As training camp approaches, the Brett Favre saga begins.
"Favre-Watch 2010" is underway, and speculation regarding his surgically repaired ankle is arising. This leaves the question of which key players are coming back from injury, or recently injured, and how they will relate to their teams this season.
Take a look at this slideshow that overviews all the key injuries every decent NFL fan needs to know about for fantasy drafts, or just plain knowledge!
In one of many boneheaded offseason decisions, wide receiver Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers has made in his career, this one may be the most questionable.
Smith reportedly broke his arm in a flag-football game at a youth camp he hosts annually that could potentially violate the terms of his contract with the Panthers.
Though this injury isn't expected to be a nuisance into the preseason, an injury to the only proven receiving weapon of the Panthers offense isn't exactly what this team needs.
Hey, at least he broke his own bone instead of a fellow teammate's!
Despite the off-the-field distractions of Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to be making serious improvements in their offensive line. The Steelers selected Maurkice Pouncey out of the University of Florida, a versatile player who can play both guard and center.
The addition of Pouncey led many to believe the Steelers were going back to the run-heavy offense of past times. That is, until offensive tackle Willie Colon suffered a season-ending injury to his Achilles.
The importance of this injury is due to the suspension Roethlisberger is facing, and the battle for the tackle position between Trai Essex and Jonathon Scott will be an interesting one to watch.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered what appeared to be a horrific knee injury against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round, yet it was determined that he suffered no significant knee damage in terms of a torn ACL,
Rodgers-Cromartie seems to be recovering well physically, but it will be interesting to see if a player as young as Rodgers-Cromartie will be able to recover not only physically, but mentally as well, seeing that he is an undersized corner and what he could be subject to.
Kevin Smith exploded on to the scene in Detroit, coming out of Central Florida from the vastly overlooked Conference-USA, appearing in all 16 games of his rookie campaign, rushing 238 times for 976 yards, and managing to find the end zone eight times.
In his sophomore campaign, Smith was battered and bruised throughout the year until his season ultimately came to an end in Week 14, when he suffered a nasty torn ACL.
With the Lions trading back into the first round to select Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith's questionable status on the injury report coming into training camp could eventually turn into a questionable status for his career.
Chris Cooley has quickly established himself as a premier tight end in the National Football League. He is a threat in the passing game and never hesitates to throw a block.
Cooley suffered a broken ankle towards the end of the 2009 season, but the injury is reportedly making great progress. He has been limited in OTAs, but when he was getting his reps, they were apparently all over the field.
However, Cooley's replacement, Fred Davis, performed great at the end of the season, grabbing 48 passes for 509 yards and six touchdowns, for an above average 10.6 yards per catch.
If Cooley doesn't give it 110 percent during training camps, Davis may be seeing the field a bit more this year. Either way, new head coach Mike Shanahan has one of the best tight end combos...on paper.
After a stunning 2008 season in which he gained 1,700 yards while scoring 17 times, Turner couldn't repeat in 2009. A combination of weight gain and an ankle injury held the bruiser to 871 yards in 11 games, yet he did find the end zone 10 times.
Turner has reportedly lost over 20 pounds, and says that he is in the best shape of his life. With Turner back to his normal playing weight, many analysts expect big things from him this season.
Rookie Matthew Stafford proved that he had the "intangibles," the "it," the "unmeasurables," when he managed an astonishing comeback after separating his shoulder in a thriller against the Cleveland Browns.
There was a lot of speculation of whether Stafford's shoulder was really ready to keep playing, or if he wanted to prove himself as a tough rookie who had the broad shoulders (no pun intended) to carry a rebuilding franchise back to premier status in the NFL.
Either way, if Stafford's shoulder still is indeed ailing, he needs to step off the Napoleon horse, before his career comes to an end.
Rookie guard Eric Wood, out of Louisville, was a shining point in an otherwise lackluster season for the lowly Buffalo Bills. He played well at both center and guard for one of the worst offensive lines in the National Football League.
In an end of the season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wood suffered a broken leg in a freakish block gone wrong. He didn't participate in OTAs and his return is needed if the Bills hope to establish a running attack with a crowded backfield filled with Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, and rookie C.J. Spiller.
Good old, sneaky mastermind, Bill Belichick was so slick when he decided to play Wes Welker in a meaningless Week 17 game. Welker ended up twisting his knee, making the infamous Willis McGahee injury easier on the stomach.
Without Welker, a focal point of one of the most potent passing attacks in the league, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots weren't able to advance past the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs.
Welker reportedly is way ahead of schedule with his rehab, but the team will make certain he's healthy, using Julian Edelman, until Welker is 100 percent.
Bob Sanders of the Indianapolis Colts has been so much of a disappointment as of late. Sanders has proved that he has the potential to be an elite and dominating safety in the National Football League, yet he always seems to find himself on the wrong end of the injury report.
Sanders, who has appeared in a total of eight games over the last two seasons, was reported by Michael Lombardi of NFL Network yesterday, that he would never suit up for an NFL game ever again. Since the report surfaced, there has been debate as to whether or not this is true.
If it is not, Sanders is really a player to watch this year, as if he can't stay healthy, he may become another lost talent.
Favrewatch 2010 is finally here. Each year hundreds of media outlets gather around Brett Favre's home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, speculating on whether or not the great one will return for another season, despite being banged up from whichever injury he is recovering from on a given year.
This year's injury of choice is "bone spurs in the ankle." This surgically-repaired injury was suffered in the devastating loss to the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.
While retirement is on Favre's mind, it is most likely coming from the fact that the Saints that beat him up are the Saints that he will have to face in the opening Thursday night game of the NFL season.