Dr. Jeffrey E. Budoff is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who wades through misleading coach-speak and vague team injury information to offer advice for your fantasy team.
After being the Debbie Downer of the fantasy football medical world in my last two articles on Dez Bryant and Adrian Peterson, I decided to focus mainly on good news as the 2014 fantasy football season gets underway.
Michael Floyd injured his groin early in training camp. This injury was originally reported as being mild in severity, with a predicted six-to-10-day return. Floyd missed the first two preseason games due to this injury. He returned to practice on a limited basis on August 20. He then played in the third preseason game. I have to believe that the Cardinals wouldn’t have played a star receiver in a meaningless preseason game if he wasn’t fully recovered. Floyd then “passed his stress test.” He did well and showed good speed, without any ill effects from the injury. Rotoworld reported he was the star of entire Cardinals training camp. Unless he suffers a re-injury or some other setback, he should be fine. I’ve drafted him onto several of my fantasy football teams.
Doub Martin sustained a left shoulder labral injury in Week 7, missing the remaining 10 games of 2013. The labrum of the shoulder is made of similar material (fibrocartilage) as the meniscus of the knee. The labrum encircles the shoulder’s socker (glenoid), and is the structure that the ligaments–firm pieces of tissue that hold the joint together–attach to.
The two most common types of traumatic labral injuries are SLAP lesions, where the labrum tears off of the top of the shoulder, and a Bankart lesion, where the labrum tears off of the front. Traumatic Bankart lesions occur as part of shoulder dislocations. As no dislocation was seen, or reported, Martin most probably suffered a SLAP lesion.
SLAP Lesion: The labrum is torn off of the top of the glenoid socket.
More information on SLAP lesions.
Bankart Lesion: The labrum is torn off of the front of the glenoid socket.
More information on Bankart Lesions.
SLAP lesions usually do well following surgical repair, without any compromise to the shoulder’s athletic ability in non-throwing athletes. Most contact athletes can return to sport four-to-six months following injury, so Martin should be fine.
Reggie Wayne suffered an ACL tear on October 20, 2013, playing against the Denver Broncos. A primary ACL reconstruction usually takes an athlete six-to-nine months to recover from, so he’s had the appropriate amount of time to rest and rehabilitate. All of the information I have from Colts’ training camp has been that he looks like the Reggie Wayne of old. He played in the third preseason game which, as noted above, is a good thing. He caught two passes for 11 yards, both of which were negated by penalty. After he said, “It felt good. Everything felt normal and that’s what I expected.” I think his knee should be fine, and I plan on starting him this weekend.
OK, so not all of the news is great. What did you expect from a medical update?
Remember that article I wrote back on August 19? Remember when I concluded the section on Kenny Stills with “as long as he doesn’t suffer a re-injury or any other setbacks, I’m not concerned and plan on drafting him?” Well, guess what? Stills re-aggravated it during the third preseason game. The problem is that reaggravations of muscle-tendon injuries are often just as bad or worse than the original injury. That’s why it’s so important to rest these so that they’re fully healed before challenging them again with the stresses of football.
Worse: This is actually the second setback Stills has had with this injury. It originally happened while working out with Drew Brees and other receivers in San Diego during the offseason. His first aggravation came on the first day of training camp, possibly the first time he put significant stress on it. This quad injury kept Stills out of most of training camp and the first two preseason games. As opposed to Wayne and Floyd, whose muscle-tendon injuries passed their “stress test” (i.e. a preseason game), Stills’ quadriceps failed his. My latest information is that there’s no timetable for his return.
Stills is questionable for Week 1. Even if he plays, I see his snaps being limited. And he’s missed a lot of time that he could have used to work on timing in the passing game, so even if he plays it may not be at his normally high level. Personally, I’ve lowered my expectations for Stills for the early part of the season. I’m certainly not starting him Week 1.
Ray Rice experienced a similar injury in 2013. He was my first draft pick for one of my fantasy teams last year, and the nightmares are only now slowly beginning to recede in frequency and intensity. I hope the Saints medical staff rests Stills to allow his lingering quadriceps injury to finally heal, so that his entire 2014 season isn’t compromised.