Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be looking back at the numerous injuries throughout the year that affected big time fantasy players. For the purpose of this series, the emphasis will be placed on players who suffered season-ending injuries or those who spent time on injured reserve. In the first part of the series, I recapped the quarterback position, which can be found here. In the second edition, I recapped the running back position, which can be found here. In the final part, let’s take a look at wide receivers who finished the season on injured reserve.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Tom Brady’s favorite receiver went down during Week 3 of the preseason with a torn ACL in his right knee. He underwent surgery about a month later at the end of September, so he will have about a year to be ready for 2018. Edelman will be 32 in May. With increased age, the likelihood of additional soft tissue injuries upon return from an ACL increases. Don’t be surprised to see Edelman pop up on the injury report in the early weeks of 2018.
Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears
Meredith suffered a gruesome knee injury late in the preseason as his leg bent awkwardly during a tackle. He suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. Multiple ligament knee injuries almost always carry a longer recovery time than isolated ligament injuries, so there’s no guarantee he will be ready for training camp or Week 1. Expect Meredith to get off to a slow start in 2018.
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Robinson went down in Week 1 with a torn ACL in his left knee. So far, all reports are positive regarding Robinson’s recovery, so I have no worries about his Week 1 availability. He’s already posted videos of himself running and jumping, which is a great sign. As with all ACL’s, full recovery to the prior level of play generally takes about one year, so given that A-Rob went down during the first week, he will hit that one year mark at the start of 2018. Expect Robinson to be limited during OTAs but a full go as training camp progresses.
Kevin White, Chicago Bears
It’s been an unfortunate start (and maybe finish) to the former #7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. White finished both his rookie and sophomore seasons on injured reserve due to fractures in his legs, but in 2017, it was a fracture of his left shoulder blade that put him on the shelf. There really aren’t any concerns about healing or recovery with this injury, but White may not get another opportunity in the NFL. He’s 25 and has played in just five career games in three seasons. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, White will need to prove it in 2018 if he wants to stick around the NFL.
Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets
Enunwa had a breakout campaign in 2016 but spent 2017 on IR after he underwent surgery in late August to address a bulging disc in his neck. It is likely that the disc injury was causing nerve compression, which warranted the surgery. Enunwa was given a 6-9 month recovery timeline, so he should be ready for training camp. A free agent in 2018, he is a name worth monitoring this off-season.
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants
OBJ saw his season come to a close in Week 5 when he suffered a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain. A few days later, Beckham underwent surgery to stabilize the fracture and repair the torn ligaments in his lower leg. Long-term, I’m not concerned about Beckham’s career, but don’t be surprised to see him start slow in 2018.
Brandon Marshall, New York Giants
In the same game as his teammate went down, Brandon Marshall also went down with a fractured bone in his ankle. He underwent surgery shortly after and ended his season on IR. About to turn 34, it’s obvious Marshall’s best days are behind him, but he has indicated he has no plans to retire. Recently, Marshall began running again, so it appears he should be ready for the start of 2018. He has a $6.1 million cap hit, so it’s possible the Giants move on from the veteran.
Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins
In late November, Pryor had an arthroscopic surgery on his ankle. It’s unclear what exactly was done during this surgery, but it landed him on IR with six games to go. He should be fine for 2018, but his future is uncertain at this time.
Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers
Garcon injured his neck in Week 9 with what appeared to be a relatively minor injury. However, a few days later, he was placed on IR out of the blue. This rapid progression to the IR after a neck injury isn’t uncommon, as these injuries can be very detrimental to a player’s long-term health. Recent reports are positive, indicating that Garcon is on track to be ready for OTAs. Garcon will be ready for Week 1.
John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals
The #10 overall pick in 2017 was a huge disappointment in his first season as he was plagued by shoulder injuries all season long. Personally, I had my concerns about Ross, which I discussed in this article following the NFL combine, and it appears these concerns were valid. Ross remains a question mark in this league.
Carlos Henderson, Denver Broncos
Henderson never saw the field during his rookie season after having surgery in late August to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He gained a lot of hype after the NFL draft last off-season and is an interesting guy to monitor heading into 2018. If the Broncos don’t address the wide receiver position in the draft or free agency, expect the hype to build yet again.