The mysterious injury bug which has plagued the National Football League since before the beginning of training camp, continues in full force. The latest victims are some pretty big names. On Saturday night, Aug. 23, 2014, St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford tore the same ACL he had repaired last season. Bradford is done for the year, and the Rams are left scrambling for a QB. For the time being, it will be backup QB Shaun Hill. Early rumors have Mark Sanchez possibly going to St. Louis. Since it is looking like this will also be the end of Bradfords tenure with the Rams (due to his contract situation), the team may be looking at a longer term solution. Maybe Kirk Cousins, who is hopelessly stuck behind RGIII in Washington, could wind up being a viable option. It is of little consolation, but the Rams did come away with a 33-14 victory in that Saturday night preseason contest against the Cleveland Browns. The Rams also lost cornerback Trumaine Johnson (torn MCL) for 4-6 weeks.
Saturday was also a tough night for the Denver Broncos. Slot receiver Wes Welker suffered a concussion in the 18-17 loss to the Houston Texans. Welker will now need to go thru NFL concussion protocol, which means he will need to be symptom-free for five days, before he can return. This is Welker's third concussion in the last 10 months. At age 33, it may be time for the dynamic slot receiver to think about hanging up the cleats. After all, he does still have the rest of his life to live after his NFL career is over. Welker missed three games last season due to two separate concussions.
Friday night was tough as well:
During a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a hairline fracture of the rib. The injury is not serious, but rib injuries do cause a considerable amount of pain. As a precaution, Newton will be held out of the team's next preseason game, against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Newton is still expected to be able to start Wk 1 of the regular season, on Sep. 7 vs Tampa Bay. Physically, Newton was still not 100%, after having undergone offseason ankle surgery. All things considered, he should probably be considered "questionable", as far as starting in the first regular season game.
Green Bay Packers Nose tackle B.J. Raji will miss the 2014 season, after he suffered a torn biceps in a Friday night game against Oakland. Raji had just signed a new one-year, $4 million deal with the Packers this offseason. Now he is done for the year. This will be a big blow to the Packers first line of defense.
This just adds to the growing list of NFL players injured since the beginning of the 2014 training camp. In all, it was a tough six-day stretch which began on Monday, Aug. 20 when AZ Cardinals DL Darnell Dockett went down with a torn ACL during practice. Previously, Dockett had only missed two regular season games in his entire 10-year NFL career. An anchor of the Cards' defensive line, Dockett is now done for the season. Six days, six starters injured.
Let's see who all is left when the season actually starts.