Updated Injury Report for All 32 Teams Midway Through NFL Offseason
With OTAs ramping down and many teams getting set for a brief vacation before the heavy workload of training camp, it’s time to take a look at which teams have bumps and bruises to tend to in the interim.
It’s hard to get a clear read on some injuries. Sometimes that’s because the teams involved play it close to the vest (New England, we’re looking at you) and sometimes because a lot of veterans are getting rested for injuries that during the course of the season wouldn’t keep them of the field.
So maybe your team has ten guys listed, but half of them aren’t hurt enough to keep them from playing—the team is just being cautious.
In order to make sure we have as much up-to-date information, I referred to the injury lists at Rotoworld.com.
Current Injuries: T.J. Graham (hip), Robert Woods (ankle), Kiko Alonso (hip), Aaron Williams (undisclosed)
The biggest concerns here—Woods and Alonso—are guys who should be fine by training camp. Woods has mostly been doing individual drills in OTAs, but ESPN’s Mike Rodak reported he began working in team drills as well.
Alonso had offseason hip surgery, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan, but the when of it isn’t terribly clear. That makes it hard to know where he is in his recovery timetable, though the hope seems to be he will be cleared for contact in time for camp.
The best news is that tight end Scott Chandler has completely been cleared for team drills, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com, and isn’t appearing on the injury list. Chandler was a big part of the offense last season and should be in 2014 as well.
Current Injuries: Brandon Gibson (knee)
The good news for the Dolphins and Brandon Gibson is that he is taking part in OTAs according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.
The bad news is that with Armon Binns healthy and rookie Jarvis Landry working at all three receiver positions, per Beasley again, Gibson has an uphill climb to get meaningful snaps.
If Gibson is the fourth or fifth wide receiver, that means Landry is doing well, Binns is productive and Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are effective.
That’s a nice problem to have if you’re the Dolphins.
New England Patriots
Current Injuries: Dominique Easley (knee), Will Smith (knee), Aaron Dobson (foot), Tommy Kelly (knee), Rob Gronkowski (Knee), Sebastian Vollmer (leg), Vince Wilfork (Achilles)
Brandon Browner is suspended for four games.
Normally you might be upset to see a guy down for four games like Browner, but when you add Darrelle Revis it buys you some leeway.
First-round selection Easley has been limited in OTAs, as he is still recovering from ACL surgery, per Jeff Howe from The Boston Herald. There’s no reason to rush him, so we might not see much of him in training camp.
Tommy Kelly is still recovering from a torn ACL in Week 5, as reported by The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian, and ESPN’s Field Yates reported in March that he restructured his contract. We’ll see if that’s enough to keep him on the roster, though I assume it will be.
The guy we’re really focusing on—and isn’t this a yearly thing at this point?—is Gronkowski, who is still recovering from last year’s ACL injury.
According to The Boston Globe’s Ben Violin, the oft-banged up tight end was “bursting, planting, and cutting during the early portions” in last week’s OTAs and doesn’t look like he’s having any limitations.”
More than anyone else on the list, Gronkowski’s presence or lack thereof could have serious consequences for the offense this season.
Overall, the team is a bit banged up, but most of the players involved will be in camp so the Pats look like they’re in worse shape than they really are.
New York Jets
Current Injuries: Antwan Barnes (knee), Chris Johnson (knee), Willie Colon (biceps), Dimitri Patterson (groin), Mike Goodson (knee)
The two biggest potential issues would be represented by Johnson and Colon.
Johnson had to have minor knee surgery in January, as reported at the time by CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora, but should be ready for camp. He played with a meniscus tear all last season, so even if he is hurt, he’ll play.
Of course, being present on the field and a benefit while there are two different things, so this is definitely a rehab to watch.
Colon has had numerous surgeries over the last four years, so his latest knee surgery is a concern for the Jets even though, as Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reported, he should be ready for camp.
As Cimini points out though, the Jets aren’t brimming with bench depth on the offensive line, so they’ve got to have their fingers crossed that either Colon can stay healthy or rookie Dakota Dozier can step up quickly.
