The kickoff is hours away and the first official injury reports are out. That changes everything when it comes to how teams discuss injuries, but nothing about how medical staffs manage injuries.
Words like "day to day" and "probable" now have meanings backed by rule and consequence, but we also get the benefit of teams being required to disclose all injuries. That information helps, but it doesn't often give us much more than the short-term, required information.
Injuries all have context and that's what I'll try to avoid. When one player goes down or has any sort of deficit, the mantra of "next man up" echoes throughout the NFL, but it's not that simple. The effect injuries have are both short and long term, but the ripple effects can change seasons, roles and values.
Be sure to check back on Sunday for the last-minute updates, but here's a quick tip: 95 percent of injuries are predictable by the Thursday status. That's why the amateur who drafted lucky can set his lineup before he turns off his work computer on Friday and still manage to win. Real players like you want to have that five percent advantage, the one that separates us and wins us trophies.
Let's take a look around the league as we get ready for another great season.