We’re in the second week of August and already there’s a plethora of NFL teams hit by the injury bug. Some players will be ready for the regular season while others have already kissed their 2013 seasons goodbye. Backup players will have new opportunities while seasoned players and coaches are already grumbling that the league is to blame for the high number of injuries.
Thanks to new 2011 rules, the NFL players’ union negotiated a cut in the amount of physical contact that players can have in the offseason. Offseason programs have been reduced by five weeks; practices are limited for full contact practices and OTAs have been cut, which has allowed players additional days off.
In other words, this has ensured the long-term health of players. But this appears to have resulted in numerous lower-body injuries this training camp, as noted by Business Insider. This has already been incurred by numerous key players and there’s too much time for additional injuries to occur.
Take a look at these season-ending injuries dominated by torn ACLs.
Aaron Berry (CB – New York Jets) – Berry started it all on the Jets’ first day of training camp (July 26) with a torn ACL.
Kelvin Haden (CB) and Turk McBride (DE) (Chicago Bears) – On Wednesday, the Bears announced that the desired heir apparent to former linebacker Brian Urlacher, Haden, tore his hammy last weekend and now he’s out for the season. Is this karma?
McBride went down on July 29 when he blew out his Achilles tendon.
Kenyon Coleman (DE) and Joe Morgan (WR) (New Orleans Saints) – Also on Wednesday, the announcement came by the Saints that Coleman is out for 2013 with a torn pectoral muscle and Morgan has suffered a torn left ACL.
Danario Alexander (WR) and Jason Mouton (LB) (San Diego Chargers) – Mouton went down early, on July 25, followed by Alexander’s same injury on Monday: torn ACLs.
Jeremy Maclin, Aurelios Benn (WRs) and Jason Phillips (LB) (Philadelphia Eagles) – Lots of change for this team in 2013. McBride started the torn ACL injury bug on July 29, followed by his two key wide receivers. Say hello to Riley Cooper and the team’s running backs as offensive weapons.
Bryan Bulaga (LT – Green Bay Packers) – Bulaga is down for the season with a torn ACL. The team is now concerned about quarterback Aaron Rodger’s protection and signed backup quarterback Vince Young this week.
Chris Culliver (CB – San Francisco 49ers) – Culliver barely started training camp before he tore his left ACL on August 1.
Armon Binns (WR – Miami Dolphins) – It was short training camp for Binns: He tore his ACL and MCL on July 28.
Dan Koppen (C – Denver Broncos) – Yep, torn ACL on July 28.
Dennis Pitta (TE – Baltimore Ravens) – Pitta has bucked the trend and went down on July 27 with a dislocated and fractured hip. He already underwent surgery but there’s no action for 2013.
So who’s next and what team will really be impacted by the injury bug?