Current Injuries: Aaron Mellette (knee), Jah Reid (calf), Terrence Cody (hip), Bernard Pierce (shoulder), Gino Gradkowski (knee)
The most concerning question mark here is running back Bernard Pierce. Given that both Ray Rice and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro have had off-field issues for which they could see league sanctions, Pierce has a chance to start the season in control of the backfield.
Pierce, like the entire Ravens backfield, completely underwhelmed last season, totaling just 436 yards and a putrid 2.9 yards per carry average. That said, we’ve seen ability from him before and he is a solid candidate to bounce back.
He can’t do that on the trainer’s table though.
On the plus side, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley recently reported that Pierce was doing individual drills, so that’s hopeful.
Current Injuries: Tyler Eifert (shoulder), Ogemdi Nwagbuo (illness, IR), Jermaine Gresham (middle body), Mike Pollak (knee), Clint Boling (knee), Geno Atkins (knee), Leon Hall (Achilles)
Having both tight ends injured at the same time is problematic for an offense which is installing new plays from a new coordinator.
Both are sitting out of OTAs and minicamps, but are expected to be ready to go for training camp, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. That should be enough time for them to get into rhythm with both the new offense and quarterback Andy Dalton.
Boling being out is also a pain, especially with Mike Pollak (his backup) down as well.
Still rehabbing from a torn ACL incurred back in November, the team expects him to be able to start Week 1 or at least stay off the IR/Recall list, according to Hobson.
Pollak was mentioned by Hobson as having a knee issue back in May, but there hasn’t been much news since.
That could be a real blow to this defense.
Current Injuries: Josh Cooper (waived/injured), Nate Burleson (arm), Travis Benjamin (knee), Charles Johnson (knee)
Josh Gordon is suspended for an indefinite amount of time.
Of course, the biggest issue is Gordon’s suspension, especially when you couple it with four other receivers who are unavailable due to injury. Cooper is gone due to an injured reserve having been waived/injured and Benjamin could end up on the active/PUP list to start camp, per ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi.
Burleson is the most critical piece here, as he has the experience and ability to contribute early and often. Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon Journal says Burleson expects to be full go in training camp.
Maybe the best news is that newly acquired receiver Miles Austin is not on the injury list.
That in and of itself is something of a miracle.
Current Injuries: Nick Williams (knee), Stephon Tuitt (foot)
Williams was on injured reserve his whole rookie season, but looked like he would be a starter this year. Whether missing time in the spring will impact him is hard to say, but he’ll have some catching up to do in camp.
Tuitt was the Steelers' second-round draft pick in this past draft, and he is still recovering from foot surgery which took place after an injury was discovered at the Combine, as reported by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah.
So far it sounds as if he will be ready for camp.
Current Injuries: Louis Nix (undisclosed), Brian Cushing (knee), Johnathan Joseph (toe), Brad Smelley (calf), Brennan Williams (knee)
For two seasons in a row, Cushing has missed multiple games due to injuries, but the Texans (and the former USC linebacker) are hoping this one will be different.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith, Cushing couldn’t fully participate during OTAs, but is expected to return for training camp.
This defense looks scary enough on paper to where not having third-round nose tackle Nix isn’t a massive problem, though the Texans seem to be a little coy on what the issue is.
Deepi Sidhu of HoustonTexans.com relayed that head coach Bill O’Brien knows Nix has an issue, but is “not sure what it is.”
No, I don’t buy that either.
The Houston Chronicle’s Smith says that Joseph should be ready for camp, but thinks Williams might not be. The team has been quiet about fullback Brad Smelley, who tore his calf muscle last December, but have rookie Jay Prosch to fill in.
Current Injuries: Donald Thomas (biceps), Trent Richardson (shoulder), Chris Rainey (leg), Dan Herron (pectoral), Reggie Wayne (knee), Vick Ballard (knee)
Robert Mathis is suspended for four games.
Mathis being suspended for four games, as reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (and relayed by Gregg Rosenthal) is a tough blow to the pass rush of the Colts, who are going to have to hope Bjoern Werner is up to the task of replacing him.
On the injury front, ESPN’s Mike Wells reports that Wayne is cleared for football activities, though he hasn’t taken part in OTAs. He’ll be ready to go by Week 1 as will Richardson, who is already taking first team reps in OTAs, per Craig Kelley of Colts.com.
