Sony Michel RB, Patriots: knee surgery
Sony Michel is already set to miss the entire preseason and it’s possible his absence spills over into the start of the regular season. The rookie running back underwent a “knee procedure” last week that focused on a combination of draining fluid and cleaning up debris and loose bodies. It’s unclear at this time if it’s the same knee that Michel suffered a torn ACL in 2011, but our guess is that it’s related. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a 6 week Optimal Recovery Time, which means Michel likely won’t be healthy until a few weeks into the start of the regular season.
Antonio Brown WR, Steelers: quad injury
Antonio Brown has fantasy players and Steelers fans concerned after he left training camp to have a quad injury evaluated last week. Coach Mike Tomlin said on Friday that he expected Brown to be “fine in a few days.” Flash forward “a few days” and Brown has returned to the practice field but is not participating in any drills. Tomlin said he doesn’t expect Brown to suit up again until after the preseason opener, but he should be back to practicing after that. Right now we are showing a three week Optimal Recovery Time for Brown, so he won’t be healthy until just before the season begins. Brown will enter the 2018 season as an Elevated Injury Risk.
Doug Baldwin WR, Seahawks: knee injury
Reports out of Seattle are that Baldwin has been dealing with a “sore knee” since the start of training camp and could miss all of the preseason. At this point, the Seahawks insist he will be ready for Week 1, but their tone very well could change the longer this issue lingers for the star receiver. He has an Elevated Overall Injury Risk, and his Average Draft Position has been falling ever since these reports have come out. The Seahawks have also suggested this is a “maintenance issue,” which often times suggests surgery will eventually be necessary.
Randall Cobb WR, Packers: ankle surgery
Cobb finally admitted that he underwent surgery on his foot over the summer to remove a small piece of cartilage that was causing discomfort. It isn’t a serious long-term concern, but this will affect him early in the season. We are showing an August 18 Healthy to Return Date. Until then, he shouldn’t be involved in full contact drills. His Injury Risk is currently very High, but will likely drop to Elevated as the regular season gets underway.
Nick Foles QB, Eagles: muscles spasms in neck
Foles missed time during training camp after he experienced muscle spasms in his neck and traps. The reigning Playoffs MVP is not supposed to play in the first preseason game, but the Eagles don’t expect him to be off the field for long. With Carson Wentz also out, Nate Sudfield will likely get the majority of preseason snaps. With Wentz still not 100% recovered from his ACL tear, Foles could get the start come Week 1.
Quincy Enunwa WR, Jets: neck surgery and thumb injury
Enunwa missed all of last season after undergoing surgery on his neck to repair a bulging disc. He had passed his Optimal Recovery Time and returned to a Low Injury Risk, but now he’s back on the sidelines with another injury. Enunwa was seen with a wrap on his right hand and is reportedly dealing with a thumb injury. The Jets are expecting him to be out 1-2 weeks as he recovers. He was already going to miss much of the preseason as he nears a return from neck surgery, so this doesn’t change much. It’s important to note that Enunwa is now back up to a High Injury Risk.
Jimmy Graham TE, Packers: knee injury
It’s not clear at this time the extent of Jimmy Graham’s knee injury, but it’s likely related to his long list of knee issues he’s had over the years. He missed a few practices during training camp, and was held out of the Packers’ preseason opener. It’s not surprising the Packers held him out of a meaningless game given his injury history, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Graham is currently a High Injury Risk, but his Peak Health Performance makes him a high risk/high reward fantasy target.
Josh Doctson WR, Redskins: shoulder injury
Josh Doctson went down hard on his shoulder in practice last week, and while he likely suffered an AC sprain/shoulder bruise, it’s unlikely the injury carries into the regular season. We are calculating a 1 week Optimal Recovery Time for the shoulder bruise, so he should be fine even for Preseason Game 3, the regular season dress rehearsal.
Kenneth Dixon RB, Ravens: hamstring injury
Dixon missed over a week of practices this summer to a hamstring injury and he is also now reportedly dealing with another health issue. He’s fallen behind significantly, and may even be on the bubble for making the 53-man roster. He was originally expected to compete for the No. 2 job behind Alex Collins.
Sammy Watkins WR, Chiefs: hip injury
Sammy Watkins left practice earlier this week with a hip injury, but his presence at Thursday’s preseason opener makes us think his injury isn’t anything serious. After missing at least two practices this week, Watkins was in uniform for Preseason Game 1, and went through pregame drills without any noticeable hindrances. Watkins has a long injury history though (usually related to his foot), so even a minor tweak is concerning. He proved his durability for the first time last season, so let’s hope he can keep it up.
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, Steelers: knee injury
Knee injuries have proven to be a lingering problem for second-year Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. He was limited to individual drills in minicamp this summer due to lingering problems with his knee, and it’s possible these issues flare up again during the regular season. The good news is Smith-Schuster looked great in the Steelers’ preseason opener with a 71-yard catch-and-run touchdown. He has a high ceiling with a Peak Health Performance Factor but his Elevated Injury Risk should make fantasy players a little cautious.
Check back for more updates!