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Injury Roundup Week 1 - Injury Predictions Run Wild

By Jared Smola 12:09am EDT 9/10/14

We started this season with a list of players most likely to get injured. You can find our top predictions at each position here: Running Back, Wide Receiver and Quarterback (you can find detailed lists on Rotoworld and on Draftsharks.com). Since the season kicked off on Thursday, several of the top most likely to get injured players have been injured.

Cam Newton

Cam was one of our top 5 most likely quarterbacks to get injured this year. Reports surfaced during the offseason that said Cam’s ankle surgery was a good thing and that the operation would make him faster and stronger as a result of having his tendons tightened. In this instance the surgery is the signal and the spin about how is going to have cyborg speed with his new body parts is noise. Combine this with Newton’s a history of ankle injuries from college and you have a clear picture of risk for this coming season.

Cam had surgery because something was very wrong with his ankles. And when you have a quarterback who relies on his legs (and ankles) to make trademark plays it’s a bad recipe for success or longevity.

Fast forward to week 3 of the preseason and take a look at the play that Newton made when he took the shot that fractured his ribs (http://on.nfl.com/1rzRF4l 0:57). He chooses to dive into the tackle instead of slide, which looks like a decision made by someone who does not trust his ankle to hold as a slide would require him to switch his weight and put a lot of pressure on his ankles to do so…

And this is injury prediction in a nutshell. The math we employ looks at the correlations for each injury that has occurred in the past. It applies a heavy weight for recency. Players who play injured have a higher likelihood of aggravating that injury or injuring something else as opposed to players who come into a game healthy. He has been able to dodge the injury bullet in a way that very few mobile quarterbacks have over the last few years. However, in 2014, Newton is going to struggle to stay on the field.

Andre Ellington

Ellington was one of our top 5 Running Backs most likely to get injured.

In the build up to the season Ellington suffered a foot injury that was at first thought could keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks. He played through it on Monday night and while he limped between a few series he seemed ok. Since then the team has said that the injury is to his peroneus longus which is a band of muscle that connects the foot to the lower leg (responsible for turning the foot outwards) and not his foot per se.

It’s not as serious as an injury to the foot in that this sounds (and looks) like something he could play through. The risk here is an injury to another part of his body due to overcompensation, inability to run at full speed etc…

While Ellington has been a darling of the preseason due to his Jamaal Charles-esquian measurables he has a very high chance of getting injured and missing games.

Eddie Lacy

Lacy went down with a concussion in Thursday night’s game and was the first skill position player of 2014 to get injured in a game.

He was also one of our top 5 most likely RBs to get injured this season.

You probably didn’t need a fancy algorithm to tell you that he stands a high chance of injury. Lacy runs with violence and aggression and seeks contact. Most players would have gone to ground seeing those 2 Seahawks DBs descending – Lacy lowered his helmet and knocked them off their feet.

He has 2 extra days to recover as his next game is on a Sunday, has already made it through the first stage of the protocol and has a good chance of being ready for week 2. Saying that he has a history of ankle, toe, hamstring and concussions…. If you have him on your team you need to have a plan in place for what to do should he go down.

Cecil Shorts

Shorts was in our top 5 Wide Receivers most likely to get injured this year.

Shorts has not been able to complete a full season in the NFL and has been shut down on IR two seasons in a row. He injured his hamstring in the preseason and was unable to return in time for the first game of the season. The Jags may take some time to rest him up as their receiver corp is young and deep this year.

Jordan Reed

Reed was our 4th most likely Tight End to get injured this season.

While his concussion history is a huge watch out he has suffered with hamstring injuries in the past. Hopefully you drafted another TE or are able to stream on your waiver wire while you wait for him to return.

Jordan Cameron

Cameron was our 7th most likely Tight End to get injured. This one seems serious as it is sounding like he aggravated the AC sprain that he suffered during training camp. He missed a fair amount of camp (10 days) with the bad shoulder so depending on how severe the sprain was we could anticipate him being out for a few weeks.

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