The Next Man Up Injury Report: 2020 Training Camp Edition

Kyle Allen

Welcome to The Next Man Up Injury Report: Training Camp Edition! If you read my most recent article, you may recall that with sudden increases in workload, players become more susceptible to soft tissue injury.

Last year, we saw a lot of fantasy relevant players deal with injuries in the preseason, but the vast majority were ready for the regular season. This season should be no different. Keep an eye on the official team injury reports as they are released and stay up to date.

Because of the large number of training camp injuries, I will give an injury and estimated return time for each player in this article, and further elaborate on the most fantasy relevant players on the podcast. As always, reach out to me on Twitter (@kallen_4) if you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore

Jackson missed two practices with a groin injury, but returned to practice Monday (8/24). Jim Harbaugh declined to elaborate further than saying it was a groin injury and that he is expected to be fine.

Jarrett Stidham, New England

Stidham is reportedly battling a hip injury that has limited him in practice and all but sealed the deal in the Patriots QB battle. Cam Newton is all but a sure thing to be the Pats starting QB to begin the season.

Alex Smith, Washington

Since suffering a compound fracture of the right tibia and fibula (fracture to the two bones of the lower leg, which broke the skin) in November of 2018, Smith has undergone 17 different surgeries to repair the fracture and treat a subsequent infection that nearly cost him his life. Despite nearly insurmountable odds, Smith has been cleared for all football activity and will begin the season on the active/PUP list, which allows him to work on the side and be around his Washington teammates, but he cannot participate in practice. He will be able to join the team in a full capacity upon passing his physical.

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake, Arizona

Drake was seen in a walking boot after practice on Monday (8/24), which head coach Kliff Kingsbury described as “precautionary” and “general training camp soreness”. The extent of his injury is unknown at this point. Drake is out of the boot, but not fully participating in practice at this time.

Nick Chubb, Cleveland

Chubb was in the league’s concussion protocol for a short time after being tackled by teammate Mack Wilson in practice, but he has cleared the protocol and rejoined practice on Saturday (8/22).

Melvin Gordon, Denver

Gordon suffered a rib injury and was pulled from practice on Friday (8/21), but returned to practice on Monday (8/24). He is listed as healthy.

Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville

Armstead has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list as of 8/20, but he missed 18 days of conditioning and training with the Jaguars and may not be in shape for week 1.

Sony Michel, New England

Sony Michel has been activated from the Patriots PUP list and will participate in practice Wednesday (8/26). Per RB coach, Ivan Fears, he will be ready for Week 1.

Lamar Miller, New England

Upon signing with New England, Miller was placed on the active/PUP list. He is expected to join team practices soon, but his role in the offense is undefined.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia

Sanders has been listed as “week to week” with a “lower-body injury”. This ambiguous injury designation is especially concerning because it could be anything from a groin strain to a fracture of some sort, but until an official diagnosis is released, the situation will have to be monitored.

Jerrick McKinnon, San Francisco

After missing the last two seasons due to injury, McKinnon is back at 49ers practice and has received praise for his sharp route running and speed despite multiple injuries. He looks to slot in as at least a third down back with the potential for more work should Mostert or Coleman falter.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle

Penny remains on the reserve/PUP list while recovering from an ACL tear suffered near the end of last season. He can return in week 7, at earliest, following Seattle’s bye week, but may face an extended absence if he is not ready to go by then.

Chris Carson, Seattle

Carson suffered a hip fracture near the end of last season and landed on injury reserve as a result. He has since recovered and has begun practicing with the team after arriving late due to family matters. Head coach, Pete Carroll, “Our hearts go out to Chris. He’s going through some really big stuff with family members that he is looking after and taking care of. He’s fine, and all that. It has nothing to do with Chris personally, physically or anything. But he has to do this, at this time, right now.”

