NFL Week 1 Overrated/Underrated Injuries

On September 4, 2014, in NFL, by Stephen

Welcome to my first of what will be a weekly Nover’s View on overrated/underrated NFL injuries for the week’s games. Here’s a look at five for Week 1.

Packers-Seahawks (Thursday)

Injury: Packers center JC Tretter out. Rookie Corey Linsley starts.

Perception: The Packers are in deep trouble playing at the toughest outdoor setting in the NFL against the league’s top defense with a rookie fifth-round pick.

Nover’s View: The Packers will be just fine. Linsley has arguably been the Packers’ most impressive draft choice based on performance during August. Tretter was hurt early giving Linsley time to work with the first team offense. He’s used to playing in front of big crowds having gone to Ohio State. Center is not a premium position in the NFL and the Packers operate a no-huddle offense thereby reducing the crowd factor.

Raiders-Jets (Sunday)

Injury: Jets cornerback Dee Milliner out. Antonio Allen starts.

Perception: The Jets are OK because the Raiders are starting rookie quarterback Derek Carr. The Jets are 7-3 against rookie quarterbacks under Rex Ryan since 2009.

Nover’s View: The Raiders could be live to spring an upset if Carr is as good as he looked during preseason. Even so, he has a far bigger arm than Matt Schaub and gives a vertical dimension – not a checkdown dimension – to Oakland’s offense. Allen is a converted safety who has never taken a snap at cornerback during the regular season. Allen isn’t the only worrisome area for the Jets in the secondary. They are extremely thin at cornerback. Darrin Walls is slated to start at the other corner spot. He’s made just four starts. Not only is Milliner out with a high ankle sprain, but Dexter McDougle is down with a torn ACL and veteran Dimitri Patterson went AWOL missing the team’s Aug. 22 preseason game. He then was kicked off the team.

Saints-Falcons (Sunday)

Injury: Falcons running back Steven Jackson in. Will start.

Perception: Jackson has mileage but still is a star.

Nover’s View: Jackson has had the misfortune to play on horrible Rams team and a terrible Falcons squad last season. Now he’s a go after missing most of training camp and all of the preseason games due to a hamstring injury. But Jackson isn’t a star. He’s 31, old for a running back, and averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per run last year. He hasn’t scored more than six touchdowns during any of the past five seasons. The Falcons would be better off gong with Florida State rookie Devonta Freeman instead of Jackson, who is on the downside and not 100 percent.

Panthers-Buccaneers (Sunday)

Injury: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has cracked ribs, but is expected to start.

Perception: The oddsmaker made a mistake by opening Carolina a favorite.

Nover’s View: Perception does meet reality as the Buccaneers are now the favorite. Newton has started each of Carolina’s games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2011. He’s a monster multi-talent. However, Newton probably is not going to be at 100 percent, was tinkering with wearing a flak jacket, lost all of his wide receivers from last season and has a rebuilt offensive line that no longer has linchpin left tackle Jordan Gross. It remains to be seen if right tackle Byron Bell has the necessary quickness to make the transition to left tackle. Center Ryan Kalil is very good, but Carolina’s right side of its offensive line looks vulnerable with rookie Trai Turner at guard and Nate Chandler, a converted defensive lineman, at tackle. The Panthers weren’t strong at wide receiver last year. They aren’t going to be strong this year either unless rookie Kelvin Benjamin does live up to the hype and he figures to draw double-teams. If Newton can’t go, the Panthers would start backup stiff Derek Anderson and the race would be on to get down on Tampa Bay before the Buccaneers have to lay more than a field goal.

Giants-Lions (Monday)

Injury: Giants linebacker Jon Beason has recovered enough from a broken toe suffered in June that he expects to play against the Lions maybe even in a full-time role.

Perception: Who cares.

Nover’s View: Beason was once a stud racking up 106 or more solo tackles from 2007-2009 for Carolina and making 89 solo tackles in 2010. Then he started getting hurt playing just a total of five games during 2011 and 2012. Beason was signed by the Giants last year and helped the Giants turn things around during the second half. Injuries have robbed Beason of being one of the top tackling machines in the league, but he still gives the Giants’ defense a fiery, veteran demeanor and upgrades their run defense. He’s still relevant.


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