC yesterday, likely to get his toe & ankle evaluated. Reports from Wednesday state that the injury is not serious and they are expecting Reed to return to practice next week. The good news is that Reed was spotted doing some jogging and catching passes on a side field on Wednesday, so that’s very good news. I am quite concerned about Reed from a long-term perspective, as he is a big fantasy injury risk and I personally wouldn’t draft him as a result. Stay tuned for more information.
5.) Breakout candidate TE Eric Ebron of the Lions suffered a minor hamstring injury earlier this week. Ebron has a history of missing at least 2 games in each of the past 3 seasons, including knee & ankle issues, so this needs to be taken seriously. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to nag if not allowed to properly heal. So expect the Lions to make sure Ebron rehabs & heals completely before returning to the field. Ebron has the potential to be a stud this year with Anquan Boldin gone, but he first has to make sure that this hamstring heals completely. I expect him to be back in the next couple of days. If he isn’t, this will be concerning & he will likely require an MRI for further evaluation.
6.) Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore suffered a serious injury, a torn MCL and meniscus injury that likely keep him about 6-8 months, which will put him out for the rest of the season. The MCL is the ligament on the inside of the knee and is actually very important to the integrity of the knee. The MCL is often damaged when a player gets hit on the outside of the knee, which then caused the knee to buckle inward, causing injury to the MCL. Hopefully he will be able to return from this injury in time for the 2018 season.
7.) Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi suffered a concussion in Monday’s practice after getting his ‘bell rung’ by teammate T.J. McDonald in a 2-minute drill. Concussions are a hot topic and rightfully so. Essentially a concussion is a complex process affecting the brain due to a traumatic force. The symptoms of a concussion are primarily caused by a functional disturbance in the brain without any actual structural damage. Concussions cannot be seen on neuroimaging studies, like a regular MRI or CT. They are usually evaluated based on symptoms, along with certain physical exam tests (SCAT3) and computer-based testing like the IMPACT test. The majority of concussions (80% – 90%) resolve within 7-10 days. Ajayi will be placed in the 7-day NFL concussion protocol, rightfully so, and expect him refrain from many activities involving activation of the brain, like video games, television and even texting. The most common symptoms of a concussion are confusion, forgetting plays, difficulty concentrating, irritability, poor sleep, balance issues and fatigue. Depending on the severity of the concussion, Ajayi will be allowed to return to play based on a specific protocol. Once he passes all of the appropriate mental and physical tests, he then will be able to return to play. Unfortunately suffering a concussion puts him at 3x the risk for a repeated concussion. As a RB, Ajayi is at increased risk for concussions due to the nature of his position and the amount of hits he will take to the head. I expect Ajayi to be back in the next 10 days, and I do not think this will impact his season. I currently have Ajayi as the 7th best RB off the board.
8.) Giants WR Sterling Shepard suffered a confirmed low ankle-sprain in today’s training camp. Expect him to RTP in 2-4 weeks is low-ankle, if the sprain is a grade 1. Thankfully he did not suffer a high-ankle sprain, which would have cost him closer to 6-12 weeks. Pain, swelling and mobility will be important in determining his RTP status. Shepard was lined up to be the Giants’ WR3 behind Beckham & Marshall. I would not be surprised if he missed the rest of training camp, all of the preseason games & maybe the first 1-2 games of the regular season.
9.) Texans WR Will Fuller suffered a broken collarbone. Typically surgery is not needed, and he should be ok to return to play in 6-8 weeks. He’s a mediocre WR at best, so he’s not a draft & stash candidate.
10.) The Raven’s really caught the injury bug early this year, as WR Breshad Perriman left practice left early on Tuesday with a hamstring injury. This time of the year is notorious for hamstring injuries because guys have been off for several months and are now starting to ramp up their activities and their muscles aren’t quite fully stretched out yet. It sounds like Perriman’s hamstring injury is mild and he should be considered day-to-day, which means he will likely be back by this weekend. Perriman is the WR3 in the Raven’s offense behind Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace, currently being drafted as the 65th WR off the board.
11.) Redskins’ Jamison Crowder has been dealing with a hamstring injury, which has caused him to miss 3 straight practices. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to nag if not allowed to properly heal. Hamstring muscles are particularly important in WR, TE, RB, & DB’s because of how much they have to run. Expect the Redskins to continue to rehab Crowder & give him the appropriate care he needs to return to the field. The last thing they want is for him to further reinjure it, turning the strain from a light grade 1 to a more serious grade 2, which would set him back a good 4-6 weeks. I expect him to return later this week to practice, and if he doesn’t expect the Redskins to get an MRI to further evaluate the severity of the injury.
12.) Bears WR Markus Wheaton will end up missing a total of 3 weeks of training camp after he underwent an appendectomy on July 30. This injuries are very serious if not caught in time, so the good news is that the appendix was removed and now he is just resting and up and should be good to go in the next 2 weeks. I do expect this to impact his play this season for the Bears, as he is currently listed as the possible WR3 behind Cameron Meredith & Kevin White. He will be competing with Victor Cruz & Kendall Wright for the WR3 position. Expect him to see snaps in the 2nd-3rd preseason game.
13.) Rams DL Dominique Easley tore his ACL, for the 3rd time! This is a big blow for the Rams’ defensive line, as star Aaron Donald will be without Easley, the Rams’ interior pass rusher. He was heading into a contract year, which is even more unfortunate. The former 1st rounder also tore the ACLs in both knees in college, and will now have to rehab for a third time. Since this is a repeat tear, expect Easley to be out longer than a first time tear, so expect him to be out 10-14 months, which puts him in danger of missing the beginning of the 2018 NFL season.
14.) Chargers lost their 2nd round pick RG Forrest Lamp today with a torn ACL, which is a substantial injury for an interior line that had potential. Expect Lamp to require 8-10 months to RTP, assuming that this is his first ACL tear.
15.) Ravens 4th round pick, OG Nico Siragusa, tore the ACL, MCL, and PCL of his left knee. This is a devastating injury, and will keep him out 14-16 months outs, which is a long-recovery period due to the extent of the damage. With this much injury you always have to be concerned about a knee dislocation, which has the potential to be a medical emergency due to the nearby blood vessels and nerves. Hopefully the medical staff was able to catch this injury in time and he does not suffer from any permanent damage to that knee.
This was written for the @TheFantasyDRS by Dr. Jesse Morse. I am a Board-Certified Family Medicine physician, and I am currently completing a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of South Florida in Tampa. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly at @DrJesseMorse or visit my website at: www.DrJesseMorse.com. Keep an eye out for my next article!