Preseason football. What is it good for?
Obviously, that is not how the song goes, but NFL fans, some head coaches, players and fantasy football owners want to know why the preseason schedule is so long.
These guys play 16 grueling games a season. Many players do not make it to the end of the season without missing some time due to injury. And here we are, playing four meaningless games with the same amount of violence and chance for injury.
There has been talk recently about slimming the preseason schedule to three or even two games. If the NFL were to do that, however, they may tack two more regular season games on the schedule. So the players still would face a 20+ game season.
But I doubt fans and fantasy football owners would complain much about two more meaningful football games, right?
This week's injuries:
Steve Smith [WR, Panthers]
"In Carolina, Steve Smith began to participate in individual drills, roughly eight weeks after the Ronnie Lott of flag football broke Smith's arm over the summer. Smith won't be ready for contact anytime soon and isn't expected to play in the preseason. Smith should be ready to the Giants open the New Meadowlands Stadium in Week 1."
Good news on the Smith front, as he comes off the PUP list. This is a good indication for his chances of starting week one for the Panthers. Everyone knows the Carolina passing game could use his services.
Eli Manning [QB, Giants]
Man, Eli got lit up against the Jets. Not the kind of hit you want your quarterback taking in a preseason game. Luckily, he was not seriously injured and did not suffer a concussion. He should be OK.
Mike Sims-Walker [WR, Jaguars]
"Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker was injured during the second quarter of the team's preseason game Friday and watched the rest of it from the sidelines with his arm in a sling. The Jaguars have stressed that the injury is not serious, calling it just a strained shoulder."
Keep an eye on this situation. I might even knock MSW down a few pegs because the Jags have not really given a timetable for his return. It could be more serious than the team is letting on.
Josh Freeman [QB, Buccaneers]
"The Bucs announced that their starting quarterback will miss the rest of the preseason with a fractured tip of his right thumb. We're not sure if the quick diagnosis is bad sign for Freeman making it back for Week 1 or not."
So much for watching the Freeman-to-Mike Williams connection grow this preseason. There have been some flashes through two games, but the Bucs still do not look like a hopeful fantasy football unit for the 2010 season.
Leon Washington [RB, Seahawks]
"In his first action since a nasty compound leg fracture last year, the Seahawks running back showed excellent burst on a well-blocked play up the middle where he scored without being touched."
Bad news for Justin Forsett. Washington looked explosive for the short time he played and scored a touchdown against the Packers. This is looking more and more like a time share now that Washington proved he is healthy. I still doubt Julius Jones gets in the mix much.
Percy Harvin [WR, Vikings]
"Childress says Harvin will visit a specialist this week, although we have to think he's visited plenty before without any magic cure. Childress is optimistic Harvin will return to practice this week, which is a great sign."
Fantasy owners need to be prepared for the loss of Harvin throughout the season because of his chronic migraine problems. Hopefully, some doctor will be able to help Harvin avoid these terrible-sounding setbacks, which seem to be occurring more frequently for the young wide receiver.
Jeremy Maclin [WR, Eagles]
"In the first half of Friday night's game against the Bengals, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a shoulder injury.
So far, the news is good. X-rays were negative, per Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com."
A little bit of a scare for those fantasy owners high on the Maclin bandwagon. He is flying a little below the radar here with DeSean Jackson stealing all the offseason headlines, but Maclin could be poised for a big second season.
Owen Daniels [TE, Texans]
"Daniels is set to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam next Tuesday and then meet with Dr. James Andrews the following day. "I'm starting to feel like I'm back to normal again," Daniels told the Houston Chronicle."
Finally some good news regarding Daniels. His Week One status remains iffy, especially now that we are just a few weeks away from the start of the regular season. Fantasy owners are drafting him as a starter, however, and need to have a contingency plan.
Tim Tebow [QB, Broncos]
"Tebow skipped sprints before both Broncos practice sessions on Wednesday. After consulting with the team trainer before the afternoon practice, Tebow left for the locker room and didn't return. (Maybe he was busy signing autographs for Cincinnati media members.)"
Tebow may have scored his first touchdown in the NFL, but it came at a price to his body. This could be a sign of things to come for Tebow, whose running style will lead to more big hits in the open field.
Dez Bryant [WR, Cowboys]
"In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant speculated that he will begin to test his injured ankle in practice as early as next week. The rookie wideout has been sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain during the final plays of a late-July scrimmage, but Bryant stated during the brief interview that he plans to begin running again at some point next week."
Another bit of good news on the injury front. Fantasy owners have been waiting to get another glimpse of Bryant on the field after his meteoric start to training camp. Hopefully, he will get back on the field this week in time for weekend fantasy drafts.
The MMR will continue to run every Monday morning as scheduled during the regular season. If you have an injury update or want an update on a certain player, please leave a note in the comments.