Breaking Down NFL Injuries for Those Averting Hurt in the Fantasy Standings

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 14:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by defensive end Charles Grant #94 of the New Orleans Saints during the preseason game on August 14, 2009 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It seems that every year a star NFL player suffers an injury in training camp or in a meaningless preseason game, flabbergasting everyone in the city. With that being said, it’s time to break down the key injuries around the NFL over the past couple of weeks. I, Bruno Boys Greg, will also determine whether these injuries will have an effect on the fantasy football season.


Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: The reports say he has a strained MCL, which is never good.  Also, there are conflicting reports on whether he will be able to play by Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens.  Hopefully you drafted Cassel as no more than your backup, so you can wait and see how the injury plays out the first couple weeks of the season.  With limited weapons in Kansas City, Cassel was already a hit-or-miss fantasy option and if it is the MCL, you may want to stay away from him if possible.

Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Favre looked good on Monday Night Football, going 13-18 for 142 yards against the Houston Texans.  The reports of a cracked rib should concern but not worry you.  Favre will never miss a game and has never let an injury get the best of him while on the football field. Despite looking like the Favre’ of old last night you are still going to want to employehim as a backup on your fantasy roster.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos: Orton dislocated his finger in the Broncos' third preseason game against the Chicago Bears and there are mixed reports about whether he will be ready for game action in Week 1.  Regardless, Orton should be used as a middle of the road QB2, so this injury shouldn’t change your draft day opinions on Orton. However, if you draft him in a league that starts two QB’s, make sure to monitor this situation and make a last-minute roster move if need be.

Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: Palmer is progressing nicely and should be ready to go for Week 1.  The only concern I have is that Palmer could be rusty early on since the offense has not been able to play together since Week 1 of the preseason. Although it would be nice to sit him one game and see how he does, he has a nice match-up against a Denver Broncos defense that ranked 25th against the pass last season. Start him with confidence.

Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans: Schaub suffered a mild ankle strain on Monday Night Football and was able to re-enter the game.  This injury is nothing to sweat about but it should show you how fragile Schaub can be, considering he injured his ankle decelerating while running out of bounds.  I would tread lightly with this guy all season and have a solid backup ready in case he isn’t able to go some weeks.


Brian Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia Eages: There have been no reports of any setbacks for Westbrook, who is coming back from surgery, this preseason.  While it may take him a game or two to get his step back, Westbrook should be fine this season.  Everyone is concerned about his age and health issues but I feel you can throw that concern out the door.  You will be able to draft him lower then he should be going and like he does every year Westbrook will reward you with big points.  Plus, if you are afraid of Westbrook breaking down, grab his mini-me, LeSean McCoy.

Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints: Reports indicate his right MCL strain is improving and should be ready for Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. Despite the Saints and Thomas downplaying it, I would be a tad bit concerned over his injury.  Knee injuries are tough to rebound from and could affect his burst and power throughout the season.

Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans Saints: He has had a successful recovery from offseason knee surgery but has been hampered by a sore calf.  Bush is electric when on the field and against all odds I am predicting this will be the year he can actually play an entire season (insert all your hate comments below).  With the doubts I have around Pierre Thomas, Bush has climbed up my draft board and is worth keeping an eye on in your league.


Breaking Down NFL Injuries From a Fantasy Football Perspective