Happy kick-off, people! We’ve officially survived another long off-season. This morning’s list is meant to be a practical one as we head into a big Week 1. Below, you’ll find a list of the top ten injuries you should be aware before you place your bets this weekend.
1. St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley will not play in Week 1’s match-up. In fact, this week’s reports have suggested that Gurley likely won’t return until at least Week 4. I hate to see an SEC boy injured, so here’s hoping (for Rams fans’ sakes especially) that Gurley is back on the field sooner rather than later.
2. Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon. While Mathis will return early in the 2015 season, he is currently questionable for Week 1’s game against the Buffalo Bills. I’m not counting him out, fellow Indy football fans, but we’re just going to have to wait another couple of days and see what happens. Here’s hopin’.
3. Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy has been dealing with a hamstring issue since August 4. This week, though, the team said they believe McCoy will be “ready to roll” for Week 1’s game against the Indianapolis Colts (*gulp*). Do be aware, though, that the possibly of re-injuy is a concern in this case.
4. Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery has been dealing with a calf injury that has left him sidelined for the past month. The star returned to practice yesterday, but his status for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is unknown at this time. Even if Jeffery is on the field, he’s likely to be used in a limited capacity against a vicious Green Bay defense.
5. In other Packers/Bears news, Green Bay’s key WR Randall Cobb sustained a shoulder injury two weeks ago, but returned to the practice field yesterday. Cobb is officially listed as limited for Week 1, which could prove problematic for an offense that is already missing WR Jordy Nelson for the season. Never count-out Aaron Rodgers and Co., though.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans has been extremely limited in practice this week with a hamstring injury. Evans is a necessity for a Tampa Bay offense that has a shaky (at best) o-line and a rookie (sorry, Jameis, but it’s the truth) QB. Evans did not practice at all yesterday and his status for Sunday’s season opener is unknown.
7. Salsa dancing New York Giants WR Victor Cruz has recovered nicely from last year’s ruptured patella tendon. That’s the good news. The bad news? Cruz is now suffering from a calf strain that has kept him on the sidelines all week. Cruz is officially listed as questionable for Week 1, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Expect Eli Manning and Co. to be ready to go without #80.
8. Houston Texans RB Arian Foster recently underwent surgery to repair a torn groin muscle. Originally the workhorse RB was expected to miss two to three months of the NFL season. While Foster will certainly be sidelined for Week 1’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, fans can expect him back sooner rather than later. Foster’s camp is hoping he’ll be back on the field in a month.
9. The Cleveland Browns promising rookie RB Duke Johnson looked to be questionable for Week 1 after sustaining a concussion and a calf injury last month. Johnson, however, has been fully cleared to play in Sunday’s match-up against the New York Jets. Good news for once, Browns Nation!
10. Buffalo Bills WR Percy Harvin (you might remember him from his role in the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII win) is currently listed as day-to-day with a hip injury. I’m personally hoping Harvin stays on the sideline just for Week 1, but there’s been no official word from the club.