The 2019 NFL season has been one marked by a significant number of injuries. Top players on nearly every single team have seen their seasons either end early or be put on hold for the time being. This has led to a change in the power structure of the league, apart from the New England Patriots, and has created questions about the final slate of playoff teams in January.
Obviously, the biggest names to have dealt with injuries are Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, and New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees. Of these players, Roethlisberger is the only one done for the season. Both Newton and Brees are nearing a return to the field.
Of course, knowing that they will be back is not the same as knowing when they will be back. The timelines for each injury have varied, as have the opinions about when they will actually return. Although the play of backups Teddy Bridgewater (Saints) and Kyle Allen (Panthers) has certainly served a role in both teams refusing to rush their stars back into action.
While Brees and Newton may very well be the biggest names dealing with injuries, they are not the only ones. So what other players are limited due to various ailments?
Cam Newton hasn't started a game since week three, but what was the reason why he missed time? The former first overall pick from 2011 originally suffered a foot sprain during an August preseason game but was able to return to action for the regular season. However, he re-aggravated the injury during a week two battle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was sidelined during week three's victory over the Arizona Cardinals and has not taken a start since.
With the Panthers on bye in week seven, the belief was that this would be the final opportunity for Newton to fully recover from his foot injury. However, that was not the case when the team returned to practice on Monday. Head coach Ron Rivera announced that Newton would be shelved for another week while backup Kyle Allen starts his fifth straight game.prevnext
Similar to Newton, Drew Brees has not been in the starting lineup since September. He originally suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament during a week two loss to the Los Angeles Rams and was forced to undergo surgery. In his stead, backup Teddy Bridgewater has started five games and has won every single game, helping the Saints achieve a 6-1 record.
Per reports, Brees had his sights set on a return to action in week eight against the Arizona Cardinals, but that has not been guaranteed. There is still a scenario in which he sits another week, continues to recover during the week nine bye and then returns to action in Week 10.prevnext
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was the latest to deal with a significant injury, suffering a dislocated kneecap during a Thursday night battle with the rival Denver Broncos. At the time of the injury, the fear was that he would be done for the season, but the MRI revealed that he avoided the worst possible outcome.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Mahomes will not miss an extended amount of time while recovering from the dislocated kneecap, as well as the high ankle sprain. In fact, he will be potentially making a return to the Chiefs in three weeks.prevnext
From @gmfb: #Falcons QB Matt Ryan is believed to have an ankle sprain that is not major, though he'll have tests today... while coach Dan Quinn's seat is getting warmer (but no move expected today). pic.twitter.com/ic5yMmYtre— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2019
Sunday's game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams was marked by running back Devonta Freeman being ejected for throwing a punch, but quarterback Matt Ryan also left the game early after suffering an ankle injury. The former 2016 NFL MVP was spotted in a walking boot following the game, which led many to believe that he would be out for a considerable amount of time.
According to the team's official website, Ryan has a high ankle sprain. His status is unknown for week eight's battle with the Seattle Seahawks, but there is a scenario in which he does not play and is out of action until a week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons have a bye following the battle with the Seahawks, which will give Ryan ample time to recover.prevnext
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen suffered what appeared to be a fairly serious injury during Sunday's victory over the Detroit Lions. He caught a touchdown pass in stride and slid into the back wall of the stadium. At first, the belief was that this collision had caused an injury, but it was later revealed that Thielen had suffered a hamstring injury.
According to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, an MRI revealed that the hamstring injury was not as serious as initially feared. However, Thielen will still miss Thursday's game against the Washington Redskins due to the short turnaround time. Whether or not he misses extended time will depend on his recovery.prevnext
Like Adam Thielen, Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson also left Sunday's game early due to an injury. However, his ailment was far more serious. Johnson suffered a knee injury and will be out for the foreseeable future. According to initial reports following the game, the belief was that Johnson would be considered "week-to-week" with this ailment, but the situation has since changed.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday afternoon that Johnson underwent surgery and will be placed on Injured Reserve. He is out for eight weeks and won't be eligible to return until week 16. Barring a new figure joining the team, the Lions will rely on veteran J.D. McKissic and rookie Ty Johnson.prevnext
Heading into last Sunday's game against the New York Giants, running back David Johnson was dealing with an ankle injury that put his status up in the air. However, the team said that he would be starting and ready to roll. Johnson did technically suit up, but he was only on the field for three snaps and logged one carry. Instead, backup Chase Edmonds carried the load and scored three touchdowns.
Heading toward a game against the Saints, it appears more and more likely that Johnson may not be active in week eight. The Cardinals brought in multiple running backs for workouts, including former Cowboys backup Alfred Morris. "The Butler" ultimately signed with the Cardinals and will be on hand to contribute if Johnson is not available.prevnext
Zac Taylor made it clear again that AJ Green will not be traded. "AJ is not going anywhere. He's staying here." But will the Bengals at least listen to trade offers? "We listen to anything." @WLWT #Bengals pic.twitter.com/5C0CCfZWyO— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) October 21, 2019
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has not been active for the start of the 2019 season, and the team isn't entirely sure when he will be making a return. He originally suffered an ankle injury during the team's first practice of the season and has not been able to suit up since. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Sunday that Green is not expected to return until after the Oct. 29 trade deadline.0comments
That being said, there are constant rumors swirling about Green being sent to a receiver-needy team. Head coach Zac Taylor has said that he won't be trading Green, but he also added in that he will listen to anything. Of course, the bigger question is whether or not Green will even be healthy enough to pass a physical if a trade were to happen.
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