Updating Adrian Peterson and the NFL's Biggest Injured Stars
Training camps across the NFL are up and running, and the 2012 National Football League preseason will kick off Sunday evening when the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints face off in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
Yes, it'll be three and a half hours of fourth-stringers playing sloppy football, but you'll be watching, don't lie.
Among the numerous storylines that will be discussed during the game is sure to be the banged-up Arizona backfield, but the Cardinals are far from the only team in the league that's dealing with injury issues already this year.
Here's a look at updates on some of the prominent ones from across the NFL.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
After tearing both his ACL and MCL last December Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been well ahead of schedule in his rehab.
Although the sixth-year pro opened camp on the physically unable to perform list, head coach Leslie Frazier recently told Jeff Zulgad of ESPN 1500 Radio that Peterson is "getting closer", but the team is "still not quite ready to put him out there."
However, the odds appear to be increasing that we'll see Peterson on the field at some point in the preseason.
That is, as ESPN reports, if the Vikings don't kill him with their cooking first.
Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions
Unfortunately for the Detroit Lions and running back Jahvid Best the news hasn't been nearly as rosy in regards his return to the playing field.
Nearly 10 full months after sustaining yet another concussion the third-year pro still has yet to be medically cleared for contact, and if recent comments made by Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz to The Detroit Free Press are any indication, that clearance may not be coming any time soon.
"The only thing I'd say is we're measuring Jahvid in weeks, not days," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday. "He's not a day to day. A lot of these guys are day to day. We're measuring his progress in weeks."
CBS Sports reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is also monitoring the Best situation, and given that the league finally decided to give a crud about concussions, a Lions team already under the NFL's microscope is apt to tread that much more cautiously.
J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
Not all of the injury news in the NFL is related to maladies from last season, as the injury bug has bitten some clubs in training camp as well.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who was absolutely dominant in the team's first-ever playoff win last January over the Cincinnati Bengals, dislocated his left elbow in practice Thursday after getting tangled in a pileup according to Sports Illustrated.
The 23-year-old Watt, who had 56 tackles and 5.5 sacks for the Texans in 2011, is expected to be ready for the season opener though, with Houston head coach Gary Kubiak stating that the team "dodged a bullet."
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Stop me if you've heard this before.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is dealing with a nagging injury.
As the Huffington Post reports, the 30-year-old signal-caller sent shockwaves through Pennsylvania earlier this week when the ninth-year pro revealed that he's been dealing with a "slight" tear in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder.
The injury was reportedly sustained during a game last November, but Roethlisberger has appeared sharp in workouts and assured reporters gathered at Pittsburgh's training camp in Latrobe Pennsylvania that the shoulder is "fine" and a "non-issue."
Personally, I think head coach Mike Tomlin just told Roethlisberger he's hurt because throughout his career the two-time Super Bowl champion has always seemed to play better when nicked up a little.
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Sorry folks, but if I don't at least mention Peyton Manning in any article dealing with injuries the Friends of the Forehead Society will come to my house, strap me to a chair and make me watch Buick commercials until my eyes bleed.
The four-time NFL MVP, who missed the entire 2011 season while recovering from multiple neck surgeries, has been the talk of the NFL since he and the Indianapolis Colts parted ways back in March.
With that said, the Denver Broncos new starting quarterback is apparently progressing well in both his recovery and acclimation to his new surroundings according to what team president John Elway recently told ESPN's Rick Reilly.
"He's come a long way since [he first threw for Elway in March at] Duke," says Elway, the team's president. "The ball pops coming out of his hand every time now. It wasn't that consistent at Duke."