Injuries in the NFL are, unfortunately, as common as finding a penny. Preseason, along with training camp and OTA’s, is an extremely unfair time to be carted off the field. Injuries happens to the best and to the worst. Injuries will haunt you no matter your skin color or age. Injuries are as close to a guarantee in this sport as beer being sold in the stadium. We’ve seen some heartbreaking ACL, PCL, MCL tares already and this past weekend was more frosting to the dreaded cake.
First, Julian Edelman is taken off the field for the Patriots against the Detroit Lions. Edelman was a great pass-catching receiver who lit up the biggest lights with his improbable Super Bowl catch. Edelman posted 1,106 yards on 98 receptions last year. The Patriots brought in Brandin Cooks to help bolster an already stacked receiving corp, meant to play a crucial part as a deep guy. However, with the injury to Edelman, Cooks is now in line to be top dog with a lot of volume. Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Danny Amendola look to pick up where they left off last year when they played the supporting cast to Edelman. Rob Gronkowski now moves up my top 200 rankings because he will be looked at a bit more for sure handed receptions. Those that would have been going in Edelman’s directions will be dispersed throughout the team but I feel Gronkowski will be the main guy. Another player who’ll see an uptick in targets is out of the backfield. James White will see more of the 3rd and 3 targets, before, those would be Edelman’s.
Around the same time, Spencer Ware, running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, went down with an injury. The guy who originally was going to fill in for Jamaal Charles until he got healthy stormed out of the gates last year and finished with a very well deserved 921 yards. The Chiefs weren’t exactly sold, even after a great year and releasing once franchise player Jamaal Charles, so they selected Kareem Hunt in this years NFL draft. Good reports filled the air heading into preseason then Hunt underperformed. Week two rolled along, and we saw the Hunt we’ve been hearing about. When the injury to Ware happened in week three it looked like it was Hunt’s backfield. Charcandrick West will be there to take some snaps away, especially with his knowledge of the playbook. But, I’m not to concerned about his presence and fully expect Hunt to be the main guy on a good rushing team.
Sunday, another top player fell to the injury bug. Cameron Meredith from Chicago was primed for a breakout year on a team that could very well be playing from behind a lot. With a rookie Quarterback who will, at some point, come in and start gunning the ball around, Meredith was a big sleeper for many fantasy football players. A gruesome injury that looked like his leg was bent in half sideways means Meredith is likely out for a while. There has been no official reports as of yet, so this segment of the article could be null and void if everything turns up well. I’m expecting the worse. Now it’s time for fellow third year receiver, Kevin White, along with newcomers Kendall Wright and Victor Cruz to step forward and be the go to guy. I believe in White and have all offseason, saying, even with Meredith healthy, that he is a guy we should be watching out for. Drafted early in the draft three years ago and still waiting to prove to us why. He’s motivated and I love what I saw. Cruz and Wright also look good and if Cruz comes out of the slot as he was planning on anyway. I’m, still, not avoiding him in deep roster leagues.
Injuries are a nasty part of the game, but the motto always is next man up. This will prove true for the Patriots, Chiefs and Bears as they try to swerve through the dusty pile up that is preseason injuries.