NFL: 8 Free Agent Signings Already on the Injury Report

Dave StoesselAnalyst IISeptember 1, 2011

NFL: 8 Free Agent Signings Already on the Injury Report

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    There is nothing more disappointing than getting a nice, shiny, new free agent player only to have him go down with an injury before the season starts.  Especially if that player is being counted on to fill an important role.

    The free agent frenzy this year was unprecedented and will likely never happen again.  Well, at least for another 10 years—thanks to the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

    There were numerous players that switched teams this year; some have already found themselves on the injury report.

    Luckily, most of them are not serious injuries at this point.  Here are eight players who are expected to be either starters or significant role players but are a little dinged up at the moment.

WR Lee Evans, Ravens

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    Lee Evans was acquired by Baltimore for a fourth-round pick in a trade with Buffalo.  He was brought in to replace Derrick Mason and is expected to pair with Anquan Boldin to form a nice one-two punch.

    Evans is a talented receiver; unfortunately his skills were never fully utilized in a dreadful Buffalo offense.  That should change this season with the Ravens.

    However, Evans sustained a foot injury in last week's preseason game.  The exact injury is unknown and has forced him to wear a protective boot this week.

    The latest word is that the injury is not expected to be serious and that Evans should be ready by the season opener.

RB Marion Barber, Bears

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    The Chicago Bears did not bring Marion Barber in to be a starter.  But he is expected to pitch in as the primary backup to Matt Forte.

    Barber's hard-nosed running style has earned him respect but has also earned him time in the trainer's room.

    He was routinely dinged up while in Dallas the past few years and ultimately fell out of favor because of it.  He's been having a good preseason so far in Chicago but now finds himself dealing with a calf injury.

    The injury is not expected to be serious at this point and he is not in danger of missing the season opener.  But it could be little injuries like this that will cause him to either miss time or have limited effectiveness.

OT Ryan Harris, Eagles

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    Ryan Harris was signed by Philadelphia to compete for the starting job at right tackle.  He made a good impression in training camp and was quickly anointed the starter.

    He then played well in the Eagles' first preseason game against the Ravens.

    However, since then he has been bothered by back problems and just had surgery to repair a herniated disc.  It is unknown how long he will be out, but it doesn't sound good for the former Denver Bronco.

CB Johnathan Joseph, Texans

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    Johnathan Joseph was Houston's prize free agent signing this offseason.  He is expected to provide a big boost to the league's worst pass defense in 2010.

    He finally made his preseason debut last week after dealing with a nagging groin injury for the past few weeks.  He played the entire first half and appeared to make it through okay.

    However, groin injuries can be like hamstring injuries in that they can recur throughout the season.  It is something Houston fans should keep a close eye on.

TE Bo Scaife, Bengals

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    Luckily for Bengal fans, Bo Scaife was not brought in to be the starter.  That job belongs to Jermaine Gresham.

    Scaife, who put up reasonable numbers during his days with an anemic Titans offense, was thought to be good depth and an extra threat in double tight-end sets.

    Unfortunately, that appears as if it's not going to happen.  Scaife has suffered what is feared to be a season-ending shoulder injury in last week's preseason tilt with the Panthers.

    Scaife's modest $1 million contract along with being the second-string tight-end makes this news a little more bearable for Cincy fans.

DT Albert Haynesworth, Patriots

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    Ever since he signed that mega-contract with Washington back in 2009, Albert Haynesworth hasn't been the same player.

    Haynesworth was traded to New England this offseason for a measly 2013 fifth-round draft pick.

    Since becoming a member of the Patriots, Haynesworth has been nothing but a mystery.  He initially didn't join or practice with the team for "undisclosed" reasons.

    He has scarcely participated in practices and the typically vague Bill Belichick has only given information that he's "day to day."

    What the problem is with Haynesworth is anyone's guess.  Does he have an injury?  Is he just a head-case?

    Though not much is expected from him, it's quite a shame that a guy with his talent seems to just be throwing it away.

DT Aubrayo Franklin, Saints

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    Aubrayo Franklin was only signed to a one-year deal but he is expected to be a starter and give the Saints a solid run-stuffer for their defense.

    Franklin and the Saints had a major scare in their second preseason game against Houston when he went down with a knee injury.  Everyone was relieved after an MRI confirmed it was only a sprain of his MCL and not a tear.

    However, a ligament sprain actually is a tear, albeit a slight one.  It is termed a "sprain" based on a grading system: Grade One (mild), Grade Two (moderate) or Grade Three (severe: tear).  Franklin's was classified as a Grade One.

    He will probably be able to return by the start of the season.  However, the fear is that if he comes back too soon, he could completely tear the ligament, so his comeback is delayed.

TE Kevin Boss, Raiders

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    Kevin Boss was signed to a four-year, $16 million deal and is expected to replace the departed Zach Miller in the starting lineup.

    However, he suffered a sprained knee in an August 20th preseason game and is listed as "week to week."

    The exact extent of his injury is unknown.  But as we discussed with Aubrayo Franklin, a knee sprain is a slight tear in a ligament.  Which ligament is also unknown as the Raiders aren't releasing much information regarding the injury.

    It is likely that he'll be ready for the season opener but there has to be some concern over his situation.  Like Franklin, Boss can't rush back too soon because he'll risk worsening the tear.