The Lede: Training Camp Casualties

By Keith Allison (flickr) CC License

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet.

NFL Training Camp Casualties Piling Up

We are nearly a week into NFL training camps and the injuries are really starting to pile up, especially for the Ravens. Among the laundry list of players not participating in practice for Baltimore, the one who stands out the most is Joe Flacco. Fortunately, head coach John Harbaugh has reported that his QB is feeling better and should be ready to rejoin the team soon.

The news isn’t so great for other players around the league. Here’s a few of the more prominent injuries, and how each injury should impact your future NFL betting (and your fantasy football endeavors, of course). I covered a number of pre-camp injuries here, too.

  • Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

It has been confirmed that the head injury Ajayi suffered in practice on Monday is in fact a concussion. Fortunately, this is the first documented concussion the running back has suffered, at least since entering college. You may not see him until later in the preseason, but don’t expect this injury, alone, to impact his heavy regular-season workload.

  • Will Fuller, WR, Texans

Second-year wide receiver Will Fuller reportedly broke his collarbone in practice today and will be out indefinitely. This kind of injury generally takes anywhere from four to eight weeks to heal, making it very likely Fuller misses at least Week 1. Not having the 23-year-old’s speed on the field is going to allow defenses to pay extra attention to DeAndre Hopkins in the passing game. If there is a beneficiary here, it’s Braxton Miller, who will likely see additional targets. But I wouldn’t get too excited over any receiver in a Tom Savage-led offense.

Even if Fuller is moved to the PUP list, don’t fret; the Texans were never going to be dependent on their offense. They are going to win games because of JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and the rest of their dominant defense.

  • Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants

The second-year WR was carted off the practice field today in tears with an apparent ankle injury. The team is optimistic that it’s just a bad ankle roll. If Shepard does miss extended time, rookie tight end Evan Engram becomes an even more attractive fantasy option. Ben McAdoo already had plans to move the former Rebel all over the field to create mismatches. Now the rookie would be relied upon as the clear third option in the passing game.

The Giants have a very talented group of pass-catchers, and Shepard’s absence won’t harm the offense all that much. Force-feeding Odell Beckham Jr should never be considered a bad thing.