Fellow running backs Rainey and Ballard should see more work in camp, as should guard Donald Thomas, who is still rehabbing a quad injury which shut him down for most of last season, per Mike Chappell of the Indy Star.
Current Injuries: Marqise Lee (ankle), Allen Robinson (hamstring), Josh Evans (foot), Bradie Ewing (shoulder), Aaron Colvin (knee), Roy Miller (shoulder)
Justin Blackmon is suspended until at least 2015.
The Jaguars are functioning under the assumption Justin Blackmon will be unavailable to them this season, though they have not ruled out a return this year and would welcome him back if/when he was reinstated, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Whether he could fight back into a significant amount of targets is another discussion, and will hinge on what the rookies they picked up in the 2014 NFL draft do.
Right now, they aren’t doing much. Marqise Lee has been in a walking boot, according to Florida Times-Union writer Hays Carlyon while his co-worker, Ryan O’Halloran, says Allen Robinson is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Lee has been working in the ‘Z’ slot (Blackmon’s usual role), so it seems clear that the Jags are thinking Blackmon is a long-term issue.
O’Halloran also says that safety Josh Evans isn’t expected back until camp, due to surgery to remove a bone spur. He should still probably have the edge for the starting free safety job.
Colvin is still healing from an ACL injury he had surgery for in January, as tweeted out at the time by his agent, Ken Sarnoff, so if he is going to be a factor, it probably won’t be until later in the season.
The key to the Jaguars will be getting their young receivers on the field, so they can get used to playing at an NFL level and be ready to help out whoever is under center this year.
Current Injuries: Shonn Greene (knee), Michael Griffin (foot), Zach Mettenberger (knee), Akeem Ayers (knee), Josh Stewart (knee, Injured Reserve), Brian Schwenke (ankle), Andy Levitre (hip), Jake Locker (foot), Collin Mooney (hamstring)
Coming off of his second knee surgery on his right leg in nine months, Shonn Greene’s roster spot isn’t secure, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. Greene has never been more than a plodder, and didn’t look very good last year (his first with the Titans).
Grabbing Bishop Sankey with their second-round pick was the tea, firing a warning shot across Greene’s bow and if he can’t get on the field, he could be in trouble.
We knew Mettenberger was going to be continuing to rehab his ACL injury from last season, but he should be available in camp.
Meanwhile Ayers is still rehabbing from not one, but two surgeries to fix patella tendons and, according to The Tennesean’s John Glennon, that’s why he hasn’t worked with starters in OTAs. Hopefully, he’ll be ready for camp.
Just as critical is the progress of guard Levitre, who Glennon says has been only doing individual drills at OTAs but expects to be ready for camp.
Finally, The Tennesean’s Jim Wyatt says Locker finally took part in team drills recently and while still recovering from Lisfranc surgery, he felt good.
Current Injuries: John Youboty (Achilles), Cody Latimer (foot), Joel Dreessen (knee), Chris Harris (knee), Von Miller (knee), Kevin Vickerson (hip), Ryan Clady (foot)
Latimer is still recovering from foot surgery from January, but according to Mike Klis of The Denver Post, should be ready to play in camp. More critically, Clady should be ready for camp which, Klis said, Peyton Manning considers a huge lift.
"It's almost like Ryan Clady was a free-agent acquisition," Manning told Klis and other media last week.
Considering how much the offensive line missed Clady, Manning has to be thrilled at his return.
Things aren’t quite as bright for Harris and Miller. Tory E. Renck of The Denver Post says that Harris is making progress and could return for the third preseason game.
USA Today’s Lindsay Jones says Miller is working on individual drills at OTAs but hasn’t been cleared for team drills yet.
At this point there doesn’t seem to be expectations he’ll play this preseason, but the hope is he will be in the lineup for Week 1.
With DeMarcus Ware across from him, a healthy Miller could have a huge season.
Kansas City Chiefs
Current Injuries: Travis Kelce (knee), Eric Fisher (abdomen), Kyle Williams (knee)
The Chiefs don’t have a timetable for the return of Kelce according to the Kansas City Star’s Terez A. Paylor, which is only going to bury him further behind Anthony Fasano, though neither tight end is all that big a deal in the passing game.
