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Injury Report

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BILLS: They head into the season with one big question mark -- rookie RB Marshawn Lynch. He's got good size and no injury history, but he's also going to be taking his first NFL-style beating each week. That's tough even when splitting a load, as Joseph Addai told me last season, but Lynch doesn't have that luxury. I look for him to wear down some, so he's a good pick, but he's got to be paired with another couple backs to contend.

DOLPHINS: Trent Green is just one hit away from retirement and I'm as concerned for his long-term health this year as I was last year. If Ronnie Brown isn't the feature back, that should help his health -- like his Auburn mate Cadillac Williams, he'd never carried a full load until last year and it showed. I'm also seeing a lot of signs of aging with Chris Chambers. That's going to start to show up with grinding injuries by the halfway point of the season.

PATRIOTS: The Pats have to hope that Laurence Maroney can shoulder the load and that their receivers don't hamstring their playoff hopes. That's Maroney's damaged shoulder and the chronic hamstring problems of Randy Moss and Dante Stallworth. With Maroney, you'll have to take him in the top 10 or miss out, but that might not be such a bad play. Yes, he's good, but he's that risky. The Pats WR corps is the same. You could get good value later in the mid-rounds, but don't take Moss thinking he's going to return to the elite tier just because Tom Brady is throwing him the ball. One sleeper: Wes Welker, who'll get in plenty of three-WR sets and a good number of time at the No. 2 slot when one of Moss or Stallworth is out.

JETS: Thomas Jones will be fine, but I'm not so sure about Chad Pennington. The team has a capable backup in Kellen Clemens and could turn to him unless Pennington finds some of the zip he's lost to a couple shoulder surgeries. The problems to the line could lead to whatever QB is back there taking a lot of hits or handing the ball to Jones even more.

RAVENS: Willis McGahee is always a risk with his knees, but the Ravens as a whole are pretty healthy. Steve McNair proved he was over his odd sternum problem with a solid performance last season. The WRs are the bigger problem here and one that might make McNair go back to his old scrambling ways. Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton are both injury prone. Worse, there is little depth behind them. It could mean good things for Todd Heap, who could be the best passing option in this offense.

BENGALS: Arrests are one thing; health is another. Aside from a couple freak plays, the Bengals are among the healthiest teams in the league. No one's talking about Carson Palmer's knee, and they shouldn't. No one's talking about Chad Johnson's legs, and they shouldn't. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is the biggest concern and he's not so much of one that you should pass him over.

BROWNS: Now that the team is past a season that beset them with everything except a rain of frogs, we'll see if the law of averages works for injuries. Kellen Winslow looks solid after microfracture surgery on his knee, but we haven't seen him hold up and there's enough good TEs in the league now that you can pass on him. Jamal Lewis is aging, but he's also motivated and in shape, something he hasn't been the last couple years. Braylon Edwards is another year out from ACL surgery, a place you like to see players on the rise. Take his talent, because the risk is past.

STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger went the whole offseason without getting his brain rattled. At least that we know of. That's a big factor. The worry now is about the guys he throws to. Hines Ward has had all kinds of problems and is better suited to be a plug-in WR rather than an every-week starter. Santonio Holmes also hasn't proven himself and hamstring problems in camp won't help. Willie Parker, however, has proven himself durable even on 30-carry days and taking a goal-line shot. He's being drafted too low in most leagues.

TEXANS: David Carr is gone because he couldn't operate under duress. Matt Schaub will get his shot, but don't expect the blocking to be much better. An aging Ahman Green couldn't stay healthy in Green Bay, so a troubled line won't help him much in Houston. Andre Johnson is a great play, proving to be a durable guy who might get overlooked in some leagues.

COLTS: The biggest concern is the defense, where the undersized Tampa-2 defense of Tony Dungy got smaller. Bob Sanders isn't as important to its success as most think, but the Colts would rather have him out there than on the sidelines. Joseph Addai should have no trouble with the additional workload. One fantasy issue is the retirement of Tarik Glenn. Tony Ugoh isn't looking solid in his place yet, which could put more pressure on Peyton Manning and affect Anthony Gonzalez. There won't be as many three-WR sets if they have to help Ugoh by covering him with TE Ben Utecht.

