It was a costly week 2 for a few teams, including the 2-0 Atlanta Falcons and 1-1 Minnesota Vikings.
The Falcons, who beat the Green Bay Packers soundly on Sunday (34-23), may be without the services of LB Vic Beasley, who tweaked a hamstring. The third-year vet out of Clemson, who has four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in two games, could be lost for as much as a month.
Minnesota (1-1) got bad news before a loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday when it was learned that Sam Bradford’s twice surgically repaired knee had some swelling that precluded him from playing the Steelers. His timetable for return at this point is up in the air, with coach Mike Zimmer muddying the waters with this comment to reporters, “Sam is fine. He might play one game from now, he might play six weeks from now. Either way, he’s fine.”
Atlanta and Minnesota aren’t the only teams, by far, missing key players two weeks into the 2017 NFL season.
Here are each team’s most significant injured player, or players (updated in some cases or the same from the beginning of the season).
32. Arizona Cardinals – LB Deone Bucannon
One of the NFL’s top 10 defences will have to do without one of their more staunch defenders, for at least another week. LB Deone Bucannon was still listed as inactive for the Cardinals win over Indianapolis and may not be available for a week 3 clash with Dallas. Coach Bruce Arians has gotten good mileage out of replacements Josh Bynes (nine tackles, sack, two forced fumbles) and 2017 first round pick Haason Reddick. Reddick is third on the team with 15 tackles. Bucannon, one of the Cards most athletic backs, had 91 tackles and four pass defences in 13 games last year.
31. Atlanta Falcons – LB Vic Beasley Jr.
Up until this week the fortunate Falcons had have no significant injuries to their starters. But, with LB Vic Beasley expected to miss a month with a hamstring injury, the second and third-stringers will have to step-up in their 4-3 scheme. Beasley had two of Atlanta’s seven sacks, meaning Duke Riley will have to make up for that shortfall (he is the only reserve linebacker to play so far, recording 11 tackles). None of second and third string linebackers Jermaine Grace, Kemal Ishmael or Jordan Tripp has played yet, either.
30. Baltimore Ravens – CB Tavon Young
As of Sunday, the 2-0 Ravens were still making do in the defensive backfield without 2016 bright light Young, who had an outstanding rookie season for the eighth ranked Baltimore D. However, he tore his ACL during OTA drills way back in June and is lost for the season. The Temple product registered 53 tackles in 16 games last year for the Ravens, along with two interceptions and eight pass defences. For now, veteran CB Brandon Carr, picked up from the Dallas Cowboys, has taken Carr’s place on the left side and has performed admirable, recording five tackles, a team high six pass defences and two interceptions.
29. Buffalo Bills – DT Jerel Worthy And DE Shaq Lawson
Good thing for the Bills, who will be in tough again this season, they don’t have any premier players on injured reserve early in the year. But, in Sunday’s loss to Carolina, second year DE Shaq Lawson, who recorded his first sack of the season along with five tackles and a stuff, was lost to a nerve contusion. His status as of Tuesday was questionable, until he practices. One who is still in concussion protocol and still not practicing, is Worthy. The fourth-year pro and reserve defensive tackle out of Michigan State has missed all practices recently. Worthy appeared in 13 games for the Bills last year and recorded 12 tackles.
28. Carolina Panthers – TE Greg Olsen
The Panthers so-so pass attack just got a little sketchier this week. In their two tight end scheme, they lost premier TE Greg Olsen, who will have to undergo foot surgery and will miss 6-8 weeks. He caught one pass in the win over Buffalo on Sunday and had just three all year for 28 yards. The durable pass-catcher hadn’t missed a game in nine seasons and had three straight seasons of 1,000 or more yards between 2014 and 2016. Second year man Chris Manhertz, who has one career reception for 10 yards, will have to fill Olsen’s big shoes.
27. Chicago Bears – RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, CB Prince Amukamara And WR Cameron Meredith
The list of the walking wounded in the Windy City just keeps getting longer. Running back Jordan Howard, who had just seven yards on nine carries in the 29-17 loss to Tampa Bay, re-injured his shoulder and was seen in a sling afterward. His status for Week 3 is questionable. That just adds to the Bears offensive doldrums, as third year pro Cameron Meredith went down with an ugly injury to his knee in August and is lost for the season. Meredith, an unheralded receiver out of Illinois State, had a great year for the mediocre Bears in 2016, catching 66 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, starting CB Prince Amukamara has yet to play this season and is still nursing an ankle injury. Lastly, it is being speculated that sophomore LB Nick Kwiatkoski, who suffered a pectoral injury Sunday, might be lost for the season.