More critically, Fisher has been limited to individual drills in OTAs as he returns from a sports hernia operation and shoulder issues according to Adam Teicher of ESPN. He should be back for training camp, but is missing some critical reps that he will need if he is to take over for the departed Branden Albert.
Williams isn’t much of a factor, and it’s entirely possible he doesn’t even make the final roster.
Current Injuries: D.J. Hayden (ankle), Antonio Smith (undisclosed)
Hayden is still in a walking boot according to Scott Bair of CSN California, and has been out of OTAs. He had a shaky rookie season which ended abruptly due to a groin injury which landed him on injured reserve, as reported by Marc Sessler of NFL.com, and this could set him back in his hopes for improvement.
Smith hurt himself in the weight room (I’m actually shocked this doesn’t happen more often) and had to have minor surgery, so he has been out for OTAs according to SFGate.com’s Vic Tafur.
He should be back for camp though.
San Diego Chargers
Current Injuries: Jeromey Clary (hip), John Phillips (knee), Corey Liuget (shoulder), Jason Verrett (shoulder), Manti Te’o (foot), Brandon Taylor (knee)
The biggest and most critical piece here is Luiget, who had a shaky 2013 after a promising 2011. He had a torn labrum but played through it, so being 100 percent healthy should help him produce better results.
Michael Gehlken of the Union-Tribune says that after offseason surgery, Luiget is looking for a huge year.
Te’o has a similar story, as he had foot surgery after the Chargers’ divisional round loss and feels that the injury bothered him all last season long, per Eric D. Williams of ESPN.
Gehlken tweeted out that Te’o was doing individual drills in OTAs for the first time, so that’s a step in the right direction.
Finally, Verrett is still healing from a torn labrum, but according to Gehlken he expects to be ready by August, which could cause him to lose training camp and some valuable snaps.
Despite that, it would be a shock if Verrett isn’t a starting corner Week 1, although the lack of experience could make the early going a bit rough.
Current Injuries: L’Damian Washington (shoulder), Sean Lee (knee), George Selvie (shoulder), Dwayne Harris (shoulder), Tony Romo (back), Anthony Spencer (knee), Henry Melton (knee)
Of course, losing Sean Lee—possibly for the season—is a huge blow, with the repercussions of that and cutting DeMarcus Ware being huge. Add in the knee injury to Spencer, which has him very out of shape according to Ranier Sabin of the Dallas News, and the defense is in a very precarious spot.
They did add Melton though, who should be recovered from surgery in time for camp, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN. The team won’t rush him though, and Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told Watkins that “I think you’ve got to be smart about guys like that. Obviously Henry’s a pro. He’s been to the Pro Bowl. He knows how to play the game.”
If he can come back from injury 100 percent, his presence inside will help a ton.
The other big name which stands out (no, not L’Damian Washington) is Romo, who ESPN’s Ed Werder says was slated to take about one third of all offensive snaps in OTAs.
The team is just going to be careful with Romo who, at 34, is going to heal slower than he used to.
He will be ready for camp and definitely for the start of the season.
New York Giants
Current Injuries: John Jerry (knee), Mario Manningham (knee), Damontre Moore (shoulder), Will Beatty (leg), Brandon Mosley (hand), David Wilson (neck)
Jayron Hosley is currently suspended for four games.
Hosley was already a guy on the bubble for a roster spot, so don’t be shocked if he is released before the end of August.
The Giants will really be happy to get Beatty back, as he is slated to be their left tackle. NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan reports that the team is taking it slowly with him and that Beatty should be back for training camp.
Raanan also says that Jerry’s knee procedure was a surprise to media, but that both he and Manningham are expected in training camp and ready to go.
Meanwhile, Wilson has to be looking around him and wondering if his roster spot is remotely safe. That has to make not gaining medical clearance, as reported by FOX Sports 1’s Mike Garafolo, even more painful.
However, Giants.com’s Michael Eisen writes that Wilson expects to be cleared prior to camp, where he will have to battle off free agent acquisition Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams for a roster spot.
