Time to roll out a new feature: Monday morning rehab.
For those of you playing in keeper and/or dynasty leagues, or those of you in redraft leagues just wanting to keep tabs on some banged-up stars, this weekly feature will provide insight on injuries and rehabs around the NFL.
The great thing about the NFL is the plethora of status updates on players during the offseason. It now is easier than ever to keep up with NFL players’ injuries and rehabilitation progress through the non-football months. This information is readily available but often scattered across the internet. Here you will be available to find some of the bigger stories about some of the names most often associated with fantasy drafts.
Consider this your injury resource in preparing for the 2008 fantasy season. Hit the jump for this week’s updates.
Ronnie Brown [RB, Dolphins]
Ronnie Brown’s recovery from a torn ACL is “apparently going very well,” according to the Miami Herald.
Brown should be back in time for training camp, and quite possibly sooner. The Dolphins still have to find a backup RB and at least one starting tackle.
It is not uncommon to hear that an athlete’s rehab is “going very well” these days, but it is encouraging to hear that there have been no setbacks. Conventional wisdom says that it usually takes runningbacks about a year to fully recover — both physically and mentally — from a major knee injury, which Brown suffered in 2007.
Marvin Harrison [WR, Colts]
Marvin Harrison underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last month, and the Colts aren’t sure he’ll be ready for training camp.
GM Bill Polian says Harrison will be ready for the opener and that “all the news is good” but that doesn’t compute. Harrison’s left knee is actually the one that kept him out all year, and that remains the problem. Polian said it’s still “healing” and Harrison won’t do much in camp. If Harrison can’t show he’s healthy in camp, the Colts will have a tough decision to make.
This is not good news for Harrison. He missed most of 2007 with a mysterious knee injury and was ineffective upon his return to the lineup in the playoffs. Harrison is no spring chicken at this stage in the game and his age will be a prohibitive factor as his body continues to recover from injury. As sad as it is to see him go out this way, Harrison enjoyed a great career in Indianapolis as one of the most productive and consistent receivers in NFL history. His best days almost certainly are behind him, however.
Alex Smith [QB, 49ers]
From Niner Insider:
Alex Smith has started light throwing after undergoing shoulder surgery in December. McCloughan said Smith and quarterback Shaun Hill, who had finger surgery, will be ready to throw in the first mini-camp in early May.
Smith may be motivated to return to action sooner after the emergence of Shaun Hill. The battle between these two quarterbacks may get intense this summer as each fight to become San Francisco’s starter next season. Smith has a lot working against him with the injury, rehab and also the fact that he has to learn yet another new offensive system.
Antonio Gates [TE, Chargers]
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates plans to undergo foot surgery next week to fix the injury that nagged him at the end of the season.
The Chargers Pro Bowl tight end faces a four-to-six month recovery time, which should allow him to be ready for the start of the regular season and possibly the start of training camp.
Yikes. Gates may not be ready for the start of the regular season, and he even goes on to say that he might not be ready until midseason. His days atop the tight end rankings on fantasy cheat sheets may be coming to an end, at least for one year.