IN MAY, just seven months removed from surgery, Charles predicted pain—for his opponents. "When I touch that field again, you're going to feel my pain," he said. He injured the knee last Sept. 18, meaning he'll have had almost a full year to recover. The bad news is that players don't usually return to their pre-ACL form until the second year.
Mark INGRAM SAINTS TURF TOE, LEFT-KNEE INJURY
IN ADDITION to having surgery to correct the turf toe that (along with heel issues) limited him to 10 games as a rookie in 2011, he had arthroscopic surgery for a preexisting knee problem in May. With Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, the Saints are in no need to hurry their '11 first-round pick back into the lineup.
Mikel LESHOURE LIONS TORN LEFT ACHILLES
LESHOURE, WHO tore his Achilles last preseason, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz both expect the running back to be ready for Week 1. The Achilles might be the least of Leshoure's worries, however, as an off-season guilty plea to marijuana possession could result in a suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Rashard MENDENHALL STEELERS TORN RIGHT ACL
THE OUTLOOK on the Steelers' feature back is not favorable. Coach Mike Tomlin and G.M. Kevin Colbert are convinced that Mendenhall will see the field in 2012, but he will most likely start the season on the PUP list while recovering from the injury that he sustained in the final week of the regular season last year.
Knowshon MORENO BRONCOS TORN RIGHT ACL
MORENO, WHO injured his knee on Nov. 13, is doubtful for the opener, and even if he lands on the roster, by then Denver might not have much use for him. The team drafted Ronnie Hillman, who's expected to take the spot on the depth chart behind Willis McGahee.
Adrian PETERSON VIKINGS TORN LEFT ACL, MCL; MENISCUS DAMAGE