Current Injuries: Chris Polk (shoulder)
Jake Knott is suspended for four games.
Knott is a special teams guy who violated the league’s substance abuse policy for PEDs, per the team’s twitter feed. This is the sort of thing which opens the door for someone to take your job, so keep an eye out for special teams guys on the roster bubble to make a push.
We may see Polk in camp, we may not. As Sheridan discusses in his piece, head coach Chip Kelly isn’t going to help us out with details.
Current Injuries: Barry Cofield (groin), Tracy Porter (shoulder), Stephen Bowen (knee), Leonard Hankerson (knee), Richard Crawford (knee)
Hankerson is going to have a heckuva time keeping his spot with DeSean Jackson joining Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts at wide receiver. Mike Jones of the Washington Post says Hankerson might not be ready to go until late July/early August and have to contend with rookies Ryan Grant and Cody Hoffman for a roster spot.
The other notable piece is Cofield, who says—per Mark Maske of the Washington Post—that he will “for sure” be ready for camp.
As an eight-year veteran, missing OTAs and minicamps shouldn’t hurt Cofield at all, though he has never regained the production he had in New York with the Giants.
Current Injuries: Matt Slauson (shoulder), Chris Conte (shoulder), Jordan Mills (foot)
I didn’t give Slauson enough credit when he left the New York Jets, and he proved my concerns silly with a 2013 where Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the No. 6 guard for the season (subscription link).
He should be ready to go in time for camp, with Chicago Tribune writer Brad Biggs saying that it’s possible he could able to practice during minicamp (June 17-19), though the team won’t push him.
Conte is expected to start camp on the PUP according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, but that the team thinks he’ll be ready to go for the first preseason game.
He’ll be fighting off rookie Brock Vereen for his starting job and should hold onto it.
Current Injuries: Chris Greenwood (groin), Nick Fairley (illness), Joique Bell (knee), Chris Houston (toe), Glover Quin (ankle), Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), Ryan Broyles (Achilles), Jason Jones (knee)
Fairley has dropped some weight and had surgery for sleep apnea according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com and is bent on finally fulfilling the promise he had when he was drafted at No. 13 in the 2011 NFL draft. He should be on the field for camp and ready to go.
Bell told MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke that he isn’t sure he’ll be ready for minicamp, but is confident he’ll be ready for training camp. He’s slotted right behind Reggie Bush and the team will continue to look for ways to keep him involved in the offense.
They aren’t rushing him back though, as they know how much they want him in the lineup during the regular season.
Ansah went through shoulder surgery, but according to Meinke, he went to voluntary minicamp anyway. He may not practice until preseason, but he’s already working on his mental reps and will just need to get up to physical speed when the time comes.
The statuses of Houston and Quin are much more critical though, as the secondary was a bit ugly last season, and with the defense’s front seven, there is no excuse for that.
Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett says the Lions don’t know if Houston will be ready for the start of camp, as he is still recovering from toe surgery.
Meinke’s coworker, Justin Rogers, reports that Quin missed OTAs for his ankle injury. He should be ready for training camp though, which is a plus for the defense.
Green Bay Packers
Current Injuries: Nick Perry (undisclosed), Clay Matthews (thumb), Johnathan Franklin (neck), Brandon Bostick (foot), Bryan Bulaga (knee)
The two places where the Packers seem to always have injury issues are along the defensive front and the offensive line. That’s no different during the preseason.
Both Matthews and Perry were out during OTAs, as shown on the twitter timeline of Tyler Dunne of the Journal-Sentinel. There is no mention of what ails Perry, though he had a broken foot for part of last season.
Matthews’ absence is less of a mystery, as the Journal-Sentinel’s Lori Nickel reported his absence was due to his thumb. USA Today’s Tom Pelissero says that the expectation is that Matthews will be ready for training camp, though you’d imagine the Packers will be careful with him.
They can’t afford to lose him for any length of time during the regular season.
Another guy they have to get healthy is right tackle Bryan Bulaga. While he had been poised to be the Packers' left tackle prior to last season, he tore his ACL last August. In his stead, David Bakhtiari played very well and so, as reported by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Bulaga will switch back to right while Bakhtiari remains on the left.
