This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
The NFL summer season is nearly here with players set to report to camp throughout the week ahead. The early days of camp can be maddening for fantasy owners looking to gauge the overall health of a player who ended the previous season hampered. Let me offer some early season advice for decoding injury information.
1.) Take everything a player says with a grain of salt.
At this point nearly every player is "in the best shape of their life" with an abnormally high percentage of individuals "ahead of schedule in their recovery." However, don't buy into player hype and instead turn to the old adage of actions speak louder than words. A player's availability is the best measure of health. A player steadily upping their workload is a good indicator of improving health. If a player isn't seeing some form of action for a prolonged period of time, he isn't "all ready to go."
2.) Don't fear the random rest day.
Players working their way back from injuries will often be provided precautionary time off to appropriately manage their workloads. This isn't a reason to panic. Some injuries, particularly soft tissue ailments, often require a slow progressive return to play that may require time away from the field. Some players will perform other controlled activities during these off days, while other may not do anything more than watch films. Furthermore, proven veterans not vying for roster spots are more likely to receive the occasional day off. Time off shouldn't negatively impact