This pre-season 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
Player: Brandon Marshall
Injury: Labral tear in hip
Healing Time: 12 weeks
Impact on the field: Marshall had a busy off-season. He was traded
to Miami and subsequently underwent the same surgery he had last
year on his other hip. Because there was some wear and tear in
his hips, some of the cartilage become frayed and needed surgery.
This surgery is very similar to what is done to a damaged knee,
but it’s a little more complicated because of the shape
of the hip joint. That is why the duration of missed time is longer.
Fortunately for Marshall owners and fans, this will have minimal
impact on his numbers this upcoming season. All of the young athletes
who have undergone this procedure have not had any problem getting
back to their prior level of play. The Dolphins are looking to
throw more with Chad Henne under center, and Marshall should really
benefit from the move to a more aggressive offense.
Player: T.J. Houshmandzadeh / Devery Henderson
Injury: Hernia surgery
Healing Time: 12 weeks
Impact on the field: This is a new injury for “Anatomy of
an Injury,” a little different than the typical sports hernia.
With a true hernia, tissue that supports the small intestine can
become loose or tear, which causes the intestines to drop down
in the abdominal cavity and cause pain and pressure on nerve bundles
from the point of injury down to the groin. It can mimic a groin
strain and become quite painful. Surgery to repair the laxity
relieves that pain. Housh can no longer create separation on his
own and has a brand new offense to learn and a declining quarterback
throwing him the ball. All that, and I still like him as a sleeper.
If Hasselbeck can stay healthy and Golden Tate brings some speed
to the Seahawks offense, then Housh may be able to exploit the
underneath coverage. As far as Henderson goes, he is no more than
a fourth wide receiver and is too inconsistent to start on a week-to-week
Welker's ACL injury leaves his status
for Week 1 in doubt .
Injury: ACL repair, RC tear
Healing Time: 6 months–???
Impact on the field: Welker got a double whammy when he tore his
ACL, which required reconstruction, and also damaged his rotator
cuff. I’m assuming that the shoulder surgery was not to
fix the rotator cuff, but rather to debride it. This means that
they shaved it down, which is a much quicker fix than a full repair.
The shoulder injury should be just about healed and will not limit
him from playing in September. However, the ACL reconstruction
could and probably will limit him. It will mean six months of
recovery time once August begins. Most of the time, it takes skill
position players longer to return to full function. It’s
not out of the realm of possibility that Welker will be back for
Week 1. But there is no way he will have his normal quickness
that soon. He might still be productive, but the smart thing to
do is stay away from him in fantasy redraft leagues because he
will probably start the season on the PUP list.
Player: Demaryius Thomas
Injury: Foot fracture
Healing Time: Healed
Impact on the field: Thomas was drafted to replace Brandon Marshall.
“Foot fracture” is very vague and I am not sure exactly
what bone was broken. A fracture in the foot can be very tedious
and time-consuming in regard to healing time. As of the release
of this article, Thomas has resumed running and sprinting at OTAs.
The fact that he has started practicing so soon before the start
of the season indicates that he is fully healed. Otherwise, the
team would not have rushed him back to activity. Thomas will be
placed in a great position and could very well start right away.
If that happens, he could put up WR3 stats immediately. Someone
has to catch the ball in Denver, and the head coach likes to feed
his best players the ball. I think Thomas will have a very nice
rookie season as long as Quinn or Orton—and not Tebow—is
Player: Hakeem Nicks
Injury: Toe surgery
Healing Time: Healed
Impact on the field: Typically, toe surgeries can be a big deal
and much hindrance to a player’s performance. Fortunately
for Nicks owners, this injury is healed and will not affect his
ability to perform in OTAs. I really like Nicks this year. He
is the most talented receiver on the Giants, and Eli has a tendency
to lock on to one wide receiver. Last year it was Steve Smith.
This year the more talented Nicks will receive all the attention.
Player: Donald Driver
Injury: Bilateral knee scope
Healing Time: 3–6 weeks
Impact on the field: Everyone is already talking about the demise
of Donald Driver. He is old. He is slow. He was terrible down
the stretch. Greg Jennings is so much better. All of this is not
necessarily wrong. But let’s slow it down a little. Just
because someone has a minor knee scope does not mean their career
is over. Driver’s very solid career is coming to an end,
but he will still steal enough catches from Jennings to be a nuisance
to his fantasy production. Jermichael Finley is the next big star
for the Packers, and if Driver were to ever miss any time, James
Jones would be the next wideout to step up.