Bulaga is an excellent tackle when healthy, and the team needs him to lock down the opposite tackle this season, especially with a massive question mark at center.
Franklin should be ready for camp and will battle DuJuan Harris for the number three back spot while Bostick, still dealing with a foot injury from last season, is probably losing ground to Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers.
Current Injuries: Linval Joseph (undisclosed), Matt Kalil (knee), Josh Samuda (ankle/injured reserve), Corey Wootton (hip), Kain Colter (ankle), Josh Robinson (clavicle), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Christian Ballard (personal)
There are a few key injuries the Vikings need to deal with heading into training camp.
First up is Kalil, who is still recovering from minor knee surgery, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. He should be ready for training camp, though, and the Vikings are hoping he can rebound from a disappointing sophomore season.
Meanwhile, Rudolph continues to progress as he works his way back from a broken foot which resulted in him being moved to injured reserve.
Couple that with the potential switch to rookie Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, and Rudolph has every reason to get back onto the field as soon as possible.
Current Injuries: Sean Weatherspoon (knee), Corey Peters (Achilles), Zeke Motta (neck), Julio Jones (foot), Kroy Biermann (Achilles)
The guy most fans care about is Jones, who ESPN’s Vaughn McClure said recently was on the field cutting, which is great news this far from training camp.
Meanwhile, the team is just being cautious with Weatherspoon, with Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer D. Orlando Ledbetter saying that both he and Motta aren’t expected to return until training camp. Entering his fifth year, Weatherspoon isn’t going to be harmed by missing some OTA reps, so as long as he returns for camp, all should be well.
Biermann is another veteran who won’t have issues because of missed OTA reps. Ledbetter reports that the versatile linebacker is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and has begun on-field work.
Current Injuries: Tre Boston (groin), Edmund Kugbila (knee), Cam Newton (ankle), Amini Silatolu (knee)
Frank Alexander is suspended for the first four games.
More than anyone on this list, the status of Newton’s injury looms large.
Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that Newton is already throwing at practice. Yes, he was limping out on the field, however Person noted that two months after surgery “the fact that Newton was there at all was an encouraging sign.”
Aside from Newton, Silatolu would be the next guy to watch, and the Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones reports that the left guard is doing everything in OTAs but 11-on-11 drills.
That news is as good for Newton as the fact that his ankle is healing quickly.
New Orleans Saints
Current Injuries: Jairus Byrd (back), Joe Morgan (knee), Terron Armstead (hand)
The Saints’ high-priced free agency steal, Jairus Byrd, recently underwent “minor” back surgery according to NOLA.com writer Katherine Terrell. ESPN’s Mike Triplett added that the expectation is for Byrd to be back for camp and there seems to be no concern he could be anything less than 100 percent for Week 1’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Morgan (who is fighting for a roster spot) and Armstead were ready for OTAs and have been doing well (interview from NewOrleansSaints.com).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current Injuries: Dashon Goldson (foot), Da’Quan Bowers (knee), Mike James (ankle), Carl Nicks (toe)
Bowers is a guy I fell in love with despite his knee issues coming out, but unfortunately he’s underperformed. Not only has his knee continued to be an issue, but Tampa Tribune scribe Roy Cummings reported that he showed up to training workouts out of shape again this year.
He has a great chance to perform with new head coach Lovie Smith in the house, but if he can’t stay on the field (whether because of injury or conditioning), he won’t keep his roster spot.
Meanwhile Goldson is hoping to be back for camp according to ESPN’s Pat Yasinkas. Like Bowers, Goldson should excel in Lovie’s scheme, but unlike Bowers, we know Goldson can ball when healthy.
Finally, Nicks has been out because of a toe issue and Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said that he didn’t even show up to at least one OTA session. With Nicks’ battery of injury issues the last two years, the team has to be growing impatient with him.
We do expect him back in time for camp, but the team may make other plans just in case.
Current Injuries: John Brown (hamstring), Troy Niklas (groin), Lorenzo Alexander (foot), Alameda Ta’amu (knee), Tyrann Mathieu (knee), Teddy Williams (Achilles)
Daryl Washington is suspended until at least 2015.
