NFL

Doc Talk: A look at NFL Week 1 injuries

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he's open to using Rashard Mendenhall in Week 1.
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Dr. Mark Adickes

Dr. Mark Adickes played nine years of pro football and is a Super Bowl champ-turned Harvard trained orthopedic surgeon. He's affiliated with Ironman Sports Medicine Institute and UT Health Medical School. Visit him online at Jock to Doc and follow him on Twitter.

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SUNDAY

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears

Colts WR Austin Collie (concussion)

Jock to Doc take: Collie is listed as questionable and was limited in Thursday’s practice, according to Colts owner Jim Irsay’s Twitter feed. Although indicators point toward a game-time decision by Collie, Friday’s practice should give us an idea whether he will take the field to assist Andrew Luck in his NFL debut. Collie has been cleared medically to participate and unless symptoms return after a light Friday practice, I expect him to be on the field Sunday.

Health Rating: Austin Collie @ 80%

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

Browns RB Trent Richardson (knee)

Jock to Doc take: Although Richardson was limited in practice Thursday — according to the Eagles’ official website — he is expected to play on Sunday against Philadelphia. We are unsure how much the third overall draft pick will be used during his NFL debut, but coach Pat Shurmur has continued to express optimism regarding Richardson’s availability. Expect to see him on the field against Philadelphia, but to play a somewhat limited number of snaps.

Health Rating: Trent Richardson @ 75%

St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions

Lions RB Jahvid Best (concussion)

Jock to Doc take: Best is out indefinitely and cannot return before the six-week window imposed by being placed on the Lions’ physically unable to perform, or PUP, list. The Lions are optimistic about his return this season, but it is possible he could miss the entire year. I do expect to see him on the field this season.

Health Rating: Jahvid Best @ 0%

Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans

Texans RB Arian Foster (knee)

Jock to Doc take: Foster left practice Thursday with a “minor” knee injury, according to Sports Xchange, but the injury is not expected to bar him from playing on Sunday against Miami. “He’s OK,” said coach Gary Kubiak, who did not seem concerned. Expect to see Foster carry a large offensive load against Miami this week.

Health Rating: Arian Foster @ 86%

Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs

Falcons RB Jason Snelling (calf)

Jock to Doc take: Snelling practiced fully on Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. It seems Snelling will be on the field on Sunday to relieve starter Michael Turner when he needs a breather. His workload will be limited unless Turner has health issues during the contest. Glad to see Snelling back at full speed in practice.

Health Rating: Jason Snelling @ 78 %

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon (ankle)

Jock to Doc take: The fifth overall draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft was a full participant in Thursday’s practice and is expected to play and assist Blaine Gabbert’s development.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (knee)

Jock to Doc take: Peterson was limited in practice on Thursday, but according to ESPN 1500 AM Twin Cities, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said there is “not too much doubt” that Peterson will play this week. Although it seems Peterson will play in Week 1, there is a chance he will not have that many carries. Fantasy owners should monitor Peterson’s Friday practice.

Health Rating: Justin Blackmon @ 88%

Health Rating: Adrian Peterson @ 70%

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints

Saints WR Marques Colston (foot)

Jock to Doc take: Colston returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Although Friday’s practice will tell more regarding his availability, Colston is not expected to miss the season opener against Washington.

Health Rating: Marques Colston @ 79%

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

Jets TE Dustin Keller (hamstring)

Jock to Doc take: Keller did not participate in positional drills in Thursday’s practice but did work individually. Friday’s practice may tell whether he will be part of the Jets offense on Sunday. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Keller stated: “I’m pretty sure I’ll be good to go” during Thursday’s practice. Fantasy owners should keep in mind that the tight end’s workload could be less in the opening week than it usually is.

Health Rating: Dustin Keller @ 70%

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

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Jock to Doc take: It was announced earlier this week, according to SportsTimes, that the Seahawks may be without their starting RB in Week 1 because of back spasms which had been causing him problems throughout the offseason. Lynch did not practice on Wednesday, according to the team’s official website. Friday’s practice will tell more, but it would take severe pain to keep someone like Lynch off the field during the opening week. I expect him to play, but not shoulder the load alone.

