Latest Offseason Updates on Key NFL Injuries
A slew of premier NFL players suffered serious injuries during the 2013 campaign.
Some occurred late in the regular season and a few stars went down in the playoffs.
With draft season in full swing and free agency only a month away, let's check in on the injured stars to see how their rehabilitation processes are progressing after their respective surgeries.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson had groin surgery after the 2013 regular season, but he cleared the air on any possible lingering effects from that injury which certainly can be nagging for a running back.
I would probably be back working (out already if not for the surgery, but) not too much. It's not going to interfere. I'm still able to do some of the upper body exercises and things like that, but kind of laying off the lower body workouts.
Peterson ran for more than 2,000 yards in 2012 after tearing his ACL on Christmas Eve 2011. Let's just say we shouldn't be worried about his health heading into the 2014 offseason.
Based on his past and his recent words, he'll almost assuredly be ready for the Vikings' OTAs and training camp.
Peterson had a "down" year in 2013, running for 1,266 yards with 10 touchdowns at 4.5 yards per carry. He'll be 29 on March 21.
NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
Navorro Bowman had a spectacular 2013 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately it ended with an NFC Championship Game loss to the rival Seattle Seahawks and a torn knee ligament.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Bowman had "surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee" on February 4.
Maiocco went on to include the details of the procedure:
The operation was conducted by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. Andrews has been in constant contact with 49ers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim McAdams, a source said.
Although Patrick Willis was the household name at the linebacker position heading into this past year, Bowman finished as the more productive impact player.
Per ESPN's numbers, the former third-round pick out of Penn State recorded 145 tackles, five sacks, nine defended passes, four forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Bowman graded out as the No. 1 inside linebacker for the 2013 campaign in Pro Football Focus' (subscription required) rankings.
Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
Von Miller would probably like a do-over on the 2013 campaign.
He missed the first six games of the regular season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
As expected, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft was a ravenous pass-rusher when he returned to the field for the Denver Broncos.
Per ESPN's stats, Miller accumulated five sacks in the nine games in which he appeared, but Pro Football Focus (subscription required) listed the former Texas A&M star with 38 total quarterback pressures—sacks, hits and hurries—the most of any 4-3 outside linebacker.
In Week 16's win over the hapless Houston Texans, Miller tore his ACL, which ended his season.
According to ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold, Miller had surgery to repair his knee ligament on January 9:
#Broncos LB Von Miller had surgery to repair right ACL today. He begins what team expects to be a six- to nine-month recovery.
The later end of that time frame would put Miller back on the field in early October.
Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Geno Atkins tore his ACL during a Halloween game against the Miami Dolphins and was placed on injured reserve by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, November 4.
In a recent question and answer column for Bengals.com, writer Geoff Hobson answered a question about Atkins' recovery timeline:
The 300-pound Atkins is coming back from major surgery for the first time, so there is some unknown. But his voracious commitment to the gym should get him through. Right now PUP seems a distant option since a player can’t practice in training camp to be eligible and it sounds like both are on track to work at some point in camp.
Basically, it'd be a surprise if Atkins wasn't able to return for the start of the regular season. At this point, is training camp vital for him?
Probably not, but one would think the Bengals would like to get him back on the practice field for, at least, a week or two before he plays in a meaningful game.
Chris Harris, CB, Denver Broncos
On February 10, Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported some important details about Chris Harris' knee injury and subsequent surgery.
Here's what Klis wrote in his column on the matter:
All went about as well as surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament could go for Broncos cornerback Chris Harris. Dr. James Andrews learned during Harris' surgery Thursday in Pensacola, Fla., that the trauma to the left knee was restricted to the ACL. There was no other ligament or cartilage damage, according to an NFL source.
Klis also mentioned, "the ACL was only partially torn. So Harris' recovery is promising as he enters restricted free agency, which means the Broncos have the right to match any contract another team might offer."
The fact that Harris avoided other ligament or cartilage damage and only suffered a "partially torn" ACL is huge.
We've recently witnessed a handful of players make relatively rapid returns from ACL tears, and although nothing's official right now, one would have to think Harris would be ready to play in September of 2014.
Harris isn't a commonly known name among casual fans, but he was the No. 9 cornerback in Pro Football Focus' (subscription required) positional rankings for his play during the 2013 season.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson is the most complete wide receiver in the NFL and for the Detroit Lions' sake, a few offseason surgeries will hopefully allow Megatron to be 100 percent healthy when the 2014 regular season begins.
According to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com, general manager Martin Mayhew went under the knife in January:
Mayhew said Calvin Johnson had minor knee surgery last week and surgery on his finger this week. Recovering nicely from both.
At 6'5'' and nearly 240 pounds of solid muscle, Johnson' physique and conditioning shouldn't be a concern for new head coach Jim Caldwell.
Johnson missed two games due to injury during the 2013 campaign but still registered 84 receptions for 1,492 yards with 12 touchdowns.
Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Washington Redskins
Per Zac Boyer of the Washington Times, Ryan Kerrigan suffered a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee in Week 3 of the 2013 season, but the former Purdue standpoint labored through the ailment and played all 16 games.
According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, Kerrigan underwent a knee scope in early January:
Ryan Kerrigan had his knee scoped yesterday and it went fine. He's already off crutches. #Redskins
Rotoworld.com wrote the following about his recovery, "He's not expected to miss the Redskins' offseason program and is entering a contract year in 2014."
Kerrigan went No. 16 overall in the 2011 draft and, per ESPN, he recorded 47 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 2013.
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) gave Kerrigan the 12th-highest pass-rushing grade among 3-4 outside linebackers this past year.