Q: Now that Andrew Luck is finally practicing, when can we realistically expect him to start?
A: He will need 2-3 weeks of practice before suiting up. Luck finally revealed that the procedure was a posterior labrum repair in his right shoulder. It is difficult to regain strength following this surgery, so that has been his biggest obstacle so far. Luck won’t be effective if he can’t get his strength back. If Luck can get in a full week of limited practices next week, and then follow that up with a mix of limited and full practices, he should be good to go. Expect a return around Week 7-8 if practices go well.
Q: Is Ty Montgomery going to play this weekend? And if he does what can we expect?
A: Montgomery suffered multiple rib fractures last Thursday night. The Optimal Recovery Time is five weeks, so he should not play in the Packers’ Week 5 game. When Montgomery showed up at practice Wednesday in extra padding, it looked like he would try to play if he could find a way to protect the chest. Now Ty Montgomery was not seen at practice Thursday, which could be a sign that he won’t be available on Sunday. We need to continue to monitor his practice participation, but he is a High Injury Risk and should not play this weekend. If he does suit up, every hit he takes will be incredibly painful and he could be in and out of the game. One big hit could end his day and make his injury much worse.
Q: How long will Derek Carr be sidelined, and what are the risks when he does return?
A: When Carr took a knee to the back, he was sent for x-rays. They were negative so the Raiders called his injury back spasms. Carr was then sent for an MRI, which showed a transverse process fracture. This sounds much scarier than it actually is. Tony Romo and Cam Newton both suffered the same injury in recent years and missed just one game. Transverse processes are not load-bearing, so returning soon after the injury is possible. They are small projections where soft tissue attaches. on the vertebrae.
The Inside Injuries algorithm has a five week Optimal Recovery Time for Carr, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t return sooner. The biggest hurdles when recovering from this injury are managing back spasms and controlling the pain. Carr will not be at risk of suffering a more serious back or spinal cord injury when he does return.
Q: What exactly is Michael Crabtree’s injury?
A: Initial reports suggested that Michael Crabtree was dealing with bruised ribs, an injury that wouldn’t sideline him for more than a game. But in addition to the rib damage he also has lung damage. Crabtree got in two limited practices last week before being downgraded to DNP on Friday. He hopes to suit up for Week 5.
The bruised ribs are not a concern going forward as the Optimal Recovery Time is just two weeks, but the lung bruise is a bigger concern. With Crabtree’s injury and Derek Carr’s absence, the safe route is to keep him on your Fantasy bench this weekend.
Q: Will Dalvin Cook be healthy at the start of training camp next season?
A: Yes he should be, although his recovery is complicated by meniscus and cartilage damage. An isolated ACL tear takes 6-9 months to fully recover from, and players typically return to their pre-injury form within a year. With additional meniscus and cartilage damage, his recovery will take longer and it becomes more complicated. He has a good shot at being ready by training camp, but it’s no guarantee.
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