Seven NFL Week 2 Injuries to Monitor

On September 12, 2013, in NFL, by Stephen
Jairus Byrd (Bills): Byrd is a very good free safety, but he’s battling plantar fasciitis in both feet. It kept him out of Buffalo’s opener against New England and it’s likely to keep him out of Sunday’s game versus Carolina. Byrd’s absence causes the Bills to deal with a cluster injury problem in their secondary as cornerback Stephen Gilmore also is sidelined. Cam Newton should test the Bills’ secondary with his big arm, especially having a top deep threat in Steve Smith. That’s not a given, however, due to the brain dead Carolina coaching staff of Ron Rivera and new offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who believe Newton should run less and throw shorter while DeAngelo Williams gets more carries. That brilliant formula resulted in the Panthers scoring all of seven points at home last week against Seattle.

Champ Bailey (Broncos): Bailey is a 15-year veteran and potential Hall of Fame cornerback who is slowing down at 35 and sat out last week’s victory against the Ravens with a foot injury. The Broncos didn’t miss him. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did an excellent job replacing Bailey. He might even be an upgrade considering Bailey’s advanced age. The Broncos, though, will need both players as they face a stronger passing attack taking on the Giants. New York’s Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Reuben Randle are among the best trio of wideouts in the NFL.

Seahawks defensive ends Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons:
It’s scary to think how dominant the Seahawks’ defense is going to be when these two excellent pass rushers join the fray after missing the opener. Avril is averaging just under 10 sacks per season during the last three years. He’s been out with a hamstring injury. Clemons had the fifth-most sacks in the AFC last year with 11 1/2. He’s recovering from knee surgery and missed Seattle’s opening win against the Panthers.Dez Bryant (Cowboys): I’m sure Bryant is going to play. The question is how effective will he be with a foot sprain. The sprain is said to be mild. Despite going against a vulnerable Giants secondary, Bryant caught just four passes for a piddly 22 yards. Bryant is a great talent, but he’s not the second-best wide receiver in the NFL as some people think. I would take A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Andre Johnson, Julio Jones and of course Calvin Johnson over him.

Michael Oher (Ravens): Oher could be the Ravens’ best offensive lineman. He suffered an ankle injury against the Broncos last Thursday. Oher, however, practiced in full on Wednesday and is expected to keep his string of never having missed a game since being drafted in the first round in 2009.

Carl Nicks (Buccaneers): Nicks, a two-time Pro Bowler when he played for New Orleans, is one of the best guards in the NFL, but he’s been out due to a staph infection. He was replaced in Week 1 by former Bears No. 1 draft pick bust Gabe Carimi, who showed why the Bears no longer wanted him. Nicks practiced on Wednesday for the first time since mid-August. Nicks probably will see action, but how effective will he be? He missed half of last season with a toe injury and has yet to play with fellow stud guard Davin Joseph. Drew Brees was quoted as saying Nicks is a complete guard and a great player. Maybe Nicks is just what struggling Josh Freeman needs.

Andrew Whitworth (Bengals): Whitworth is an underrated offensive left tackle. He missed Cincinnati’s opening loss with a knee injury. That ended his streak of 67 straight starts. Andy Dalton sure could use him, but it’s more likely Whitworth returns in Week 3 against Green Bay than on Monday night against Pittsburgh. Andrew Collins replaced Whitworth against the Bears. It was his first start at left tackle since 2008. He held over-the-hill Julius Peppers to no sacks. The Bengals’ offensive line pass blocked well against the Bears. However, their run blocking wasn’t as good as Cincinnati could rush for just eight yards on six carries during the final 30 minutes.


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