JAGUARS: Byron Leftwich is tough, but he's had to many opportunities to prove it. Unless he can make it through a season healthy, the Jags aren't going to be able to live up to their promise. Splitting carries with Maurice Jones-Drew kept Fred Taylor healthy and productive, something that shouldn't change. Big strong WRs help, but the line play is still pretty porous, which means it all comes down to keeping Leftwich up.

TITANS: Madden curse aside, Vince Young plays Steve McNair's style and McNair often had trouble staying healthy. He'd play, sure, but he was never up to full speed during much of his Oilers/Titans career. The troika of backs won't help many fantasy teams until someone emerges, just as the receiving corps is waiting for someone to step up. Color me underwhelmed on talent and the Titans' ability to keep players healthy.

BRONCOS: No one knows what Mike Shanahan will do with RBs so let's not even try. Instead, let's focus on Jay Cutler. We don't have much to go on, but looking at history, even Jake Plummer was able to stay healthy in the Broncos system, so Cutler shouldn't have much problem either. Rod Smith doesn't look to be making it back from his hip injury, but Javon Walker, another year out from ACL surgery, looks to have taken his top WR role and run with it.

CHIEFS: Larry Johnson missed camp. So what? He was already the biggest risk in the first round. If you were willing to gamble on him before his holdout, that shouldn't change things now. Johnson has to overcome the heaviest workload in NFL history, a workload that claimed Curtis Martin, Shaun Alexander and Earl Campbell. Is Johnson really that special? I can tell you that no one else on this offense is, meaning Johnson's not only facing history, he's facing 9 or 10 in the box a lot too.

RAIDERS: If you're drafting a Raider, you're already either a Raider fan or ... well, that's really the only explanation. There's nothing to see here. Jerry Porter? Ronald Curry? You'd rather look elsewhere based on their injury histories. Dominic Rhodes? Lamont Jordan? The same thing. And do I need to warn you about how many hits their QBs have taken over the last two years?

CHARGERS: If LaDainian Tomlinson goes down, well, so do most of the teams with the No. 1 overall pick. The Chargers might be better off, since they have Michael Turner, one of the best backups in the league. The Chargers are the single healthiest team in the NFL over the last five years, which is part good medical staff, part good drafting, and yes, a small part luck. The thing is, you can use all three and shouldn't be scared off by anyone here, save Eric Parker, who you shouldn't be drafting until late anyway.

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COWBOYS: Terrell Owens is always a risk, but the real problem here is Tony Romo. Trying to get a handle on his value is tough enough, but the type of game he plays is one where he'll put his body at risk with runs and hanging in the pocket a bit long. Patrick Crayton might look to be a good No. 3 WR and a nice late-round pickup, but he breaks down at precisely the wrong time to ever be much more than a waiver pickup.

GIANTS: The biggest question for the Giants is if the line will hold up enough for us to figure out if Brandon Jacobs can handle a feature load. Bigger backs don't necessarily stay healthier, but there's aren't many guys with Jacobs' size and agility. Plaxico Burress is already having back trouble, which weighs on Eli Manning. The whole offense should probably be knocked down a notch.

EAGLES: Point blank -- Donovan McNabb is ready. Sure, I'd like to see him in a brace, but if he's feeling so good that he doesn't need it, he's feeling good enough to draft just below the Manning/Brady/Kitna level. (Yeah, I said Kitna.) Brian Westbrook remains a big risk/reward play, with his chronic knee problem pretty much the same as last year. The Eagles medical staff did a masterful job last year, but who knows if they can keep it up.

REDSKINS: Clinton Portis splitting time with Ladell Betts is good for the Skins, but bad for your team. Portis is likely to hold up better with a reduced workload, but Betts figures to take the red zone carries and could be the better value of the pair. I'm worried about Chris Cooley. While he looks like a top-tier TE this season, especially with the emergence of Jason Campbell, Cooley's tendency to go over the middle combined with tough linebackers on the schedule looks like a bad combo to me.

BEARS: Cedric Benson should be able to handle a feature load, but first-year features often wear down in the second half. If you're taking Benson, make sure you have a backup with a weak rush schedule in the second half, at least someone better than Adrian Peterson. Rex Grossman might not hold his job long enough to get hurt again, but I don't think Devin Hester can take big hits and not feel an effect on his pure speed game. The same is true for the undersized but speedy Bernard Berrian.

