NFL AM: Prominent Injuries Story Of Week 2


Purple Jesus Gets Crucified

All of the great play and great games in Week 2 of the NFL season were largely overshadowed by some potentially major injuries to stars.  In what was the best game of Sunday, the evening NFC North clash between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings saw 2015’s NFL leading rusher Adrian Peterson go down with what could be a serious knee injury.  Peterson couldn’t put any pressure on his leg after it was twisted backwards in the third quarter of the Vikings 17-14 victory.

For the second straight week Peterson struggled running the football, amassing just 26 yards on 14 carries before the injury cut his evening short.  Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game that they would perform an MRI on the knee today.

If Peterson does miss an extended period of time, look for the combination of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to spell him.  Although those two are certainly a significant dropoff, the Vikings are 2-0 without much of a contribution from the ground game and newly acquired Sam Bradford playing extremely well on Sunday night.

Garoppolo’s Audition Is Over

Meanwhile in New England, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sliced and diced up the Miami Dolphins before being forced to exit with what is being reported as a shoulder sprain.

“If it’s a Grade 1 sprain, these ligaments are only sprained. That’s the kind of injury you can come back even in the same game or a week or two. In a Grade 2 sprain, you tear these ligaments and sprain these ligaments. That’s the kind of injury you see someone out four to six weeks,” Dr. Mark Adickes said in a television interview on the NFL RedZone. “With a Grade 3 sprain, you tear these ligaments, you tear these ligaments, the clavicle is way up. That requires surgery for someone to come back, so that would end his season.

“Given the way he went down on that shoulder, I think it is unlikely that he plays prior to Tom Brady returning.”

So the four game audition for Garoppolo has seemingly turned into a game and a half audition.  As far as that audition goes, it couldn’t have been any better for the third-year quarterback from Eastern Illinois.  Garoppolo was tremendous as he navigated the team to an opening night win at Arizona, and he was nearly flawless on Sunday against Miami.  He completed 18 of 27 throws, for 234 yards and three touchdowns and when he left the Patriots were up, 24-3.

Garoppolo looks every bit the part of not only an NFL starter, but an ascending one who can lead a team where they need to go.  It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do in the offseason as team’s will call and see about his availability.

As for the Patriots right now, they turn to rookie third-round pick Jacoby Brissett for the next two games.  After Garoppolo left, the game plan became ultra conservative with Brissett, who received very few reps during the preseason and was considered a raw prospect at best.

“This game is a 100 percent injury rate. It’s football and everyone’s just gotta do their job a little bit better,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said after the game.

New England leaned more on the running game with Legarrette Blount, who had 123 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown.  They have their work cut out for them as they host the 2-0 Houston Texans on Thursday night.

Scary Scene In San Diego

Late in the third quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars eventual 38-14 blowout loss to the San Diego Chargers, starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum collapsed and laid motionless on the field.  Trainers from both teams rushed out onto the field and carefully flipped him over on his back before the cart and a stretcher came out.  Eventually, CBS sports reported that he did have movement in his extremities and the team is calling the incident a concussion.

It was one of the last things that the Jaguars needed as they were getting blown out in a game where they looked completely unprepared against a team that finished 4-12 the season before.  At this point there’s no update on the severity of the injury and how long Beachum will be out for, but it seems highly unlikely that he will play next Sunday when the team hosts the 2-0 Baltimore Ravens.

In somewhat of a surprise move, Patrick Omameh came in at left tackle instead of moving former first round pick Luke Joeckel back outside where he’s started for the last two seasons.

In the same game, the Chargers may have lost a key cog to their offense for an extended period of time as running back Danny Woodhead left in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury.  Woodhead had to be carted off and didn’t return.

It’s unclear the severity of the injury but it seems likely that he will miss an extended period of time.  In the season opening loss to Kansas City, the Chargers lost their No. 1 wide receiver Keenan Allen for the season with a torn ACL and the fear is that same diagnosis for Woodhead.

The good news for San Diego is that 2015 first-round pick Melvin Gordon is beginning to look like the player he was in college and without Woodhead he should get into more of a rhythm.

The Chargers also lost safety Jahleel Addae with a broken collarbone.  He is likely to miss the next four to six weeks and a team that’s already thin at the position now has to turn to Adrian Phillips.

More Injuries:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin left Sunday’s 40-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter after injuring his hamstring.  Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was asked if Martin’s absence had any impact on the blowout loss.

“Well of course. It takes out one of the best running backs in the league so of course,” Koetter said defiantly. “We had multiple guys. We lost, Luke Stocker in the first half. We lost Doug. Robert Ayers (Jr.) was in and out. We had a few guys out. No one feels sorry for you but you got to keep playing.”

The Bucs have carved out a role for running back Charles Sims, who is an excellent receiver out of the backfield.  Sims took on a greater role in Martin’s absence Sunday and finished with 41 yards from scrimmage and the team’s only touchdown.

Denver Broncos future Hall of Fame linebacker DeMarcus Ware had to leave Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts with a fractured ulna.  At this point it’s unclear how much time he’ll miss, if any.  He is obviously a key member of the best defense in the NFL and if he misses time things will become that much tougher for Von Miller, who already faces double-teams.



About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.