In June each year the football season really starts to heat up. The draft has been completed, mini camps are finished and training camps are almost in full swing. The summer is when football experts begin to make strong projections about player value and team performance. Injuries are one of the most talked about topics during this time, while final trades are made and contracts signed. Injuries in the NFL and football in general are common. In a report titled “Players’ Positions, Not Prior Injuries, Predict NFL Career Length” (May 28, 2009) from MedicalNewsToday.com, a new study on NFL injuries and career longevity is highlighted.
The study was primarily authored by, former Rookie-of-the-Year, All Pro defensive back and NFL scout for over 30 years, Milt Davis, Ph.D. Unfortunately Davis died in September of 2008 before he could present the findings. Pat Lombardi, Ph.D., another author of the study stated, “During the course of the study, Milt demonstrated that nearly three-fourths of all players had more than two significant injuries, and that one of two had a major surgery prior to entering the NFL.” (Source: American College of Sports Medicine) Although injuries don’t have to shorten a player’s career, they have a dramatic effect on fantasy football value. Now that the 2009 draft is over, let’s review some of the most recent NFL injury reports.
Dallas Cowboys Handle Common Knee and Hamstring Injuries
CBSSports.com recently reported that wide receivers Miles Austin and Isaiah Stanback are unlikely to be present at the start of the Cowboys’ training camp. According to the Dallas Morning News Austin’s hamstring injury has cost him three weeks of practice, but he is hoping to be ready and healthy by the start of the 2009 season. CBSSports.com confirms Austin’s sleeper value will increase if he comes back on the field healthy. CowboysBlog.DallasNews.com reported in May that Stanback did have “arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee.” It is doubtful he will be ready at the start of training camp, but Jerry Jones is quoted as saying, “I know that that’s frustrating for him, but he’s got enough time. He works hard, and he’ll get back out there.” The bodes well for Cowboys fans.
Knee Injuries Lead to Different Outcomes for Patriots WR Tate and QB Brady
Pat’s wide receiver Brandon Tate could very likely end up on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list due to his slow recovery from knee surgery according to CBSSports.com. Although the surgery took place in October, his rehab has been slow. On a better note, CBSSports.com reported on June 9, 2009 that Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady had been practicing on the field in the rain. Brady in full practice is a good sign after his surgery for a torn ACL and MCL. Brady will continue to be a fantasy football favorite if he proves his reconstructed knee can go the distance.
Raiders WR Javon Walker Chooses to Keep Surgery on the Down Low
On May 9, 2009 Nfl.Fanhouse.com revealed that Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker had knee surgery in April and did not notify the team. Coach Tom Cable is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle saying he believes Walker “did the right thing ข่าวบอลทั้งหมด by getting the surgery.” It is still unclear what the season holds for Walker.
Eagles RB Brian Westbrook’s Ankle Surgery
According to writer Michael Davis Smith of NFL.Fanhouse.com, “the Philadelphia Eagles have confirmed that running back Brian Westbrook will have surgery to remove bone spurs in his right ankle.” Recovery time for this procedure is usually 2 or 3 months so Westbrook may miss training camp and the preseason. Smith wonders if Westbrook’s time as an elite running back is coming to an end.
Seattle Seahawks WR Deion Branch Says “His Knee Will Never Feel Normal Again”
Wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks Deion Branch underwent reconstructive knee surgery this year. Branch was recently quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “You will never be back to normal once you have this type of procedure done.” If his recovery goes well Branch will make a decent fantasy receiver, but his performance may fall short of previous years.