Pre-Training Camp Injury Report

By Jake 6:07am EDT 7/9/15

Injuries that are picked up in OTAs and the offseason can have a domino type effect that spill over into training camp, preseason games and the regular season. Keep an eye on the news that comes out on these players over the course of the next few weeks and be prepared to adjust your player rankings accordingly.

Kelvin Benjamin

Benjamin turned up to OTAs in May 8-9 pounds overweight and according to coach Ron Rivera was not in great conditioning shape. This showed quickly as he pulled both hamstrings and had to sit out the majority of OTAs and minicamp allowing Devin Funchess to soak up all the first team reps.

Any soft tissue injury is notable because of the high incidence of reoccurrence over the course of the season. Arian Foster’s injury plagued 2011, 2013 and 2014 were both heralded by injury laden off-seasons.

Benjamin is definitely someone to watch as training camp rolls around.

Odell Beckham

Beckham missed all of the preseason last year and the first 4 games of the regular season with a torn right hamstring. This year he pulled his left hamstring in OTAs and was forced to the sidelines for the majority of training. If there is one cap on Beckham’s ceiling this year it his increased risk of injury due to his previously injured hamstrings

Darren McFadden

Run DMC pulled a hamstring in OTAs and had to sit of sessions until minicamp. He got to watch Randle handle the first team snaps and begin asserting himself as the lead back in the prized Dallas backfield.

With a body made out of Jenga blocks, McFadden’s injury history is as complex as the Game of Thrones narrative. His hamstring is apparently feeling “great” now and he has committed to being ready when training camp rolls around. The one thing that stands out about McFadden and injury is that he is an extraordinarily slow healer.

Keep this in mind as talk inevitably swirls around him taking snaps away from Joseph Randle.

Kevin White

White suffered an undisclosed injury but @Staceydales of the NFL Network said “it’s something to keep your eye on”. White doesn’t have an injury history to speak of (and we have not included this injury in our database as we don’t know what it is yet).

We’ll update you as soon as we get more information on this in the coming weeks

Marqise Lee

Lee sprained his MCL and sat out all of OTAs and minicamp. It’s worth mentioning that Lee was hampered by shoulder, knee and leg injuries in his junior year in college and these durability issues seem to have carried over into the NFL with him missing a chunk of games in his rookie season.

He has a high risk of injury going into 2015

DeVante Parker

Parker was flagged as a high risk pick heading into this year’s draft because of his foot injury. He required another screw inserted in his foot during OTAs and it’s likely that he will start the year on the PUP list. It’s a stark reminder that while players who have fractured bones in their feet can be very successful in the NFL (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julio Jones to name a few), the recovery usually takes a season or two.

Jaelen Strong

Strong sat out the majority of OTAs due to a hamstring pull. He was criticized by Bill O’Brian for his poor conditioning coming into camp. Cecil Shorts is yet to make it through a full season. Strong could be in-line for a nice piece of the yardage pie if Shorts misses time.

Strong is at a high risk of being injured in 2015

Mike Evans

Evans “tweaked” his hamstring at OTAs but was able to return two days later. Should be fine but just something to keep an eye on as training camp progresses. If this crops again it could become something to watch out for during the regular season

Notable Pre OTA Injuries

These are mainly surgeries that took place. Not a lot of disclosure has been given around the cause for the surgeries which leads to speculation. Our advice is to see what reports come out of training camp coverage. Our injury data will be updated as confirmed information comes in.

De’Andre Hopkins

Hopkins injured his wrist in week 17 and had to have surgery to repair the ligaments. He sat out of OTAs and minicamp but is expected to be ready to go at the end of the month in training camp. Luckily we have 5 weeks of Hard Knocks to get some up close information on how his rehab is progressing and to see if this is going to be a problem or not heading into the season

Jordy Nelson

Nelson sat out of OTAs and minicamp after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery in February. As @jeffbudoff points out in this article the problem with this information is that this surgery could signify two very different injuries. The best case scenario is that it was a case of hip impingement that would require a small piece of bone to be removed to alleviate any kind of pain Nelson is experiencing. The expected outcome is overwhelmingly good in this scenario of Jordy being able to return to the same level of play. The other scenario (bad) is that Nelson is suffering from a degenerative condition and arthritis has set in compromising the effectiveness of his hip cartilage.

If this is the case Nelson’s movement and production could be limited severely going forward.

Sammy Watkins

Watkins tore the labrum in his hip in November 2014. He played through it to finish the season and then had clean up surgery in the first week of February. As Dr Budoff says in the article referenced above this could either mean that it is taken care of as labral cleanups tend to be fairly straightforward – or it’s not in the event that this procedure was as a result of a tendinitis.

Watkins was able to take part in some parts of OTAs and minicamp including 11 on 11s and is apparently on track for camp. Our injury predictor has him at a high risk for injury this season

Brandon LaFell

LaFell injured his foot at some point in the offseason and missed OTAs. He was in a protective walking boot up until recently. He said that he would be ready for camp.

Bellicheck is the tricksiest of hobbitses when it comes to injury information and so it’s unlikely we will know anything anytime soon. Keep an eye out for any foot related news items that come out of training camp with regard to LaFell. We will keep you updated as soon as (if) we find out what it was that happened.

Joique Bell

Bell underwent arthroscopic surgery in the offseason on his knee and Achilles and missed all of OTAs and minicamp. Since undergoing those procedures Detroit picked up two backs: Abdullah in the second round and big back Zach Zenner as an UDFA.

It’s clear that the Lions are making plans to move on from the soon to be 29 year old running back. So should you.

Robert Turbin

The man with the biggest biceps in the NFL underwent hip surgery in the offseason. He is expected to be ready for camp. No further details are available but this is a big year for him as he approaches the final year of his rookie contract and with Lynch preparing to make his final “ding-ding” leap into the endzone.

Sam Bradford

Bradford is coming off his second ACL tear in as many years and was unable to participate fully in OTA or minicamp. It’s taken two and a half years for RG3 to recover from his ACL revision – there is clear reason for concern here.

Stevan Ridley

Ridley was unable to go at OTAs and minicamp and said recently that he would most likely not be ready for training camp. He is a candidate to open the year on the PUP list paving the way for Chris Ivory to establish himself as the lead back.

And in other news…

Arian Foster has NOT been injured so far this preseason. This is something to watch as his two healthy preseasons coincided with the two seasons he played a full complement of games for (2010 and 2012). If Foster can maintain health through the season he could easily be in line for the rushing title this year.

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