The NFL is rife with injuries and the offseason is a convenient time to forget many of these players are still dealing with hours of grueling rehab to try and meet timelines ahead of the new season.
Best ball leagues never stop, though, and many of these players have uncertain rehab processes and timelines that could leak into the start of the following season. If they don't, players average draft positions (ADP's) could still be impacted by the general population staving off "riskier" players who may be more susceptible to inconsistent play or re-injury.
Listed below is every major player who's currently rehabbing an injury that may or may not leak into the 2022 season; some players may be limited throughout their respective team's offseason programs, too.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 11/1/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 183.3 ADP (QB25)
Winston is in an interesting situation because he also happens to be a free agent and arguably the most intriguing option at the quarterback position. According to Dr. David J. Chao, a former NFL team Doctor and well-respect voice, Winston is well on track to play Week 1.
It may be a tough transition for Winston throughout the offseason as he'll likely have to learn a new offense with his new team, but he's shown the ability to be a DFS asset.
Injury Suffered: shoulder labrum tear | Date of Surgery: 1/19/2022 | Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 months | Underdog ADP: 191.8 ADP (QB26)
Mayfield is coming off a putrid season, though some are chalking his performance — or lack thereof — up to his shoulder issue, which he's currently rehabbing. There shouldn't be much concern with Mayfield's health leading into 2022; he'll remain in the same offense and on the same team and should have more than enough time to recover.
Injury Suffered: shoulder (torn capsule) | Date of Surgery (est.): 3/2/2022 | Expected Recovery Time: 4 months | Underdog ADP: 219.5 ADP (QB29)
Like Winston, the man known as "Jimmy G" is in a fairly unique situation. There's a strong chance Garoppolo is traded to a new team at some point during this offseason, but his shoulder injury — and sudden surgery — could further complicate a potential deal.
According to Adam Schefter, Garoppolo is still likely to be traded this month and will need 16 weeks of rehab post-surgery before throwing again. At the very least, Jimmy G's ADP is affordable and probably worth the dart throw, but his performance remains to be seen without the genius of Kyle Shanahan.
Injury Suffered: grade 2/3 ankle sprain | Date of Injury: 11/29/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 weeks | Underdog ADP: 2.3 ADP (RB2)
We've now transitioned into the backfield. McCaffrey is the golden gem on this list but some drafters may not see it that way. He's now had back-to-back injury-riddled seasons but is still well worth his ADP; he's an elite talent that's used in an incredibly resourceful way.
McCaffrey's ankle injury isn't anything to worry about. Well, there may be concerns with his durability in general, but the ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve for a second time this past season isn't a concern heading into the offseason. He'll be all systems go.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 8/29/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 43.2 ADP (RB17)
It's been well documented the Ravens experienced terrible luck in their backfield this past season. Both Dobbins and Gus Edwards were lost to torn ACL's within a 10-day span. The good news is both injuries occurred early in the process. According to Dr. Chao, Dobbins should be full-go for training camp but "may not be 100%". It's fair to expect some rust, but Dobbins' ADP doesn't allow for a ton of wiggle room.
Travis Etienne Jr.
Injury Suffered: lisfranc | Date of Injury: 8/24/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 4-6 months | Underdog ADP: 52.4 ADP (RB19)
Etienne is one of the bigger unknowns on this injury list. He suffered a brutal "mid-foot" injury, which is commonly known as a lisfranc injury. The rookie suffered the injury in the preseason and never got to take a regular season snap.
The injury timeline for a lisfranc ranges drastically, it appears. Most commonly, it appears the severity of Etienne's injury estimated for a 4-6 month recovery period and he should be back by organized training activities (OTA's). For those that don't know, OTA's come before training camp and are one of the first team periods in the offseason. That's great news.
Injury Suffered: torn Achilles | Date of Injury: 12/16/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 7-11 months | Underdog ADP: 137.6 ADP (RB42)
The Jaguars suffered a second major loss in their backfield when Robinson went down late in the season (December). The injury was unfortunate as Robinson put together another solid season and it goes without saying that his rehab could leak into next season. Now, Robinson does have a shot to be ready for training camp or Week 1, but his chances are viewed as an "uphill battle". Starting the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list remains a possibility, too.
If he is able to return, it's fair to simmer expectations. We just seen Cam Akers return from a torn Achilles in an unprecedented six months, and he was ineffective in nearly every game since his return.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 9/9/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 154.3 ADP (RB45)
Edwards' injury was suffered just 10 days after Dobbins' torn ACL. Both players will have a chance to return to training camp, but their timelines remain to be seen. Of course, it goes without saying, but every individual will respond to rehab differently. Like it was for Dobbins, the good news is both injuries occurred early in the season, providing both players with ample time to recover for 2022.
Injury Suffered: neck | Date of Surgery: 11/19/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 3-4 months | Underdog ADP: 161.0 ADP (RB47)
When it comes to injuries, uncertainty is one of the bigger unknowns and fears. Carson suffered a "neck" injury that ultimately landed him on injured reserve and prematurely ended his season. As it turns out, he had cervical-fusion surgery for a spot on his vertebrae. I'm no Doctor, but that sounds terrifying and a lot like the injury that ended many careers, including former Seahawk Kam Chancellor's.
Well, as it turns out, Carson's timeline is just 3-4 months and he should be good as early as offseason workouts, barring any setbacks or residual nerve issues. His long-term health could be in question, but his availability for 2022 looks to be a green light. And with Rashaad Penny slated for free agency, this could be a major value play based on his ADP.
