UPDATED – Injuries & Oddities: NFL Preseason Week 2 Edition

By Ha Kung Wong

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

Another week of preseason football means another week of “Injuries & Oddities”!  AND another week of our mascot, the jackelope!

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OK, let’s get to those NFL injuries!

Kelvin Benjamin

This is a major blow to the Carolina Panthers.  They went from having a good chance of winning the NFC South to basically having no chance of winning 50% of their games.  Sure, some will say that the Panthers were in the same position last year with no real WR options except for a rookie (the afore mentioned Kelvin Benjamin in 2014 and now Devin Funchess in 2015), but Funchess is not Benjamin.  Funchess was traditionally a TE at Michigan and converted to WR last season.  His numbers were fine, and he was probably restricted by poor QB play, but he’s not a terrific route runner.  He’ll improve, but I think he’ll have more growing pains in the NFL than Benjamin.  And if you look behind that, you have Jerricho Cotchery and Tedd Ginn Jr., among others even less notable options.  Sure Greg Olsen will get his, but there’s not much else there.  Sorry, Panther fans.

LeSean McCoy

So we know he has a hamstring injury, but the Buffalo Bills have been pretty quiet otherwise.  There was optimism that he would return for the season opener, but Rex Ryan was “cautiously optimistic”, which is much different than simply being “optimistic”.

Without McCoy, there’s a bit of a question mark as to who would lead the backfield.  We all know that Fred Jackson is the local favorite, and he has put up over 1,000 total yards in 5 of 8 of his seasons with the Bills.  But he’s also shown to be injury prone, playing all 16 games in just half the seasons he’s played.  NFL pundits have been on the Karlos Williams band wagon, and admittedly, I liked him all the way back before the NFL Draft.  But Williams is also dealing with an injury:

Apparently, this unknown illness has set him back, but he’ll return for the beginning of the season.  Regardless, missing practice and preseason reps as a rookie can be a huge step back.  Who knows how much Williams can be used in the backfield if he doesn’t get more experience before the beginning of the season?  Either way, this will be a situation to closely monitor for Bills fans.

Percy Harvin

Is he ever going to be “good”?  And is he ever not going to be a distraction in the locker room?  After admitting to getting into fights with Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin while with the Seattle Seahawks, one has to wonder if Harvin has gotten too big for his britches.  Perhaps he’ll get a shot to reinvent himself in the Buffalo Bills locker room, but he might not even have that chance if he can’t stay healthy:

We’ll see how this injury plays out, but I certainly would not be optimistic about Harvin rediscovering his groove with a hip problem and bad attitude.  I’d also be surprised if there wasn’t at least one brawl in the Bills locker room this season, with significant potential for Harvin’s involvement, seeing as how Ryan seems to be going out of his way to add problem children to his roster.

Robert Griffin III

RGIII has one more chance to prove himself.  And what happens in the second Washington Redskins preseason game?

That isn’t good.  And it’s not surprising as RGIII was getting destroyed by the Detroit Lions defense, ultimately getting hit six times.  It’s no wonder he got a concussion.  Tough to prove you should be the starting QB of an NFL team from the sidelines.  At least if your last name isn’t Manning.  There’s talk that the concussion isn’t bad and that he could play in the next preseason game.  But as ESPN’s physical therapist and injury expert Stephania Bell always says, although there may be concussions with minor symptoms, there’s really no such thing as a “minor” concussion.  And judging from this video, I’d agree with SB Nation that coming back too soon is not a smart thing to do.

Let’s hope RGIII doesn’t feel pressured to get back onto the field too soon.  There’s a lot more at stake with concussions than just a playing football.

UPDATE – August 23 – Looks like RGIII is OK.  And there have even been some rumors that it was fabricated to protect him.  Interesting…

QUICK HIT UPDATES – August 23

Chris Johnson has had a tough off season but finally latched on with the Cardinals.  But he won’t be able to show what he can do for a little while yet due to a hamstring injury.

Of course, he’ll also have to deal with being “not good” when coming back as well:

UPDATE – August 24 – Looks like Johnson has been upgraded to “day-to-day”.  Whatever it that means, it seems to be better than “1-2 weeks”.

Colts Rookie WR Philipp Dorsett will probably be the WR3 this year, which certainly has value with Andrew Luck under center.  But a bruised knee might cause some issues in figuring out how involved he’ll be.  Recent reports are that it isn’t serious.

Marquess Wilson had a lackluster first year with the Bears, but with Kevin White out for at least part of the season, opportunity knocks.  And I liked Wilson to make a difference in 2015.  Unfortunately, it knocked a little too hard as he left with a hamstring injury.  At least for now, Wilson has said he feels fine, but we’ll see when practice resumes.

UPDATE – August 24 – Looks like Wilson is not a go for practice on Monday.  Definitely a situation to keep an eye on.

And now these injuries from the Green Bay v. Pittsburgh game:

The most concerning is the Jordy Nelson knee injury.  Not something you want to see in your WR during a preseason game.

Initial fear is a torn ACL, which would put Nelson out for the season. Terrible blow for the Packers.  MRI results should be coming on Monday.

This makes Davante Adams automatically relevant though.  He was decent in his rookie year, but with a full complement of WR2 snaps, he could be heading for a breakout.

UPDATE – August 24 – And here’s the confirmation from the MRI.  Tough break for the Packers.  Makes you wonder if the NFL should even have a preseason.

And bad news for the Pittsburgh Steelers as C Maurkice Pouncey fractured his left tibula above his ankle and now requires surgery.  He’ll get a metal plate in his leg which would put him out a minimum of 2 months.

Others, such as Danny Woodhead, have missed much longer for similar injuries.  So there’s no guarantee this is a short term problem.

And then there’s Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons.  Looks like he’s expected back by week 1, but set your expectations accordingly.

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OK, everyone, that’s it for this week’s Injury-focused “Injuries & Oddities”!  Don’t forget to keep checking back as we keep you up to date on injuries and… um… oddities throughout the season!

 

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