26. Cincinnati Bengals – TE Tyler Eifert And CB Adam Jones
Things went from bad to worse for the 0-2 Bengals this past week. In their 13-9 loss to Houston on Thursday, tight end Tyler Eifert suffered not one, but two injuries, one to his back and the other to a knee and he could be lost for their game with Green Bay this Sunday. The Bengals, who haven’t scored a touchdown yet this year, will miss his penchant for scoring in the red zone (18 TD in the last two years). Otherwise, starting right cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, who missed the first game of the season on a suspension, suffered a right arm injury in the loss to Houston and his status is also questionable.
25. Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, WR Corey Coleman And LB Jamie Collins
The 0-2 Browns, who are still sorting out all kinds of issues with player personnel, got a little good news this week. Stud defensive end and first overall pick Myles Garrett, who suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain earlier this season, could start practicing this week. Not having him in the line-up in two straight losses has been frustrating but if he can make it back, the Browns have a chance to beat hapless Indianapolis this weekend. Over on offence, WR Corey Coleman, who has one of Cleveland’s two receiving TDs, suffered a hand injury and is on injured reserve (most likely until Nov. 12). Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. was concussed on a play during the 24-10 loss to Baltimore on Sunday and his status is unknown.
24. Dallas Cowboys – CB Nolan Carroll II, CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Orlando Scandrick And LB Anthony Hitchens
If reports out of Big D are true, a team that surrendered 380 yards and five touchdowns will have a very depleted secondary come a Week 3 match-up with Arizona. With LB Anthony Hitchens, already missing as many as eight weeks with a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee, the Cowboys have three cornerbacks out due to various ailments and varying lengths of time. Veteran Nolan Carroll II suffered a concussion in the horrid loss to Denver and is considered day-to-day. Rookie Chidobe Awuzie, who has four tackles this season, has a hamstring injury and is also day-to-day. Lastly, veteran Orlando Scandrick (two tackles), didn’t play Sunday due to a hand injury and is also questionable.
23. Denver Broncos – RB Devontae Booker, QB Paxton Lynch, OT Garrett Boles, WR Bennie Fowler III, CB Bradley Roby And TE Jeff Heuerman
Second year running back Devontae Booker (Utah), who had surgery on a broken wrist in July and has yet to play, will have plenty of company on the sidelines in the near future. The Broncos big win over Dallas on Sunday came at a pretty steep cost, with several first and second-stringers going down. Lynch, who was expected to challenge for the starting QB job, is still out with a shoulder injury. OT Boles, a highly touted 2017 first round pick out of Utah, suffered high ankle sprain and bone bruise and is expected to miss a couple of starts. WR Fowler III and TE Heuerman, both back-ups, are gone for varying lengths of time to a concussion (Fowler) and shoulder injury (Heuerman). Roby, who had seven tackles, three pass defences and an interception, injured his foot against Dallas and is day-to-day.
22. Detroit Lions – DE Kerry Hyder, LB Jarrad Davis And CB Teez Tabor
The Lions, as many expected, are 2-0 and rolling. However, if leading tackler and starting middle linebacker Jarrad Davis is out with a concussion, they will be in tough to remain undefeated. The athletic rookie out of Florida left Monday night’s win over the New York Giants and is being evaluated. He had 15 tackles and a sack in his first two NFL games. Tabor, also drafted in 2017, is second to Nevin Lawson on the depth chart and has yet to play since suffering a hamstring injury in training camp. Undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2014, Hyder broke through for the Lions, making 36 combined tackles and adding eight sacks (most on the team) and a pass defence in his first season in the league. But, as bad luck would have it, Hyder tore his Achilles tendon in the Lions pre-season opeener and is out for the whole season.
