If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Someone in your league is poring over his draft list and appears primed to make his pick when he asks...
"Is [insert player name] still injured?"
At which point, the draft grinds to a halt as said owner re-thinks his previous selection. In our neverending quest to help you be the most prepared owner in the room on Fantasy Draft Day, we're equipping you with a list of ten players who were injured in 2012 that are worth following as we get closer to the start of 2013.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins - It was an ugly end to a beautiful season for the rookie sensation. Griffin tore mutiple ligaments in his knee trying to corral an errant snap in Washington's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Since having surgery in early January, the news on RG3's recovery have been nothing but positive. His surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, says the quarterback is ahead of schedule in his rehab while Griffin himself vows to be back on the field in time for Week 1.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars - 2012 was a lost season for MJD. After missing the entire preseason while holding out for a new contract, Jones-Drew struggled with a foot injury that limited him to just six games and eventually needed surgery. Since then, MJD's road to recovery plans to make a stop at Jaguars mini-camp (though Jones-Drew isn't expected to participate). By the time the 2013 season kicks off, Pocket Hercules should have had plenty of rest and should be ready to go.
Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks - After a fantastic start to the season that saw him as an early darkhorse in the race for MVP, Harvin went down with an ankle injury in Week 9. The Vikings waited a month for the wideout to heal before putting him on injured reserve. Now that he has found his way from the Twin Cities to the Emerald City, all eyes will be on his injured ankle. More importantly, fantasy owners will begin to ask the question: can Harvin stay healthy for a full 16 games?
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills - For the second straight season, Jackson landed on injured reserve. Yet again it was a lower leg injury that landed the veteran on the shelf. But unlike 2011, Jackson was struggling on the field and being pushed on the depth chart by C.J. Spiller. Buffalo's new coaching staff says the team will continue with a timeshare at running back, but it's hard to believe that Jackson will be the lead in that tag team after having missed 12 games in the past two seasons.
Willis McGahee, RB, Denver Broncos - McGahee suffered a torn MCL and leg fracture in November that ultimately kept him out for the remainder of the season. The Broncos hoped the veteran would have been able to return for the AFC Championship Game, but Rahim Mooremade that difficult. Nonetheless, McGahee will turn 32 next season and the Broncos are looking to add help at the running back position. Expect the veteran to be healthy, but also expect him to lose touches.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers - No list of injured players would be complete without including Mathews. The oft-injured back broke his right clavicle on his first carry of the preseason -- that kept him out of action until the third game of the season. His year ended in Week 15 when he broke his left clavicle against the Carolina Panthers. It was more of the same for a player who has never appeared in more than 14 games in a season. He should be healthy once the 2013 season begins, but at this point fantasy owners should be sufficiently wary of the next looming injury.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, free agent - Bradshaw dealt with a foot injury for the majority of the 2012 season. While he was able to play through it most of the time, it certainly limited his effectiveness. Recently, the veteran was told by doctors that the injury was "healing perfectly" and Bradshaw expects to be ready for the start of next season. First things first ... he needs to find a new team.
Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins - After 2011, Davis was on his way to joining the upper echelon of fantasy tight ends. That progress was slowed when an Achilles injury ended his season in Week 7. Davis has been cleared by doctors to resume his rehab and the Redskins say they would like to re-sign him when he hits the free agent market. Having him work in an offense with RG3 could only help his fantasy value for next season.
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Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants - Brown was off to a strong start to the season and was working his way up New York's depth chart before a broken leg derailed his 2012 campaign. The Giants placed Brown on the Injured Reserve - Designated to Return list, meaning he would have been eligible to come back had Big Blue made the postseason. There's no reason Brown shouldn't be healed for the start of the 2013 season and with Bradshaw out of the mix in New York, he should have plenty of opportunities to produce.
Cedric Benson, RB, Green Bay Packers - Benson was supposed to provide a boost for a flagging Packers ground game. He failed to do that, rushing for just 248 yards in five games -- then his season ended with a Lisfranc sprain. It seems unlikely that he'll be back in Green Bay next season and wherever Benson ends up, he doesn't project to have a ton of fantasy value.