View Full Version : ACL's????? Who's going to be ready.....

04-01-2006, 05:33 PM
Here?s some practical advice ? ignore all that blather about how great Carson Palmer?s rehab is going. Forget about all the talk that Deuce McAllister is ahead of schedule and should be ready for football drills by April. Because if you believe in the Two Year Rule for players coming back from reconstructive knee surgery, logic dictates that guys like Palmer, McAllister, Daunte Culpepper and Javon Walker are going to have mediocre ? for them, anyway ? seasons in 2006. Don?t believe me? Perhaps a journey back in time will show you what I mean.

In the fall of 2001, Indianapolis? Edgerrin James tore up his knee and missed the rest of the season. He came back to play 14 games in 2002 but averaged just 3.6 yards per carry while finishing with 989 rushing yards and three total touchdowns. The following season, The Edge was back to his old ways, putting up 1,259 yards and 11 TDs. He was even better in 2004 and 2005, averaging roughly 1,500 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns per season.

After a successful rookie season where he rushed for 1,364 yards and six scores, Baltimore?s Jamal Lewis tore his ACL in the summer of 2001. He missed the entire season, then defied the odds in 2002 to post nice stats ? 1,327 yards and six scores. But it was two years removed from his ACL surgery that Lewis had a year fantasy owners will never forget, rushing for 2,066 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns.

I could go on, but you get the idea. This year, marquee fantasy players like Palmer, Culpepper, McAllister and Walker are all trying to come back from devastating knee injuries and the resulting surgeries. While they will no doubt slide somewhat on fantasy draft boards because of the injury news, I?d argue you should avoid targeting any of them altogether during your draft or auction unless the price is ludicrously cheap.

To recap: Culpepper tore three knee ligaments in a game against Carolina last fall and might not even be able to take the field until October 2006. That makes it easy to shy away from him no matter what team he ends up playing for.

Before he blew out his knee in a horrible loss to the Packers, McAllister was already in the midst of a second consecutive sub par season and will be returning to a franchise in complete chaos. You really want to hitch your wagon to this guy in 2006? Unless he falls to the late middle rounds of drafts, you have no business going after Deuce this summer, no matter how good all the rehab talk is.

During the playoffs, Palmer suffered what the physician who worked on him initially called a ?career threatening? knee injury until the Bengals politely told him to shut his trap and jump on board the optimistic bus along with everyone else. Right now Palmer and Coach Marvin Lewis are predicting he?ll be in the starting lineup for week one of the 2006 season. Right, right. Anyway, even if Palmer does limp out there this coming September, he?ll have at best limited mobility and more importantly won?t be able to do his normal offseason training regimen because of the surgery and extensive rehab. Chances are the guy?s going to be clumsy and rusty for several weeks before maybe finding his old groove by midseason or later. And that?s a best-case scenario.

04-01-2006, 06:26 PM
I agree. The injuries to Culpepper and Carson were particularly horrific, and I'll definitely be keeping that in-mind come my live draft this year. I do a Yahoo Plus League every year, 14 teams, fractional stats, independant defensive players, lotsa stat modifiers. :] Defense blows most of the managers away, but the parity in the league is amazing. Last season I made the last playoffs spot on points, then beat the top-ranked team in the first round, on to the Championship. Sounds familiar! LOL

I live for Sundays during football season.