21. Green Bay Packers – OT Bryan Bulaga, OT David Bakhtiari, CB Davon House, S Kentrell Brice
The Packers, to their good fortune, didn’t really have many significant injuries to starters early in the season. The only one who was not be cleared for play was veteran offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is still out. Sitting with him now, and leaving Aaron Rodgers to the wolves (he was sacked three times in the loss to Atlanta on Sunday) was fellow veteran OT David Bakhtiari, who was out with a hamstring and is day-to-day. It was bad news for the Packers’ secondary too, as veteran CB Davon House left Sunday’s game with a quad injury, as did second-year safety Kentrell Brice (groin). Both may be questionable for this weekend’s game against Cincinnati.
20. Houston Texans – WR Will Fuller V, TE Stephen Anderson, TE Ryan Griffin And CB Kevin Johnson
The Texans, who barely scraped by the deplorable Cincinnati Bengals last week, will still be without breakout wide receiver Will Fuller V as well as tight ends Stephen Anderson and Ryan Griffin. Sophomore Anderson is the only one of the three to have caught a pass this season. Fuller V, who snared 47 passes for 635 yards and two TDs in his rookie season, is rehabbing a collarbone injury and could be back soon. Griffin, who also broke out in 2016 (442 yards, two TDs), has a concussion but the team is hopeful he can return this week. Cornerback Johnson is out four to six weeks with a sprained knee.
19. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck, LB Antonio Morrison, CB Vontae Davis And FS Darius Butler
His is the biggest name on any injured list and the Colts will truly be in tough the longer QB Andrew Luck spends on the injured list with a sore right shoulder — which isn’t good news considering he just had it surgically repaired in January. So, when the Colts host Cleveland on Sunday, Jacoby Brissett will probably be calling the plays behind center again. The Colts, who are the second worst defensive team in the AFC, points against wise, could be without a trio of starters for the game against fellow winless Browns. Sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison (one game, four tackles) is nursing an elbow injury, while veteran CB Vontae Davis, who hasn’t played yet, is questionable with a groin injury. Butler (one game, three tackles), in his ninth season, has a hamstring injury and is day-to-day.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars – RB T.J. Yeldon and DT Malik Jackson
The Jaguars got thumped by Tennessee Sunday and with it, lost durable veteran DT Malik Jackson to an injured groin. Jackson had five tackles and a sack in two games before injuring himself against the Titans and will be out for an indefinite period. For the second game in a row Sunday, the Jags were also without dual threat RB T.J. Yeldon. The Alabama product and third down specialist rolled up 777 all-purpose yards in 2016 (465 rush, 312 pass) and scored two touchdowns. Yeldon is dealing with a hamstring injury that dogged him pretty much all summer and kept him out of the Jags’ first two games.
17. Kansas City Chiefs – SS Eric Berry
So far, the season-ending injury to veteran SS Berry (torn Achilles tendon) hasn’t hurt the 2-0 Chiefs. A MRI confirmed it and the three-time First Team All-Pro is done for the season. Berry had seven tackles in the Chiefs big 42-27 triumph over defending champion New England in Week 1 before suffering the injury in the fourth quarter. What this means is that the Chiefs will have to rely on fourth-year pro Daniel Sorensen. Fear not, Chiefs fan, Sorensen was pretty darn good in the victory over the Chiefs on Sunday, registering six of his season total nine tackles.
16. Los Angeles Chargers – OG Forrest Lamp, LB Denzel Perryman and CB Jason Verrett
The relocated Chargers lost a couple of key contributors early on this year and for the most part have struggled to a 0-2 record. First, 2017 second round pick and projected starting left offensive guard Forrest Lamp was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Then, the Chargers defensive backfield was dealt a blow when third-year LB Denzel Perryman sustained an ankle injury in the team’s first pre-season game. Perryman had to have surgery on it and could be out as many as 10 weeks. He was solid in 12 games last year, recording 72 tackles, an interception and two sacks. The latest to go down was first string right cornerback Jason Verrett, who hurt his knee earlier this season and is still out indefinitely.
15. Los Angeles Rams – DT Dominique Easley, TE Gerald Everett, RB Malcolm Brown And CB Kayvon Webster
The Rams had only one notable player on injured reserve early in the year, he being DT Dominique Easley, who came to the forefront as a rotational defensive lineman in L.A. last year after being a back-up in New England for two seasons before that and tore his ACL for the third time early in training camp. However, the 1-1 Rams, who lost to Washington on Sunday, had a trio of players go down. Rookie TE Gerald Everett, first on the team in receiving yards with 134, has a thigh injury and has been held out of practice. Also not practicing this week are back-up running back Malcolm Brown (hamstring) and starting right cornerback Kayvon Webster (shoulder).
14. Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill And LB Lawrence Timmons
Good thing for the Fish and starting QB Jay Cutler that Hurricane Irma forced the postponement of the Dolphins week 1 clash with Tampa Bay. Cutler and the gang seemed well rested as they beat the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 in their first game Week 2. Prior to Cutler being anointed starter for the 2017 season, the Dolphins were left scrambling when Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL and opted for season-ending surgery earlier in the pre-season. It was the same knee he hurt late in the 2016 season, unfortunately. The veteran Timmons, meanwhile, didn’t start against the Chargers and was scheduled to meet with doctors on Monday for personal reasons.
13. Minnesota Vikings – QB Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford is out for a little while and without him against Pittsburgh on Sunday, it showed. Back-up Case Keenum threw for just 167 yards and no touchdowns, while the rest of the offensive unit was either ineffective or under-utilized. Bradford, who is said to have a bone bruise and some swelling on his knee, will be re-evaluated after seeing how it responds to an injection. He was great in his first start this season (346 yards, three touchdowns) and was gathering steam in the last two seasons previous. He had a career high 3,877 yards passing and 20 TDs (against just five INTs) in his first season with Minnesota in 2016.
12. New England Patriots – LB Dont’a Hightower, WR Danny Amendola, WR Julian Edelman And WR Phillip Dorset
The Patriots got back into winning ways on Sunday, whipping New Orleans, and did it without WR Danny Amendola (concussion and knee) as well as LB Dont’a Hightower (knee). Amendola has no time-table for return until concussion protocols and Hightower may return as early as this week, to practice at least. Of course, the Pats were already without the services of formidable WR Julian Edelman, lost for the season due to a season-ending ACL injury. The wide receiver corps took another hit in Sunday’s win when third-year man Phillip Dorsett was forced out of the game with a knee injury. He had three catches for 68 yards in two games.
11. New Orleans Saints – OT Terron Armstead And CB Delvin Breaux
Both the Saints ability to protect their quarterback and their ability to knock down or intercept opposition QB’s pass attempts have been severely diminished heading into week 1. Left tackle Terron Armstead tore his labrum before training camp and may yet return to provide his superior pass-blocking skills to Drew Brees this season. In the interim, rookie Ryan Ramczyk will get a baptism of fire at that position. Then, earlier this pre-season, the Saints best corner and great locker room presence Delvin Breaux was shut down with a fractured leg. There was a lot of controversy surrounding his injury, including a misdiagnosis that cost two team doctors their jobs.
10. New York Giants – LB Keenan Robinson And CB Janoris Jenkins
The 0-2 Giants sure could have used sixth-year man Robinson on Monday night against Detroit. Robinson is concussed and was held out against the Lions. The Texas product registered 83 tackles in 16 games last year and his spot will be filled by sixth-year man J.T. Thomas (who was injured on Monday as well). The veteran Jenkins was also held out of Monday’s disappointing loss to Detroit with ankle and hand injuries and is expected to draw back in for a huge game against Philadelphia this week.
9. New York Jets – WR Quincy Enunwa
Josh McCown’s likely last stand as a NFL quarterback has begun without one key weapon in his arsenal of receivers. The Jets, who expected fourth-year receiver Quincy Enunwa to be a go-to guy in an inexperienced receiving corps, was lost for the 2017 campaign with a neck injury. Enunwa caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns in 2016 and figured to get a ton of targets as the top receiver this season. In his stead, veteran Jermaine Kearse has been the best of a mediocre bunch for a 0-2 Jets team, catching 11 passes for 123 yards and the only two receiving TDs on the team.
