NFL & Atlanta Falcons

Breaking Bones: Injury updates from a painful Preseason Week 1

So you'll have to wait another day for my previously planned blog of ranking various websites. Yesterday's maladies seemed too pressing to dampen or delay. It's a return to a full off season for the NFL, and while the lockout had many people worried about the shape and condition of athletes bodies last year, we forget that a full training camp brings its fair share of wear and tear. If you're at all serious about fantasy football, and of course you are -- you're reading this and not Martha Stewart's basement brownie Hatch -- you gotta watch preseason games. I understand that's a timeout punishment you wouldn't dole out to the most miscreant of enemies, yet it makes you better informed. Shoot, at the very least keep reading this blog, so we can salvage your team's chances. Let's hop in:

1. Ryan Mathews   RB   San Diego Chargers - - -  Broken Clavicle (Collarbone)

*** This guy has been the darling of preseason prognosticators, and yet people forget that although this Fresno State product was monstrous in college, he never has produced a full 16-game NFL slate, let alone dominated. There was one Week 17 game that I believe he won my wife a fantasy championship, so she's allowed to be an apologist, but the rest of us should just consider Ryan what he is: made of glass. Like Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Unbreakable," he seems like a nice dude, but nefarious consequences loom.


2. Jimmy Graham   TE   New Orleans Saints - - -   Back

*** So sadly this injury occurred while landing awkwardly on his back in practice. Amusingly enough, he got up after the touchdown grab and did a dance and ball spike before dropping to his knees on the sideline. Poor Jimmy gets a No. 2 ranking because he's ranking amazingly high on most draft boards. This may be a preview of another post forthcoming, but tight ends should seldom ever be picked in the first three rounds. I don't care that Gronkowski and Graham set records last year -- they may very well have been career years. All it takes is one freak accident like this for example. Well Jimmy didn't play in New Orleans' second preseason game last night. The start instead went to David Thomas. I don't think anyone plays in a two tight end league, but if you do you'll want to keep Thomas on your roster just in case. Drew Brees has downplayed the injury but stay tuned.


3. Trent Richardson  RB   Cleveland Browns - - - Knee Scope Surgery

*** Alright, so this one didn't happen last night, but it is among the biggest league headlines this week alongside the return of 39-year-old T.O. Trent Richardson right now is a pretty set in stone among top 10 runningbacks, a sincerely high charge for a rookie who we may see now has a boo boo. The Browns were aware of Trent's bum knee when they drafted him, and this is his second surgery of the year following one in February. For a powerback, bum tires has this blogger concerned. I'm not saying run out and draft Montario Hardesty by any stretch of the imagination, but I'll just leave you with a recent comment by the head coach -- we "hope" he's ready by week one. If this is your starting RB1, you have legitimate cause for concern.


4. Torrey Smith   WR   Baltimore Ravens - - -  Sprained Ankle

*** Torrey was one of my sleeper wideout picks for this year that I'll reveal in detail later. Anquan Boldin has lost more than one step, and his age may soon be an injury concern. He looked sharp in action against the Birds Thursday before leaving with an ankle sprain. Now, Torrey isn't a one trick pony, but this pony makes his money on the speed aspect of his game. I forget how many 40+ yard catches he had last year, but if your silly league awards bonuses for big plays, this guy is a big play stud. But injuries kept him off the field often last year, and for only a second-year player the word "prone" may be attached to another unsexy word for fantasy owners. Monitor this one, but expect him to be in street clothes for the next handful of games.


5.  Ed Dickson   TE   Baltimore Ravens - - - Right Shoulder

*** Dickson just barely edges out Eagles QB Michael Vick's throwing thumb injury, and Jonathan Dwyer's lameness, because the Ravens are already out Dennis Pitta's broken hand. Joe Flacco likes to use tight ends, especially in the redzone, and Dickson was expected to pick up the slack with Pitta being out for the first few games. MRIs as yet have not come back, so it's possible the team is delaying a worse outcome/newsbreak. Again, I play in a two tight end league (cray-cray), so for most standard leagues this guy may not even be on your board. But if you have him on the bottom of your board around Round 14 or 15, you may want to get the dry erase out. 



All right, this post is getting silly long, so I'll wrap it up. If you want to beat your blogger to the best info, I'll just come right out and tell you my resources, so your team will be tip top come actual game time.

Best in game injury updates ~ CBS Sports / I notice these in my Player News window after you've already signed up for a league, but you should be able to find these updates on the NFL section.

Quickest post-game updates on X-rays/injuries ~ Pro Football Weekly / I have a free app for my phone that I must check twice an hour, but there is a website I'm fairly sure has free content. Here's the context though, NFL Network broke Ryan Mathews' broken collarbone around 11:30 last night, while Pro Football had the same definitive word at 8:39 p.m. Those three hours could mean the difference in two or three won/lost games.

Best practice reports update for injuries/status ~ Yahoo Sports / The most beloved fantasy platform is one you probably already use. I'm sure you're familiar with the yellow star asterisk next to a player's name informing you of breaking news. Don't forget to give those a clikey.