Time to take a look at some of the NFL’s injured superstars.
With the coverage received by the NFL Scouting Combine, free agency and the NFL Draft, the NFL offseason never is a dull place. Before you know it, rookies and veterans alike will be reporting to camps all across the nation in preparation for the 2008 season.
Some of those players are healthy, and some of them are not. Monday morning rehab takes a look at the not-so-healthy among those players, particularly the players with fantasy value for those of you in keeper and/or dynasty leagues. Hit the jump for this week’s updates.
Ahman Green [RB, Texans]
From Houston Chronicle:
I talked to Texans running back Ahman Green and it appears as if he will be full strength when the Texans offseason workout program starts at the end of March.
Green suffered a serious knee injury in the first game last season. He tried to play through it, but it got worse each time he got hit. He was never able to play in a complete game last season and eventually landed on the injured reserve. The injury wasn’t one that required surgery though. It mostly needed just rest.
The Texans did not land one of the bigger names in free agency at runningback, which indicates the team might look toward the NFL Draft to address the needs at this position. Oregon’s Jonathan Stewart would be a good fit for the Texans but would need to be taken with Houston’s first-round pick.
Green seemed like a good fit for the Houston offense, but could not stay on the field long enough last year to have much of an impact. At this point in his career, he likely would be better served playing in a platoon with a younger player.
Deuce McAllister [RB, Saints]
Deuce McAllister’s roster spot with the Saints should be safe at least until the summer, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Deuce’s salary manageable, so he figures to return as Reggie Bush’s backfield mate in 2008, barring an oustanding offseason from Pierre Thomas. “Our plans are full-speed ahead right now (with McAllister),” coach Sean Payton said. “He’s rehabbing, and we fully intend for him to be a guy that we look at and have a chance to evaluate how he’s come off his injuries.”
It appears that Deuce will keep his job as the power back in the Saints’ offense. His effectiveness after a second major knee injury, however, remains to be seen. But if he returns to health and can reclaim most of his former self as a player, he will reclaim his role on the Saints’ offense as the power and goal-line back.
Shaun Alexander [RB, Seahawks]
NFL Network’s Adam Schefter says he “doesn’t like the chances” of Shaun Alexander being a Seahawk in 2008.
Schefter says Seattle has interest in free agent Julius Jones, even after signing T.J. Duckett to a five-year deal worth $13-$17 million. The Seahawks will likely see how the draft goes, then re-assess Alexander’s situation.
And this news came before Seattle signed free agent Julius Jones. I am not convinced that Seattle is going to cut Alexander, however. The Seahawks could transition to a platoon system with Alexander and Jones seeing the bulk of the work. Maybe they are trying to shop Alexander around the league. Or the rumors could be true and Seattle will cut Alexander at some point this offseason.
Whatever happens, it is obvious that Alexander’s best fantasy days are behind him.
Steve McNair [QB, Ravens]
From the Baltimore Sun:
The Ravens have not officially committed to McNair as their starting quarterback, but it’s likely his job to lose.
It doesn’t make sense that the Ravens would hand a veteran team to a rookie quarterback as they did in 2003, and it’s not looking as if the Ravens are searching for a new starter in free agency or by trade.
McNair may have one more season in him. However, his body is too fragile at this point to be a legitimate long-term starting quarterback for any team. The Ravens may use the draft to address the quarterback position, though it is looking less and less likely they will do so with their first-round pick.
Ricky Williams [RB, Dolphins]
From the Palm Beach Post:
[Ricky] Williams described his first encounter will Dolphins maharishi Bill Parcells after last season, and the meeting suggested the former NFL rushing leader will be a factor.
“A couple hours later he called me into his office and told me that he wanted me and he really believed in me. He’s been really positive about keeping me involved and inspiring me to contribute this year.”
Williams is recovering from a torn pecs muscle and has been described as questionable for mini-camp. Whether or not he is a member of the Dolphins for mini-camp is a different story. Right now, it appears as if he will be with Miami, but Bill Parcells could be trying to unload Williams to a runningback-needy team.