Injury Suffered: chipped knee cartilage | Date of Injury: 9/14/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 6+ months | Underdog ADP: 181.4 ADP (RB54)
There isn't any great way to put it — Mostert's outlook isn't ideal. He is an aging player at a position that rapidly declines earlier than most. His injury is also a concern because the knee is unlikely to "ever be healthy again".
Mostert has had plenty of time to rehab and reach his six-plus month timeline, but there is no guarantee he'll remain healthy in any season moving forward.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 12/20/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 54.3 ADP (WR25)
The Buccaneers are in major transition with Tom Brady retiring, multiple high-level talents slated for free agency, and Godwin suffering a torn ACL very late in the season. Of course, Godwin is one of the players slated for free agency but envisioning a scenario where he reaches the market is tough.
Godwin's late-season injury is being compared to Odell Beckham Jr.'s torn ACL in 2020 in the sense that it may take Godwin half the season — if not longer — before he's fully effective. OBJ missed the first two weeks of the season and suffered the injury nearly two full months before Godwin did. Obviously, every injury is unique, but there are reasons to be concerned with Godwin's early season performance and availability.
Injury Suffered: ankle | Date of Surgery: 6/?/2022 | Expected Recovery Time: N/A | Underdog ADP: 80.3 ADP (WR26)
We've reached the weirdest situation on this list. Thomas has had nothing but issues over the past year or so. He originally suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 of 2020, re-injured it later that season, bypassed surgery, had a setback, and then decided to surgically repair the deltoid and other injured ligaments in the ankle in June prior to the 2021 season. Thomas ended up missing the entire season but there is good news on the horizon — he's expected to be ready for the season.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 11/13/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 80.3 ADP (WR39)
The Rams lost their WR2 in mid-November prior to going on a postseason tear. Unfortunately, we never got to see Woods and Cooper Kupp team up with OBJ. Now, Woods has a straightforward recovery process and expects to be back by June or July per Jordan Rodrigue, and has a good chance to be ready and effective Week 1.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 2/13/2022 | Expected Recovery Time: 8-12 months | Underdog ADP: 115.5 ADP (WR51)
OBJ couldn't have suffered an injury in a worse environment. As we know, he tore his ACL early in the Super Bowl and now faces a lengthy and arduous recovery process. There is a difference with OBJ's timeline though. If you recall, he actually tore the same ACL in 2021 and according to Dr. Chao, he'll have a chance to return sooner than a first-time occurrence.
There's a chance OBJ will be out there Week 1, but Chao states he won't be near 100% in September. The possibility of starting the season on the PUP list remains, too.
Injury Suffered: core muscle | Date of Surgery: 12/7/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: N/A | Underdog ADP: 117.0 ADP (WR52)
Almost nothing is known about Davis' injury. All we know is he had core muscle surgery that prematurely ended his season. There is no reason to believe he won't be 100% for offseason activities; he'll surely be 100% by Week 1. There aren't any longterm concerns here. Davis' value shouldn't waver based on injury, though he may take a backseat to Elijah Moore next season.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 1/3/2022 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-12 months | Underdog ADP: 122.8 ADP (WR56)
Gallup, like some of the aforementioned players, is slated to reach free agency for the first time in his career. He did tear his ACL late in the season and according to Dr. Chao, there are potential concerns about his rehab process. Gallup didn't have surgery until mid-February and that could indicate extra damage to his knee; his Week 1 status is in doubt and his performance isn't likely to be very effective early next season.
Will Fuller V
Injury Suffered: broken thumb | Date of Injury (est.): 10/3/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: N/A | Underdog ADP: 125.1 ADP (WR57)
Fuller's inaugural and potentially only season in Miami did not turn out to be a good one. He appeared in just three games and caught just four passes. A broken thumb sidelined Fuller in Week 4 and for the duration of the season. There isn't much news out there floating about his availability for 2022, but there shouldn't be any immediate concerns. Fuller should be a full-go with whichever franchise he lands with.
D.J. Chark Jr.
Injury Suffered: fractured ankle | Date of Injury: 9/30/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: N/A | Underdog ADP: 125.7 ADP (WR58)
Like a handful of players on this list, Chark is slated to reach free agency. Unfortunately, he lost 75% of his season after fracturing his ankle in Week 4. There is no expected timeline, but OBJ did fracture his ankle in Oct. 2017 (Week 5) and was able to play Week 1 in the following season. Chark's injury shouldn't impact him next year.
Injury Suffered: torn Achilles | Date of Injury: 12/20/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 9-11 months | Underdog ADP: 189.2 ADP (WR85)
Shepard's 2020 campaign was riddled with injury and ended on a terrible note — a torn Achilles in Week 14. He will have a chance to return in Week 1 but it doesn't appear he'll be fully effective for the first portion of the season. He could even return during the team's offseason activities in a timeframe similar to Cam Akers', but history suggests it's unlikely.
Injury Suffered: torn ACL | Date of Injury: 9/27/2021 | Expected Recovery Time: 12+ months | Underdog ADP: 214.3 ADP (WR95)
The timeline is longer for Hamler than most of the other torn ACL's on this list, and the reason for that is the potential additional LCL damage. Hamler's timeline appears to be on the lengthier side and that's a scary situation for a speed player who relies on quickness. It's certainly fair to dampen expectations for Hamler in 2022.