QB – Aaron Rodgers – (backups being Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson)
The 2-time MVP broke his collarbone in Week 6 against the Vikings. He hasn’t ruled out returning at the end of the season but the more likely scenario is that he is out for the rest of the season. The Pack need him back for them to succeed.
He has a top-5 QB as his backup in the shape of Andrew Luck. Luck had shoulder surgery during the offseason and the recovery took longer than expected. The Colts have handled his situation pretty poorly as GM Jim Irsay said before the season that Luck would be ready for week one. As the season has progressed, it became apparent that Luck was further away from game time than previously thought which resulted in him being shut down for the year last week.
The QB3 is probably the most exciting rookie QB for a while as Deshaun Watson has been balling recently. He unfortunately tore his ACL in an non-contact injury in practice on Thursday which means that his Rookie of the Year effort is over. It was obvious to see how much the Texans missed him in their loss to the Andrew Luck-less Colts.
RB – David Johnson – (backup being Dalvin Cook)
Johnson injured his wrist during the season opener against the Lions and shortly after was put on injured reserve. For a running-back that came into the season as hopes of being the best back in the league, it was a dampener to say the least.
Dalvin Cook was drafted in excellent class of running-backs this year so came in with little talk about his potential. But, he really broke out with 454 rushing yards in the three and a half games he played before he tore his ACL in Week 4 against the Lions (I sense a theme appearing). We is confident of returning next year and of making a big impact in 2018.
WR – Odell Beckham Jr, Julian Edelman and Allen Robinson
ODJ is only in his fourth NFL season but he’s already on course for Hall of Fame season. He just turned 25 and he already been to 3 Pro Bowls, has 38 career touchdowns and has over 4,400 receiving yards. He missed the start of this season but after returning he fractured his ankle which, along with Brandon Marshall’s injury, effectively ended the Giants’ season.
Julian Edelman is not only Tom Brady’s favourite target, but also clearly one of his boys off the field (check either of their Instagram’s for proof). He had a career season in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory and with all the talent they had this year, people were predicting a 2007 Patriots-esque offence. But Edelman completely tore his ACL in the preseason which devoid Brady of his favourite target. Doesn’t seem to have slowed them down one bit though.
Allen Robinson is underrated in my eyes. He is the best receiver that the Jaguars have but tore his ACL in Week One. He is scheduled to make a full return in 2018.
TE – Greg Olsen/Zach Miller
Greg Olsen has been the Panthers’ most dependable receiver for three years now as he’s reached over 1000 receiving yards in the last three seasons. He broke his foot in Week 2 and the recovery time should be 6-8 weeks, which means he’ll hopefully return soon. Carolina’s season may depend on how healthy he is when he does return.
Olsen is the better player but I just wanted to give a special mention to Zach Miller who suffered a gruesome injury last week at the Saints. He dislocated his left knee but also tore his popliteal artery which resulted in him having leg-saving surgery that thankfully was successful and he has now been discharged from hospital. I wish him the swiftest of recoveries.
OT – Joe Thomas, Jason Peters
Joe Thomas is one of my favourite people on Twitter. If that is anything to go on, he would be a great person to get a beer with. On the field, he’s been a stalwart for a turbulent Cleveland Browns team over his 10 year career. As every NFL fan already knows, he had the longest snap streak in NFL history of 10,363 broken when he tore his triceps against the Titans. At least the Browns acknowledged the importance of Thomas as they have him a pay rise on November 4th.
Peters is another long time servant to the league and it was a massive blow for the Eagles when he tore his MCL and ACL in the Monday Night game against the Washington Redskins. For the Eagles to lose a 9 time Pro-Bowler who was having another Pro-Bowl season, it did have the look of an injury that might derail a season, but Carson Wentz and the rest of the offence showed they are good enough to absorb that injury with their absolute beatdown of the Broncos.
OG – Marshal Yanda, Mike Iupati
The Baltimore Ravens have a terrific record of drafting offensive linesman and turning them into stars, with Marshal Yanda being a good example. The 6 time Pro-Bowler is a fantastic run blocker and after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in mid-September, the Ravens have really struggled to run the ball.
Iupati is another Pro-Bowl linemen that is possibly out for the season having been placed on IR with a triceps injury a month ago. He’s been the best linemen in a poor group for the Cardinals and his injury corresponded with Carson Palmer breaking his arm, effectively ending the Cardinals’ season.
C – Ryan Khalil
Yet another Pro-Bowler who is out. The Panthers’ offensive line hasn’t looked the same since he’s been out and this has affected the running game there. Both Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart are averaging 2.9 yards an attempt which are joined for the worst in the league. He could be back soon and Cam Newton and company will hope he aids the struggling running game.
Can you sense the frustrating theme of the NFL season so far?
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