This weekly series will provide you
with in-depth analysis of key injuries and their resultant implications
on fantasy football. This information comes straight from my perspective
as a Physical Therapist and collegiate Athletic Trainer of ten
years. Over that time, I have seen and treated almost every injury
that can occur in this violent sport. Hopefully this piece gives
you a little more insight into the anatomy of an injury.
Injury: Jammed index finger
Healing Time: 2-3 weeks
Impact on the Field: A lot
is going to be made of this injury but, in reality, it's
not a big deal. Brady was able to play a full game on Sunday
and he threw a 58-yard touchdown to Randy Moss on the second
play of the game. He will have some pain and some problems
with gripping the football, but he will not miss any time.
Expect Shaub to suit up this week.
Injury: Dislocated shoulder
Healing Time: 1-6 weeks
Impact on the Field: At first I thought Schaub separated
his shoulder, but it was later reported as a dislocation,
also termed a subluxation. With a subluxation, the ball
of the arm bone “pops” out of the shoulder and
then pops back in. There is significantly less pain once
the shoulder is back in place, though it will remain sore,
yet functional. The team probably won’t want to perform
surgery in-season, opting until after the season to discuss
fixing any damage that occurred. Schaub will be in a brace
restricting motion in the joint and preventing the injury
from re-occurring. If all goes well, I expect him to play
this week and be relatively unaffected by the injury.
Injury: Quadriceps strain
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: Forsett injured his quad muscle in
practice last Friday and was able to play last week, although
on a significantly limited basis. Muscle pulls are at least
2-week injuries, so Forsett will be limited again this week.
The problem is that as one continues to play or practice
on an injured muscle, there is a high incidence of reoccurrence.
Jim Mora appears to be committed to Julius Jones anyway,
rather than the more productive Forsett.
Injury: Hamstring strain
Healing Time: 3-6 weeks
Impact on the Field: This might be the end of the fantasy
year for Hines Ward. From what I have read, his injury is
a grade strain, which is not good news. Ward may very well
try to make an early return next week, but he won’t
be even close to 100%. And there is a high likelihood of
re-injury when attempting to sprint on a leg that won’t
allow it. Ward has been tremendous this year and has provided
great value based on where he was drafted. I doubt he will
play in the Thursday night game--though I'm not too upset
about that since he's on the team I'm playing in the first
round of my fantasy playoffs.
Injury: Subluxation of the shoulder
Healing Time: 1-3 weeks
Impact on the Field: I guess this is the week of the dislocated
shoulder. As I explained in Matt Schaub’s injury status,
these things feel much better once the shoulder pops back
into place. I doubt either of these injuries is a big deal,
considering that they have been recurring injuries since
high school in both cases. Charles has been playing at a
high level and is really gaining some dynasty league momentum.
He is a player to target next year. Coach Haley knows what
he is doing and can turn that offense around in a hurry.
In regards to Avery’s injury, the same time frame
applies. Avery has been inconsistent all year due to his
supporting cast. Use him at your own risk--because of his
production, not because of his injury.
Injury: Knee swelling/cartilage tear
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: Williams is dealing with some type
of cartilage tear in his knee. He has had periodic swelling
over the last few weeks that was limiting his practice time
and is now preventing him from playing. I doubt he will
undergo an in-season surgical procedure, which means this
is a week-to-week thing. If he has the knee drained and
it does not swell back up, he plays; if it does swell back
up, he sits. This injury will ultimately require surgery
and Williams will most likely wait for that until the off-season.
Hopefully if you own Williams you also own Jonathan Stewart,
who is almost as talented and is a fine fill-in at running
Injury: Bruised hip
Healing Time: Day-to-day
Impact on the Field: Bruised hips can be very painful. This
injury is medically termed a hip pointer and it occurs when
a blow is applied to the exposed hipbone. Because there
is no soft tissue between the hipbone and the skin, there
is no padding to soften the blow. The area becomes engorged
with blood and you typically get these wonderful looking
bruises. They are very sore but the pain can be controlled
with medicine. The important thing to consider is that this
is Warner’s hip opposite to the one that was recently
operated on. Warner was able to take snaps to end the game
on Sunday after the injury occurred, so I don’t think
is a big deal. He will be out there every week until the
Cardinals wrap up their division.
Injury: Strained calf
Healing Time: 3-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: This injury is being downplayed as
minor, but the reality is that it will be difficult for
Hester to play or run on his injured leg this weekend. Hester
went for a precautionary MRI that will likely show no additional
damage. He has a pulled muscle and will be limited for a
few weeks. With Chicago out of the playoff hunt for the
most part, I don't expect Hester to play this week.
Injury: PCL sprain
Healing Time: 8-12 weeks
Impact on the Field: PCL sprains are not as serious as ACL
tears in regards to ending a player’s season. The knee is
still pretty stable when someone injures their PCL. This
injury would not allow anyone who needed to run to come
back and play in only a week's time. However, since it is
not as detrimental to a quarterback's abilities, Sanchez
could very well be out there this week. If that is the case,
Thomas Jones and Jerricho Cotchery will maintain their normal
value. Braylon Edwards at this time is way too hit-or-miss
for my liking. He is wonderfully talented when it comes
to getting open, but he can’t even catch a cold.