McNabb, MJD, Beanie the topics of injury speculation before Week 1
Possibly, an 84-year old guy that holds the key.
But now, let's get to the real injuries:
News broke early Thursday that Brady was involved in a car accident. Early word from the scene was pretty scary. According to WEEI, a sedan hit a van hard enough that an occupant of the van needed "jaws of life" to be cut from the vehicle. The driver of the sedan, said to be Brady, was treated at the scene and did not need to go to the hospital. It sounds like it was quite the impact and we'll have to see if Brady is sore and especially how his hands are. When the airbag releases, in many cases the hands or thumbs can be injured. Brady is said to be headed to the Pats facility as I write this, so follow SI.com for more details.
Assuming Brady emerges from this unhurt, he's not invincible.
Brady talked on Wednesday about the physical toll the game has taken on him, listing off three of the four surgeries he's had over the last few years. He couldn't remember the fourth, which makes me wonder a bit about concussions. Brady's shoulder is always sore, which has landed him a regular spot on the OIR, but always with a "probable" listing that might as well be "stone cold lock."
Playing behind a line that appeared increasingly inefficient in the preseason, we'll have to see how
You'll often hear "100 percent" thrown around, but there are very few players that are actually 100 percent once we get past the first week of the preseason. NFL football is a brutal game that we as outsiders cannot possibly understand as far as the pain and physical toll. McNabb isn't 100 percent, but he doesn't have to be to be effective.
One of the hardest things in sports is what one scout called "the real now." Close your eyes and imagine McNabb and your brain will call up some great scrambling play, most likely from the Eagles' Super Bowl season. This is 2010 and McNabb's not that guy. He hasn't been since his knee injury, and tacking more age and a shaky line onto things isn't going to help. McNabb has heard he's "not a pocket passer" so often that it's surprising that he became just that. McNabb's ankle is fine, though it could be tested by lots of hits that force him to bail early and try to re-create the scrambling he did early in his career.
It's odd to write about someone who's column is next to mine here at SI Fantasy. Jones-Drew isn't giving me any inside info, but do we really need it to solve the mystery of his knee issue? The key here, again, is function. Whether Drew had minor surgery (unlikely) or may need it in the future (likely) due to some meniscus problems only matters when it comes to this: Can he put up points? The answer appears to be yes, with one caveat: if Jones-Drew loses a bit of his shiftiness, he's shown a tendency in the past to
Moreno proved that he could handle a feature-back load last season and also proved he could come back from a preseason injury to put up solid numbers. There are issues there -- the YPC, the fumbles -- but the Broncos didn't do much to help Moreno along. With
Buckhalter is going to be in the mix, but he's got back issues of his own, so a 60-40 split is more likely. The wild card here is
Do we call him "Chris" or "Beanie"? I need a ruling on this. Either way, Wells wasn't able to practice on Wednesday. While
The Cardinals don't seem too worried about Fitzgerald going into Week 1. Despite the knee injury not being all the way back, Fitzgerald is both big enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like him ... oh wait, big enough and smart enough to be productive is all we need. His size will allow him to "post up" and he showed in practice that he can jump, leaving the jump-ball TD pass a possibility, even if he has to do it lay-up style. Given the known issue and the amount of time the Cards offense has had to adjust to Fitzgerald's limitations, it's not unreasonable to think that Fitzgerald will lose some targets, but will be put into situations where the knee won't be as much of an issue. That means fewer double moves and quick cuts, but Fitzgerald should be able to succeed even with those limits. If you have Fitzgerald, you either drafted him in the first couple rounds or you were lucky and had him fall to you after the injury. Either way, even limited, he's a must start.
Holding on to the ball is one of those skills that is just assumed in a running back. We don't think about it until someone turns into a butterfingers and starts to wear that scarlet F on their jersey. Bush certainly will have a problem holding on to the ball for a while. A fractured thumb is going to make it very difficult to get a solid grip on the ball, even with two hands. Even with a brace, the inability to shift the thumb will make him more likely to fumble. Bush had surgery, and I underestimated the time it's going to take him to be ready. It's one thing to be able to do what a physical therapist would call "activities of daily living" and quite another to hang out to the ball as one safety tries to hit you so hard that you split in half and the other safety is trying to strip the ball. So when