D’Andre Swift, Detroit

Swift has missed seven straight days of practice with the Lions due to an undisclosed leg injury. Head coach, Matt Patricia, is known to keep his players’ injury status under wraps as much as possible, but he had this to say about Swift, “…we’re going to have to do a good job of making sure that he’s acclimated when he is ready to go…,” an ominous statement, but one that sheds zero light on the situation. This calls into question his availability for the beginning of the season, and throws even more questions into what to do with the Lions backfield. Keep an eye on Lions camp for more information moving forward.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay

Vaughn has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list as of 8/9. He missed 2 weeks of camp, and in that time Ronald Jones was labeled as “the guy” by head coach Bruce Arians. Vaughn is expected to contribute in the kick return game, but will have to earn reps elsewhere before he’s relevant for your fantasy squad.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Henderson suffered what head coach (offensive genius) Sean McVay called a “mild hamstring” injury. McVay said they expect him to miss some practices this week, but did not elaborate on when, specifically, that they expect him to fully return. This setback most likely takes Henderson out of the running for a starting role, leaving career backup Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers to vie for the job.

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Montgomery suffered a groin injury after slipping awkwardly on the turf while practicing. The full extent of the injury is unknown. According to an NFL Network report, his recovery could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. To me this seems like an optimistic time frame, as groin injuries tend to linger and take their time to heal. This is a situation to monitor in Chicago as the season is quickly approaching and this injury very well could bleed into the season and even hamper Montgomery’s production upon his return.

Wide Receivers

Robert Foster, Buffalo

As of Monday, 8/24, Foster returned to practice in a red no-contact jersey after suffering a concussion in practice last week. He is expected to be cleared for full practice by next week, if not sooner.

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland

Landry is well ahead of the 6-8 month expected recovery time after undergoing hip surgery in the offseason. He has cleared the PUP list and joined team drills this week. The Browns training staff are hopeful that Landry will be ready to go by their week 1 meeting with Baltimore.

Keith Kirkwood, Carolina

Kirkwood had an outside shot at making the Panthers roster, which now looks a little more bleak after he broke his clavicle in practice. The injury will require surgery, which will cost him several weeks at minimum. The Panthers have subsequently signed Darrell Stewart Jr., who was recently cut by the Packers, and former XFL receiver Cam Phillips, a favorite target of PJ Walker, with the Houston Roughnecks.

KJ Hamler, Denver

After missing the combine due to a hamstring injury, Hamler is now out approximately 4 weeks due to a subsequent hamstring injury and is not expected to be ready for week 1. Hamstring injuries tend to vary in the time in which they heal, this is a story to monitor for Hamler as it carries into the season.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

Hilton spent 10 days on the active/NFI list to begin camp due to a minor hamstring strain which he suffered while training prior to camp. Last season he missed 6 games due to injury, so starting camp dinged up is not an ideal situation for a 31 year old receiver, but he has since been activated, and looks to be in line for a bounce back season with Phillip Rivers at QB.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Williams suffered an AC sprain, a sprain of the acromioclavicular joint, which is made up of 4 ligaments that connect the end of the collar bone to the shoulder blade. He is expected to miss anywhere from 2-4 weeks at this time. This injury may affect his availability for the first few weeks of the regular season, but the Chargers are optimistic that it will not be a long term issue. In his absence, rookies Joe Reed and KJ Hill are seeing more reps with the first team offense.

Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas

Williams has suffered a torn labrum (a fibrous cartilage disc which helps with stability) in his shoulder. Williams was given the option of rest and rehab or surgery, and has chosen rehab in the short term, with hopes of playing most of this season. Due to the compromised structural integrity that comes with this injury, there is risk for re-injury, or shoulder dislocation, but it is possible to play through it for the season, and have a procedure at the conclusion of the year. In either instance, look for rookies Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards to step up immediately, should the opportunity present itself.

Preston Williams, Miami

After a hot start to his rookie campaign in 2019, Williams tore his ACL cutting his season short in week 8. He has been a full participant in camp and has received high praise from Miami reporters. Williams may be a steal this season in the later rounds of your draft.

Denzel Mims, New York Jets

Rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims suffered a hamstring strain in training prior to the beginning of camp, and has yet to practice with the team. This has allowed undrafted rookie Lawrence Cager to shine and potentially secure a roster spot. The Jets are optimistic that Mims will be ready to go by week 1, and plan to feature him in their offense, but expectations should be tempered in the early season as it may take time to adjust to the NFL and gain the trust of Sam Darnold.

Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia

Jeffery’s injury history has been well documented, going back to his rookie year in 2012, when he suffered a fractured hand and a concussion. His most recent ailment was a Lisfranc injury, straining his calf, and spraining his ankle. The recovery time for this injury is approximately 9 months, meaning he should be cleared for action right as the season begins.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh

Johnson has been one of the top choices among fantasy experts to have a second year breakout this season with the return of Big Ben, but his training camp has been tumultuous at best. He has been dealing with a soft tissue injury in his lower leg that has caused him to miss nearly a week of practice, allowing more reps for James Washington and rookie Chase Claypool.

Jalen Hurd, San Francisco

Hurd missed all of 2018 with a back injury and will now miss the entire 2020 season with a torn ACL. Head coach, Kyle Shanahan, said that he expects Hurd to rehab and return in 2021 after turning head in camp this season, prior to the injury.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco

The good news for the 49ers with Deebo Samuel is that he has begun running on the side at practice, including sprints and drills which require changes in direction. This is encouraging for Samuel’s return time, but the 49ers would be wise not to push him too far too early, as I outlined in this article, with help from fellow Ride or Dynasty writer, Matthew Walters.

Tight Ends

TJ Hockenson, Detroit

Hockenson got off to a hot start last season, but mellowed as the season progressed. He suffered a gruesome ankle injury during the Lions’ thanksgiving game last season, which cost him the rest of the season, and may cut into his 2020 campaign. While he has been running routes since June, he has publicly stated that he is not 100% yet, and OC Darrell Bevell has already mentioned that Hockenson is not coming along as quickly as initially expected.

Josh Oliver, Jacksonville

Oliver only appeared in four games for Jacksonville last season, but he will not see the field at all in 2020 after breaking his foot in practice on Monday (8/24). He has been placed on season ending injured reserve, leaving the tight end position in the hands of Tyler Eifert, who is coming off of the first full season of his career.

Evan Engram, New York Giants

Engram has received praise for his conditioning and the physical rehab program he completed this offseason to get ready for the year. After suffering a Lisfranc injury last season, he is back to full speed and impressing in camp.

Will Dissly, Seattle

In 2018, Dissly’s season was cut short by a ruptured patellar tendon, one of the hardest injuries to return from in  the NFL. He crushed his rehab and returned to a strong start in 2019, but suffered a torn Achilles tendon in week 6, which ended his 2019 campaign. Despite these injuries, which often spell disaster for a career, Dissly is back. He has had a, “stellar camp,” so far, according to Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia

Goedert suffered a hairline fracture in his thumb during a practice last week, but returned to full practice 2 days later and has not appeared to be limited by the injury. This is of little to no concern for Goedert’s fantasy value.

IDP

Keanu Neal, Atlanta

Neal suffered a torn achilles in week 3 of 2019, and HC Dan Quinn stated that he may be limited to begin camp, but all concerns seem to be a thing of the past now, as Neal has strung together multiple days of camp without limitation, and the former Pro-Bowler appears ready for a return to dominance patrolling the Falcons secondary.

Grant Delpit, Cleveland

Rookie safety Grant Delpit has been placed on season ending injury reserve after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during a non-contact drill on Monday (8/24). He was projected to start at free safety. Andrew Sendejo will take his spot in the depth chart.

Nick Bosa, San Francisco

After complaining of leg soreness that worsened on a scheduled off day, Bosa underwent an MRI, which revealed a muscle strain in his leg. At this point the 49ers have listed Bosa as week-to-week and are allowing him as much time as needed to get back to 100% before bringing back their young pass rusher.

Chase Young, Washington

Young missed a few days of training camp with an injured hip flexor, but has since returned to practice. While he has expressed frustration with the injury limiting his performance, HC Ron Rivera has stated that they are impressed with Young on the field and have no concerns with his ability to perform when games begin.

While Ron Rivera is no longer a player, he is still a key part of his team’s success, and a well-respected member of the football community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to coach Rivera as he battles lymph node cancer. Coach Rivera has already expressed that he plans to keep coaching throughout his treatment, and he is ready to beat this diagnosis.

That concludes the training camp injury report for now. I will update this list prior to the beginning of the regular season, and then provide weekly injury reports each Thursday so that you can make informed decisions before your weekly matchups begin! As always, you can find me on twitter @kallen_4. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to shoot them my way!

Kyle Allen – Injury Analysis/Editor
Ride or Dynasty
Twitter: @kallen_4