Washington’s suspension is probably the biggest blow, especially since they let Karlos Dansby walk. The team will have to make some adjustments, but could find themselves in a tough spot early.
Mathieu aka The Honey Badger might be ready for Week 1 according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, and is still rehabbing from the ACL/LCL tears which ended his 2013 season.
And if all that wasn’t enough of a concern, Alexander—who should be getting ready to provide some depth at middle linebacker—is still working his way back from a Lisfranc tear. Weinfuss reports that in April, Alexander was ahead of schedule.
He’s still working though, and the team may need him with the way defensive players could be out for the first few weeks of the season.
San Francisco 49ers
Current Injuries: Quinton Patton (foot), Ian Williams (leg), Morgan Breslin (hip), Keith Reaser (knee), C.J. Spillman (hand), Anthony Davis (shoulder), Brandon Thomas (knee), Jimmie Ward (foot), Ray McDonald (biceps), Chris Culliver (knee), Navorro Bowman (knee), Mike Iupati (ankle)
Davis is probably the most critical piece here. CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported in April that he had surgery on his left shoulder in April. He played through the injury last season, so we expect him to be ready to go in time for camp.
Maicco also reported back in April that Iupati is expected to be ready to start the season and the staff felt he was “doing well.”
Ward was the team’s first-round pick and the team selected him knowing he had a foot issue. Maiocco reports that the team has kept him out of team activities so far, but should have him out on the field during training camp.
More serious is the injury to Bowman, who Maiocco reports may not be back until after the Week 8 bye. The team is going to have to rotate a few players while they wait, but it will be tough to replace Bowman’s production—especially what doesn’t show up on a stat sheet.
Current Injuries: Bruce Irvin (hip), Malcolm Smith (ankle), Garrett Scott (heart/Injured reserve), Russell Okung (foot), Kam Chancellor (hip), Tharold Simon (foot), Richard Sherman (ankle)
The team is a bit banged up, but a lot of these guys are just getting some extra rest. Who can blame the team for giving it to them after their recent Super Bowl win?
Sherman will likely be ready for camp, as will Okung (though he always seem to have something going on).
Chancellor is reportedly ahead of schedule according to 710 ESPN Radio’s Liz Mathews. He should be back in time for camp as well, though it wouldn’t shock me if he took it easy early on.
Reports are less optimistic about Irvin, who Seattle Times reporter Bob Condotta says might not be ready for camp due to very recent hip surgery. Condotta’s quote from Pete Carroll doesn't inspire confidence, as the coach said “He’s dealt with it for a long time and it just got to a point where we thought it was better to have a chance to have him back for the start of the season, which is a possibility, so we’ll see what happens.”
While it hurts to lose Irvin, the Seahawks excel at rotating their defenders, so it probably wouldn’t slow them down much at all.
St. Louis Rams
Current Injuries: Tre Mason (wrist), Shaun Hill (foot), Jake Long (knee), Sam Bradford (knee)
Stedman Bailey is suspended for the first four games of the season.
Bailey is another guy who managed to fail PED testing this offseason, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and will be gone to start the season.
Bailey’s rookie season was pretty lackluster, so his absence shouldn’t rock the boat too much.
The two biggest injury issues are Long and Bradford.
Head coach Jeff Fisher expects Long to return sometime in the middle of camp according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. If there is a delay, rookie Greg Robinson may get a sniff at the position, though the hope is he can get a year (at least) at guard to firm up his pass-protection skills.
There was buzz that rookie running back Mason might push Zac Stacy for the starting job, per SBNation’s Ryan Van Bibber. Whether that is true or not, he’s got to be healthy to have a chance, so showing up to camp ready to go will be huge for him.
So will having improved ball security.
Meanwhile Bradford is expected to be working at minicamp this week, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and his knee seems to not be an issue.
Both players are, according to Schefter, expected to be ready to go in Week 1, and the Rams have to hope that’s true.
They need to find out if Bradford is a franchise quarterback and worth the money it will take to retain him, and to give Bradford the chance to prove it, they need Long at left tackle.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at FootballGuys.com and the NFL writer at CheeseheadTV.com. You can follow him @andrew_garda on Twitter.