LIONS: Everyone's hurt here it seems. Jon Kitna could have a 5,000-yard, 40-TD season under Mike Martz, but his back has to hold up. Mike Furrey could build on last season's breakout, if his knees hold up. Tatum Bell has a chance to not be whipsawed by Mike Shanahan's whims, but his legs need to hold up. Kevin Jones could be a nice second half story and late-round steal, but his foot has a bit more to go (he will be kept on the PUP list, meaning he'll miss the first six weeks). Only Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson seem healthy, which should be enough to make them top WR picks.

PACKERS: Brett Favre is old, but he stays healthy. The Packers will work to keep him upright for his victory lap season. The same can't be said for anyone else on the offense. The RBs haven't stayed healthy in the preseason and Donald Driver has already had multiple problems. Greg Jennings? He's got to overcome last year's weardown and people are taking him far too high based on the offense, rather than his ability.

VIKINGS: Even if Adrian Peterson is healthy -- and that collarbone worries a lot of people despite Jim Andrews' seal of approval -- he still has to split carries with Chester Taylor. If you want the upside comparison here, it's 2006 Joseph Addai, but Addai didn't have the injury concerns. So where did you draft Addai last year and where is Peterson going? You see the problem.

FALCONS: Do you know how hard it is to write about this team without making some kind of joke? I'll try, because they have enough problems. Oddly, only Warrick Dunn is a big risk here. His neck and back issues are going to give Jerrious Norwood more opportunities and I think Bobby Petrino is going to like what he gets from Norwood. Roddy White is getting some notice but takes a lot of big hits. Alge Crumpler is still big and powerful, but his knee and new QB limit his upside.

PANTHERS: If Jake Delhomme goes back to being Jake Delhomme ... If Steve Smith can keep his hamstrings hopping all season ... if the team continues to use two under-sized backs in a timeshare ... and if the line holds up more than they did last year, then the Panthers have a shot in a weak division. I don't expect more than half of those to happen, though I'm not sure which they will be.

SAINTS: Everyone loves Reggie Bush, which makes sense in PPR leagues, but has everyone forgotten Deuce McAllister. He's still get more carries and the goal-line touches, plus he's a year removed from ACL surgery. I think he's an unbelievable steal. Marques Colston is going too high based on his first half, rather than noting his severe ankle problems that were followed by a preseason knee injury this season. And yes, if Colston is too high, that means Devery Henderson is probably too low.

BUCS: The Bucs aren't quite as geriatric as they were last year and they're not likely to see a guy cough up his spleen this year, but hey, Jon Gruden always seems to have some tricks in his bag. Cadillac Williams hasn't stayed healthy since high school, in large part due to a chronic neck problem. Michael Pittman could be a late-round steal. Also, avoid Joey Galloway, David Boston and tight end Alex Smith -- they're all too risky for where they're going.

CARDINALS: I have a bad feeling about Matt Leinart. It's nothing more than a hunch really, but watching tape of last year and the preseason, it seems like guys come whizzing by him at knee level a lot. I'm also a bit concerned about Larry Fitzgerald, whose season was ruined by a hamstring that never quite healed up. I'd bet more on the guy across the field from him, Anquan Boldin, if everything is equal.

RAMS: Has no one noticed that Torry Holt has bad knees? I keep seeing him taken as one of the top five WRs and healthy, he would be. But he's not. Holt admits he's playing at 75 percent now and that's not going to get better once the season starts. He's a speed guy, so this is a bad, bad sign. It could push Drew Bennett's catches up a bit or put more workload on Steven Jackson, both running and catching. Also, keep your eye on Orlando Pace. Without him, Marc Bulger's going to take a lot more hits.

NINERS: Frank Gore may get injured a lot, but he comes back fine. I'd talk a lot about his hand injury at the start of your draft and see if other people bite. Why? It's not a problem, though many people are drafting him as if he is. Vernon Davis is a monster but hasn't proven to be able to stay healthy, something we see with specimens like him sometimes, as counterintuitive as that is. The WRs are also having trouble staying healthy; only Ashley Lelie has good size in this corps.

SEAHAWKS: Let's see who's better this year -- Matt Hasselbeck? Check. Shaun Alexander? Check. Walter Jones? Ah, now there's the key. Everything went bad after Jones went down, so now that the big man is back, so should the big offensive numbers. Alexander's fracture is no worry, nor is Hasselbeck's non-throwing shoulder. Use those past injuries to get their future performance on your roster.