Fantasy Football News

Monday, September 6, 2010

Twelve Injuries With the Most Impact on How the Season Unfolds

The one thing coaches fear the most during training camp and preseason is having their star player go down with a major injury. The burden is almost inevitable, though, and the injury bug is bound to hit a couple teams each year.

Here is a list of 12 of the biggest injuries of the offseason and how it will impact their respected teams.

Wes Welker, New England Patriots

Obviously this was an injury suffered last season rather than during the preseason, but it just so happens to be one of the most-watched injuries of the preseason. As of three days ago Welker was saying he "doesn't feel the same" though he still plans on playing week one.

I mean, if Welker himself is saying he isn't 100 percent, then there's no way he's gonna be able to go out there and catch 10 passes for 150 yards and a score. This will certainly be an interesting situation in New England.

Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins

Head coach Mike Shanahan is now saying that he expects McNabb to be able to start the season opener, but that doesn't mean we're just going to forget the fact that McNabb isn't feeling his normal self.

Yes, it's true, we're used to seeing a hurting McNabb. But there's no question it will leave a mark on this Skins offense this season and, personally, I don't think the Redskins have much on offense without McNabb under center. Keep an eye out in D.C.

Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns

Hardesty, the Browns first round pick this season, has had his season end before it even began. Despite Hardesty's blown out knee, Cleveland's GM Tom Heckert has decided to stand by his pick and believes he will make a full recovery.

I wonder how much of an affect this will have on Cleveland's rebuilding process.

Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos

Denver's top defensive player, and last year's sack leader with 17, is out for the season with a chest injury. It's not only the Dumervil injury that will hurt Denver, but it's the injury to his replacement, Jarvis Moss, who could miss some time as well. Not to mention Lendale White, on the offensive side of the ball, who is expected to miss the entire season with an ankle injury.

Let's face it, Denver is in trouble this season and it all starts with the devastating Dumervil injury.

Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Steelers

Ok, I admit it, this injury will have more of an impact on the first four weeks of the season rather than the entire season, but that's still a pretty solid impact. Getting off to a great start as opposed to a terrible start could play a role in the playoff hunt at the end of the season.

When Leftwich went down with a knee injury and it was announced that he could miss two to four weeks, the Steelers search for their starting quarterback for the first four weeks of the season (while Big Ben serves his suspension) abruptly ended, and Dixon was practically handed the starting role. Or so it seemed.

Although Dixon has earned the right to start, and appears to be the guy for head coach Mike Tomlin, veteran quarterback Charlie Batch has yet to be ruled out of the chase. The Leftwich injury surely shook up this QB battle.

Malcolm Kelly, Washington Redskins

The large, 6'4'' third year receiver landed on the injured reserve after re-aggravating his left hamstring last week. Kelly, one of the few weapons in the Skins' arsenal, was poised to break out this season with McNabb coming in to take over for Jason Campbell.

I was expecting Kelly to get quite a few looks in the red zone considering his size, but McNabb may have to rely on the unproven Devin Thomas a bit more now.

Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills

There's no question that the Bills' backfield has taken some hits this preseason. Lynch finally returned to action in the team's preseason finale after suffering a sprained ankle in the opener, but Jackson is supposed to be taking it easy for the first few weeks of the regular season after injuring his hand.

Whether they both play week one or not, they are not going to be themselves from the start, which isn't exactly good news considering they will be traveling to Lambeau the second week of the season. Looks like rookie C.J. Spiller will have to step up.

Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders

After showing some signs of brightness throughout his first two NFL seasons in Oakland, Bush will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after suffering a broken thumb. Surgery is expected and it may be a lingering issue in the future.

Looks like if Al Davis doesn't want Darren McFadden to assume a heavier workload, then he will have to go out and sign a veteran via the free-agent wire.

Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens

Still battling numerous injuries, Ballhawk Reed was placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and will miss six weeks, possibly more. Much like Pittsburgh and Polamalu, the Baltimore Ravens' defense is no where near the same without Reed in the lineup.

With Domonique Foxworth out for the season with a torn ACL and Fabian Washington struggling to hold the corner spot, Baltimore's secondary will be taking some beatings without Reed.

Sidney Rice, Minnesota Vikings

After news came out that Sidney Rice was undergoing hip surgery and will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season, Minnesota's front office went out and signed two other receiversGreg Camarillo and deep threat Javon Walker. Walker was cut less than two weeks later.

Rice, Favre's favorite target in 2009, will be greatly missed in the Vikes' offense and may even end up missing more than just the six games.

Donte' Stallworth, Baltimore Ravens

Stallworth suffered a broken foot in Baltimore's preseason matchup with the Giants and will miss about two months of play. Stallworth wasn't one of the top targets in Baltimore's arsenal of receivers, but the injury was enough to persuade Baltimore to go out and sign veteran T.J. Houshmandzadeh after he was released by the Seahawks.

One door closes, another one opens.

Ben Tate, Houston Texans

Just like Montario Hardesty in Cleveland, rookie running back Ben Tate's opening season ends before it even begins. In a preseason matchup with the Cardinals Tate broke his ankle after just two carries. Tate was carted off the field and it was later announced he will go on the IR and will undergo ankle surgery.

Between this major injury and the ailing Steve Slaton, who had a disappointing campaign last season, Houston went out and signed Derrick Ward for insurance to Arian Foster.

Other Injuries to Watch out For:

Troy Polamalu: The chances of his knee injury carrying over to 2010 is highly unlikely after watching him in August, but anything can happen so watch out for it just in case.

Percy Harvin: Harvin's migraines aren't supposed to force him to miss much playing time, but considering he collapsed while watching practice because of them, it sounds much more serious than originally said.

Brian Urlacher: Urlacher's calf injury isn't supposed to be serious, either. Meaning he probably wont be sidelined by it, unless of course he re-aggravates it while in action. Urlacher, 32, missed all but one game last season from an unrelated injury but at the linebacker position this injury probably wont go away anytime soon.

Brett Favre: Favre's surgically repaired ankle is what forced him to wait so long to make a decision. Who knows if it will make it through all 16 regular season games.

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