From the moment NFL training camps opened last month, the injuries took their toll. Now, with the preseason in full swing, the abundance of injuries continues to grow. Whether it's a minor bruise, a nagging strain, or a severe pull, players are finding themselves on the bench and in the training room more often than not. This happens every year, and every year players fight through camp to make it to the official season.
Sometimes, though, these injuries become worrisome. Key contributors like Stewart Bradley for the Eagles are lost for the season, while others suffer less serious but still harmful injuries. Today, I'm going to take a look at some of the fantasy football impact players whose stock may have fallen due to their time on the shelf. Players gone for the season will not be included.
Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina Panthers
Stewart's injury didn't seem too concerning at first, but after missing ten consecutive days of practice, some believe his health come Week 1 may be in jeopardy. His Achilles has been bothering him for some time now. He considers it an "ongoing pain", referring to it as a nagging injury. Although he did not play against Miami on Saturday, he did participate in warm-ups.
Stewart shouldn't be forced to miss much of the regular season, if any. As of right now, it's likely he will open the season with DeAngelo Williams. If you are a Stewart or Williams owner, and don't already own both of the two, attempt to do so.
Antonio Bryant, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bryant suffered from a torn meniscus in his left knee two weeks ago, and has been out since. After getting his knee scoped, he appears to be ready for the regular season. He will likely sit out the rest of the preseason, just to keep it safe. A setback isn't likely, but is always a possibility. Fortunately for him, the damage was not terrible.
I own Bryant in two of my leagues, and this injury doesn't help my thoughts about keeping him. I remain skeptical about not just his knee, but his situation as well. Hopefully we see the Bryant of 2008 rather than the younger, less consistent Bryant.
Steve Smith, WR Carolina Panthers
Unfortunately for Carolina fans, two of the Panthers' playmakers are on this list. On the bright side, Smith's shoulder injury is less serious than originally thought. His agent first reported the fantasy-stud would miss two weeks, at the least. A few days after that, the report changed to day-to-day, and Smith returned to practice just four days after injuring his shoulder. He has yet to play in a preseason game, but is expected to play next week against Baltimore.
He may be a bit rusty to open the season, depending on if and how much he plays against the Ravens. Other than that, his shoulder shouldn't concern you.