These players suffered serious injuries during the 2011 season. Will they be ready to play in ’12? We take a look.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee
After leading the AFC in receiving through two weeks with 271 yards, Britt tore an ACL against the Broncos in Week 3. He should be healthy, but it also should be pointed out that he has had two additional procedures performed on his already surgically repaired right knee since May. Health issues aside, Britt's return to the field could be delayed further due to NFL suspension as he added to his growing list of off-the-field incidents with a DWI arrest in late July. Don't forget the Titans drafted Baylor wide reciever Kendall Wright in the first round of April's draft either.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City
Any ACL injury is a big concern, but this one took place so early in the year that Charles appears good to go for the start of the season. Adding Peyton Hillis will help ease Charles back into action.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo
The talented tailback fractured his fibula in Week 11 after topping 100 yards six times in the first 10 weeks of the season. Something to consider: Although Jackson has played only five NFL seasons, he’s already 31 years old.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit
The talented tailback suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last August and has yet to appear in a preseason game, much less a regular-season game in his NFL career. He's been held out of training camp so far because of a hamstring issue, but he is hopeful of being able to return to practice soon. Even if he is able to show he is healthy, the earliest he will make his professional debut is Week 2. Leshoure is suspended for the first two games of the season after being charged on two separate occassions for drug possession during the offseason.
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver
The great quarterback missed the entire 2011 season with neck issues. If he is even close to his old self, he will be a value on draft day.
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland
He’s never played more than 13 games in a season and was injured at Arkansas, too. He has elite ability but suffered a serious foot injury in Week 7 and missed the remainder of the season. Without Michael Bush, it’s his football, but can he handle it for a full season?
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh
He’ll start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, so you have to wonder when he’ll be at full strength.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas
Murray dealt with multiple injuries (dislocated kneecap, pulled hamstring) while at Oklahoma and was lost for the final month of his rookie season with a broken ankle. Can he carry the load?
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota
The most talented running back on the planet is such a physical specimen that the recovery from his severe knee injury suffered on Dec. 24 is well ahead of schedule. Will he maintain his elite-level explosiveness and cutting ability? Peterson took the next important step in his return to the field earlier this week when the Vikings removed from the PUP list. Even if he's able to make a near-miraculous Week 1 return, expect Toby Gerhart to see a fair amount of carries, especially early on.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston
The Lisfranc injury to his right foot required surgery and kept him from making his playoff debut. He should be healthy this season, but it’s worth noting that he has missed at least five games in three of the last five years.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona
The explosive rookie tailback ruptured his patella tendon in the preseason last year and it's been a long road back. After being limited early in training camp and missing the Cardinals' first two preseason games, Williams is expected to play this weekend. If healthy, his explosiveness and big-play ability will make him tough to keep off the field in Arizona.
— Published on August 15, 2012
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