Michael Vick has bruised ribs
Multiple forms of imaging (x-ray, CT and MRI) showed no broken bones or cartilage damage to Vick’s rib cage yesterday. Vick’s injury will require rest and additional treatment, however, and it’s no surprise that Vick won’t play in the team’s final two preseason games. The good news here is that a rib contusion isn’t likely to linger and limit Vick as long as a rib fracture or cartilage injury would and that the injury isn’t near the sternum this time.
But there’s still reason for concern. The injury occurred on yet another snap where Vick held the ball too long in the pocket trying to extend a play and left himself in position to take a big hit. There are times when such a decision is commendable and necessary. The first quarter of a meaningless preseason game is not one of them. It’s also notable that Vick’s injury occurred while wearing protective equipment to the area. That suggests that the equipment isn’t enough to protect him and, possibly, that Vick may be more willing to take those hits because he’s wearing protective equipment.
All indications are that Vick will be ready for Week 1, but unless something changes in Vick’s approach inside the pocket, it’s very hard to see him playing a full 16 game season.
Adrian Peterson won’t play in a preseason game
Though the Vikings and Peterson continue to say he’ll be back for the first week of the regular season, Peterson will not suit up for a preseason game. Leslie Frazier reassuringly denies that there have been any setbacks, but this is the latest sign that all parties involved have some concern that Peterson’s rehab may be progressing too quickly.
It’s fascinating to me that Peterson continues to take repetitions in practice against a defense that isn’t allowed to hit him. I’m not sure how running between the tackles without fear of contact helps Peterson get re-acclimated to being hit from an unexpected angle or how his body will react to losing his footing. It’s not a whole lot different than running plays in a walkthrough. It also puts a major burden on the defensive players, who must play near full speed but take every precaution not to inadvertently hit their star running back. It’s easy to wonder if the no-contact rule is the team’s way of appeasing Peterson, who’s not been shy about arguing that he’s further along and more ready than the team wants to acknowledge.
Unless Peterson makes it through multiple full contact practices in the next week, I think we should expect his usage to be much lower than he would hope in the early weeks of the season.
Doug Baldwin has a “hamstring procedure”
It was reported early this morning that Baldwin had a procedure to “clear up” his hamstring. As is often the case in Seattle, the details are vague, but Pete Carroll tried to paint a reassuring picture for Baldwin, suggesting that his wide receiver should be able to practice next week. It’s hard to be optimistic about that timetable, as even minor surgical procedures (tendon debridement, scar tissue removal, PRP injections, etc) around an already injured hamstring are likely to require more than one week of recovery time. For now, consider Baldwin’s Week 1 availability to be very much in doubt.
Hakeem Nicks continues to increase practice repetitions
Though he’s still well within the timeframe for a potential re-conditioning injury, it’s a great sign that Nicks has been able to make it through successive practices without any setbacks. Expect the Giants to continue to be cautious with him, but it’s possible that he could be ready to play a series in the final preseason game. He’s a near lock to be ready for Week 1.
The common response at this point in the preseason from injured veterans and coaches looking to dodge injury questions is to profess optimism for a Week 1 return. 2012 has been no exception. Some arguments are believable, others aren’t, yet hope springs eternal.
The Saints say that Darren Sproles would play this week if it were a regular season game. With Sproles reportedly running well in practice and individual drills and no evidence for a serious sprain based on game film or imaging reports, a Week 1 return looks probable. Week 1 Prognosis: Probable
Kenny Britt says the knee he had reconstructive ACL surgery on in September and a procedure to remove scar tissue in May is fine. He also told reporters that while he’s still rehabbing the knee he had scoped in June, he’s hopeful that he’ll be ready to play in Week 1. Setting aside the possibility that Britt will be suspended and ineligible to play, it’s very unlikely that Britt will be healthy enough to start opening weekend. Britt continues to have soreness after consecutive days of activity nearly eight weeks after his scope and isn’t yet fully practicing with his teammates. There’s no chance he’ll be available in Week 1. Week 1 Prognosis: Doubtful
The Cowboys expect Miles Austin to be ready in less than two weeks for the league opener against the Giants. Jerry Jones told a Dallas radio station yesterday that Austin is expected to ready but that the team has no interest in risking re-injury in a preseason game. I don’t see any reason to doubt Jones’ optimism, but Austin’s history of recurrent and prolonged hamstring strains means he’ll be at high risk of a re-aggravation if he’s not able to practice much before Week 1. Week 1 Prognosis: Questionable
James Harrison says that he believes he can be ready to play Week 1 in Denver. Harrison is just one week removed from arthroscopic knee surgery and hadn’t been cleared to come off the PUP list after offseason wrist surgery when the knee issue flared. I think it’s reasonable to expect at least another week of rehabilitation (and very possibly more) and Harrison himself acknowledges that he’ll need at least a week of practice before being game ready. Week 1 Prognosis: Doubtful
Dennis Allen said yesterday he hoped Denarius Moore would be ready to return for Oakland’s season opener. Moore hasn’t practiced in three weeks, however, and while he’s reportedly making progress, signs continue to point to Moore’s hamstring strain being a mid-grade injury. Unless Moore gets back on the practice field by the end of this week or early next, he’ll have trouble getting back into playing shape for opening weekend. Week 1 Prognosis: Questionable
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