Health Rating: Marshawn Lynch @ 65%

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

49ers RB Brandon Jacobs (left knee)

Jock to Doc take: Jacobs missed practice this week, according to CSN Bay Area. It is unclear whether he will play in the opener in Green Bay, but if Jacobs does not practice tomorrow, I expect most rushing plays to go to Frank Gore.

Health Rating: Brandon Jacobs @ 60%

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle)

Jock to Doc take: According to the Charlotte Observer, Stewart did not participate in Thursday’s practice. Coach Ron Rivera also acknowledged having two separate game plans — one with Stewart and one without Stewart. Fantasy owners of DeAngelo Williams should monitor Stewart’s status during Friday’s practice. If Stewart is out, Williams will get a majority of the carries.

Health Rating: Jonathan Stewart @ 55%

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee)

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Jock to Doc take: Coach Mike Tomlin, according to Scout.com, said the Steelers are “leaving the door open” for Mendenhall to start the season opener after he tore a ligament in his knee in last season’s playoff loss to Denver. Mendenhall showed “burst and long speed” that left the Steelers “buzzing” in practice Monday, which may indicate a much more speedy recovery than we thought for Mendenhall. Although it seems foolish to give an RB a maximum load after recovery from his injury, it is highly likely Mendenhall suits up and plays for Pittsburgh.

Health Rating: Rashard Mendenhall @ 75%

MONDAY

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Bengals QB Andy Dalton (right biceps)

Jock to Doc take: Dalton practiced fully on Thursday, according to the Bengals’ official website. Dalton will start against the Ravens barring any setbacks. Fantasy owners also should note that Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham, who has been dealing with a knee injury, returned to practice on Thursday as well and that Dalton will have all of his weapons in Baltimore on Monday night.

Health Rating: Andy Dalton @ 80%

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders

Chargers RB Ryan Matthews (clavicle)

Jock to Doc take: Matthews has not been cleared for contact yet after surgery to repair a broken clavicle, according to the North County Times. It is unlikely that the Chargers starting running back will be on the field Monday night. Fantasy owners of Philip Rivers should understand that his passing attack and workload may increase this week.

Raiders WR Denarius Moore (hamstring)

Jock to Doc take: Moore returned to practice Thursday and is expected to play on Monday night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The extra day of rest likely caused his status to be probable instead of questionable, and I expect to see Moore with a regular workload on Monday night against San Diego.

Health Rating: Ryan Matthews @ 45%

Health Rating: Denarius Moore @ 80%

Health Rating: Ben Roethlisberger @ 72%

HEALTH RATINGS: WHAT DO THE NUMBERS MEAN?

100-85% = NFL players are tough and despite injuries still perform at a high level. Let’s be honest, when is an NFL athlete really physically 100 percent? Practically never. With a rating in this range, a player can be expected to perform at peak levels.

70-85% = In this range, a player's performance will be affected, but he can still get the job done.

55-70% = Players with a rating this low will require assistance to do their jobs. The team might be better served by placing these warriors on the inactive list. Only some All-Pros can get the job done when rated this poorly.

40-55% = These players need some more time to heal. Unlikely to be active unless miraculous healing occurs or the rating was based on erroneous information.

25-40% = Players will not play, but show signs of recovery, opening the door for a return to the active roster the following week.

< 25% = Players will not play, and there is concern that additional games may be missed.

Tagged: Falcons, Bengals, Browns, Lions, Colts, Raiders, Vikings, Saints, Jets, 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers, Jaguars, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs, Marques Colston, Jason Snelling, Marshawn Lynch, Jonathan Stewart, Rashard Mendenhall, Dustin Keller, Austin Collie, Arian Foster, Jahvid Best, Andy Dalton, Denarius Moore, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson, Ben Roethlisberger

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