8. Oakland Raiders – CB Sean Smith
Raiders fans can breathe easier knowing that the injuries to star players Sebastian Janikowski and Khalil Mack weren’t season-ending. The two had early season nagging injuries that kept them out of practices only. Otherwise, the 2-0 Raiders really don’t have a major injury to a starter, with only second string cornerback Sean Smith out day-to-day with a neck injury. The nine-year veteran played in Week 1 against Tennessee and recorded two tackles in the 26-16 victory.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – S Jaylen Watkins And S Rodney McLeod
The Eagles, for the most part, were quite healthy until after Week 2. The Eagles dropped a close 27-20 game to the Kansas City Chiefs but in the process lost a significant portion of their defensive backfield. Safeties Jaylen Watkins and Rodney McLeod both sustained hamstring injuries and are questionable for this Sunday’s match-up against division rival New York Giants. McLeod, in his sixth season, had six tackles in two games before going down. Fourth-year man Watkins had five tackles before his hamstring gave out on him too. That leaves third-stringer Chris Maragos to back up starters Malcolm Jenkins and Corey Graham.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers – TE Jesse James, LB T.J. Watt And DE Stephon Tuitt
The Steelers, who are 2-0 and headed to Chicago this weekend, could find themselves shorter on manpower than they would like. First, starting TE Jesse James sustained an ankle injury and is questionable for the contest against the Bears. James had 10 catches in two games for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Add to that the fact his back-up, Vance McDonald, is nursing a back injury and is also questionable. The defensive front could be without right defensive end Stephon Tuitt (biceps) and key first year man T.J. Watt may be missing from the Steelers 3-4 set-up. Watt has been the Steelers most dynamic defender, registering nine tackles, two sacks, two pass defences and an interception.
5. San Francisco 49ers – FS Jimmie Ward And SS Eric Reid
Fourth-year starter Ward has played Sunday against Seattle but re-aggravated a hamstring injury and is questionable for the 0-2 Niners tilt against division rival Los Angeles Rams (1-1) Thursday night. Ward started 10 of 11 games in 2016 and posted good numbers, including 53 tackles, a sack, an interception and 12 pass defences. Adding to the 49ers misery is a left knee injury to starting strong safety Eric Reid. He was in and out of San Francisco’s 12-9 loss to Seattle and has been declared out for this week’s game. Red was third on the team in tackles with 12 through two games.
4. Seattle Seahawks – TE Jimmy Graham, WR Paul Richardson and OT George Fant
The Seahawks offence, particularly in pass-catching took a significant hit this past weekend. First, starting tight end Jimmy Graham fell awkwardly in a win over San Francisco and injured his ankle. He has seen limited targets this season but should be ably replaced by Luke Willson. The other injury of consequence was an ugly finger injury to receiver Paul Richardson, which makes him questionable for the Seahawks game in Tennessee Sunday. Richardson was second on the team in receiving yards with 78 and had their lone TD reception. Otherwise, the season-ending knee injury to starting left tackle Fant hasn’t been good for QB Russell Wilson, who has been sacked six times already after ending up on the turf 123 times in the past three seasons.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Kwon Alexander
The Bucs (and opponent Miami) got a reprieve neither team wanted this week when their week 1 match-up was postponed in advance of Hurricane Irma’s land-fall. They went out and whipped the Chicago Bears 29-7. However, starting linebacker Kwon Alexander could be out for this week’s match-up in Minnesota after he suffered a hamstring injury. The third-year vet was a tackling machine in 2016, with 145, along with 3.0 sacks. He had one tackle and an interception on Sunday against Chicago before leaving the game with his injury.
2. Tennessee Titans – WR Corey Davis And WR Taywan Taylor
The Titans are a little thin at wide receiver, given that Harry Douglas has been sidelined all season, followed by the losses of Corey Davis (hamstring) and Taywan Taylor (ankle) who were both injured in the big 37-16 triumph over Jacksonville this past weekend. Rookie sensation Davis is third in receiving yards with 73, while fellow freshman Taylor sat fourth with 56 yards receiving, including a team high 42-yard reception. Both are questionable for this Sunday’s contest against visiting Seattle.
1. Washington Redskins – DB Josh Norman, SS Deshazor Everett, RB Rob Kelley, TE Jordan Reed And LB Mason Foster
The Redskins are coming off a big win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, which evened their record at 1-1. They also have a tall task this Sunday night, when the powerful 2-0 Oakland Raiders come calling. And they may have to face the Raiders without starters like running back Rob Kelley (ribs), TE Jordan Reed (chest) cornerback Josh Norman (shoulder) and linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder). They are all questionable. Foster, Everett and Norman were second-third-fourth in tackles with 15, 10 and 9, respectively. Foster had an interception and Norman a team high three pass defences. Second year running back Kelley had 108 yards on 22 carries before his injury, while TE Reed was second in receiving yards with 84 (on 11 receptions).