The pre-season is lighting up the injuries board up and down the NFL, as rookies get their first taste of the big leagues, in the form of a 300lb lineman destroying their hope filled ribcage. The first weekend set of fixtures is done, and most of the top drafted players have seen a few downs. The results hardly set the world on fire, but then nobody expected them to. Shall we get started?
Bucs break Wentz
The Eagles brought out their brand new toy on Thursday of last week, and their line let him down. Tampa Bay took full advantage of this offensive weakness, and battered the early draftee. It turns out they may have hit him a little too hard, with a full scan revealing hairline fractures in the ribs, it looks like he may well spend more of the season on the sidelines than initially planned. Naughty Tampa Bay.
Osweiler may be struggling
The first game of the pre-season saw the Texans face off against the 49ers, and $72 million quarterback Brock Osweiler failed to show any of that value. Failing to get the ball far enough on most passes, resulting in some disappointing drives, and relying heavily on the running game to gain yards. In fairness, the 49ers had some heavy coverage going on in the corners, but with Osweiler being brought in to increase the length of the offensive range, you’d have expected some long balls. Nothing happening there. All I can say is that I genuinely hope he’s saving it all for the season.
Goff gets rattled
The Dallas Cowboys may be fielding an entire team of free agents, but their defence let the Rams know that they are still dangerous. Number one overall draftee Jared Goff took to the field on Sunday, and promptly got blitzed into hell. The Cowboys would not let the pressure up, and went after him so hard, that they were forcing interceptions and dropped catches left right and centre. It was clear that the pressure was too much for his first game in the NFL. In stark contrast, the Cowboys rookie quaarterback loved his time on the field, sitting behind one of the most offensive looking lineman corp in the league right now.
Horizon darkens for Cruz
2014: Knee injury, 2015: Calf injury, 2016: Groin Injury. Former target man Victor Cruz is falling down the rankings in New York, as the Giants wide reciever reports to camp with another injury. This time his groin is the reason for concern, and it puts him in jeopardy for another season. As mentioned previously on ICYMI, this could well be the beginning of the end for the veteran receiver. Could the Giants be looking to trade him in the next wave, and would there be a team willing to take a gamble on him?
Newton costs Panthers a TD
If I were A.J Klein, I would be furious right now. First quarter of the game, and the linebacker pulls in a bumped catch off of Darren Waller, then runs a freight train of blockers 95-yards down the field for a touchdown. Then you look to the sides and see a penalty being called. Cam Newton gets all excited, and runs on the field in celebration of a touchdown that hasn’t happened yet, automatically nullifying the touchdown with an illegal substitution penalty. The Panthers played it down in the aftermath, with Ron Rivera saying that these are the things that pre-season is for, as the NFL is cracking down on the breach of boundaries this season. Newton claimed there were lessons learned. I note there was no interview for Klein, I wonder why?
Enemkpali done for season
I.K. Enemkpali, the star of punching Geno Smith in the face over money, has torn his ACL in the pre-season game for the Buffalo Bills. This leaves another large gap in the linebacker position for the Bills, with Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland already out of the picture. It appears that he tore it on a pass rush after he planted his right leg awkwardly whilst trying to break through the line.