With just three weeks to go before the first game of the NFL season, injuries are piling up. And there are quite a few that could have a lingering effect into the start of the season. Here’s a quick look at the injury analytics on the biggest injuries ahead of the 2nd week of the preseason.
Rashaad Penny RB, Seahawks: hand fracture
Penny underwent surgery this week to have a screw inserted in his finger after suffering a fracture. The Seahawks are hopeful that he will return week 1, giving him a 3-4 week recovery timetable. Unfortunately Inside Injuries’ Optimal Recovery Time is much longer at 7 weeks. If he tries to play in the first few games, his Injury Risk will remain at a concerning level, and ball security will be a serious concern. More.
Ben Roethlisberger QB, Steelers: concussion
One of the stranger stories of the week was Big Ben entering concussion protocol and then getting cleared just two days later, indicating he never actually suffered a concussion. Well, even though this is good news, our algorithm is showing some serious concern. Roethlisberger’s injury history is no secret, although he is incredibly tough and often plays through some serious injuries. But concussions are a whole different beast. His last documented concussion was in 2015, but he had at least 2-3 others early in his career.
When concussions start to pile up, they become easier and easier to get. Instead of a blow to the head, they can be caused by something as minor as whiplash. That’s what supposedly happened at practice. He has jumped to a High Injury Risk and could continue to be at an increased risk the rest of the season, even when he meets his Healthy to Return Date later this month.
Saquon Barkley RB, Giants: hamstring strain
The Giants used the number 2 pick in this year’s NFL draft to go after Saquon Barkley, but he is already sidelined with an injury. Barkley was very healthy and durable throughout his college career. Now just a few weeks into his NFL career he is batting a hamstring strain. While this one is mild, we are showing a two week Optimal Recovery Time. He has done some light jogging since the injury on Monday but nothing more. Expectations are incredibly high for the rookie, and they want to make sure they don’t take any chances on him and rush him back this early in the year. He has already improved back to a Low Injury Risk. His HPF remains Below Average, but that will quickly improve if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks and returns to practice ahead of their final preseason game (although he might not play).
Corey Clement RB, Eagles: lower body injury
Clement has been sidelined since the Eagles exhibition opener last Thursday due to a lower-body injury. No one will reveal his exact injury, so there isn’t much to report here. The team does expect him to be ready week 1, but until he returns to practice we can’t trust that that will actually happen. This is more than likely a muscular injury such as a hamstring strain.
Nelson Agholor WR, Eagles: lower body injury
A lower body injury has sidelined Agholor throughout the early portion of the preseason. The Eagles are focused on getting him ready for week 1, but it is a real concern that he has missed this much time already. Agholor battled quite a few injuries early on in his career but finally made it through last season without any real injury concerns, playing in all 16 games. With injuries to Agholor, Wentz, Jeffery, Foles and many others, the Eagles are already pretty banged up.
Jerick McKinnon RB, 49ers: calf strain
The 49ers won’t have their new RB back until week 1. McKinnon suffered a leg injury during practice following their first preseason game. Some reports indicate a calf injury while others suggest knee. It could be both. McKinnon went down holding the back of his knee, which is where the calf connects to the joint. So it could be a knee sprain along with a calf strain. Either way, we are showing an Optimal Recovery Time around 4 weeks, so it makes sense that he won’t play again during the preseason.
DeVante Parker WR, Dolphins: hand fracture
DeVante Parker is considered week-to-week with a fractured middle finger. While he is expected to play week 1, we are showing a much longer 7 week Optimal Recovery Time. If he does play in the opener, he won’t be anywhere near 100%. Historically he hasn’t played well when trying to fight through injuries. Hand fractures are a tough injury for a wide receiver to play through because they often lead to drops, and it affects their blocking ability.
Kenny Stills WR, Dolphins: ankle sprain
In addition to losing Parker to a finger fracture, the Dolphins are also without Kenny Stills, who sprained his ankle earlier this week. Stills won’t suit up for their 2nd preseason game, but the injury doesn’t appear to be too serious. Right now we are showing a four week Optimal Recovery Time, so his Healthy to Return Date of September 4 is just before their regular season opener. He should be ok to play week 1, but his Injury Risk could still be increased. It is currently High at 29%, but that number will improve if he can make it through the preseason without any setbacks.
Marlon Mack RB, Colts: hamstring strain
Mack is expected to miss multiple weeks with a “manageable” hamstring strain after going down in the Colts‘ first preseason game. We are picking up a moderate strain that needs at least 2-3 weeks to heal. He should be ready by week 1, but his Injury Risk could remain at a concerning level. Right now it is Elevated (21%).