Adding Insult to Injury: 10 Injured NFL Players Who May Suffer in 2010
As fans of the game, watching a star player go down injured is never a very happy event.
Last season saw many big-name stars fall victim to the injury bug. If it wasn't Al Harris' early injury that left Packer fans missing their star cornerback, it was Wes Welker's devastating knee injury toward the end of the season.
So now that we are entering a new season, and more importantly a new decade, how should we expect these unfortunate players to perform?
Well, although their recovery has been either speedy or slow, many may be affected performance-wise this season.
Who made the list? It isn't one that I enjoy filling out, but here's a look at 10 NFL players who may suffer this season due to their injuries.
- Jay Ratliff
- Shaun Rogers
- Steve Slaton
- Kenny Phillips
- Walt Harris
- Derek Schouman
10. Nate Washington - Tennessee Titans
Injury: Sprained Wrist
So far, Nate Washington's injury hasn't been talked about very often. Fortunately, he has only sprained his wrist, and is expected to miss no more than an extra couple of days training camp.
"If it was a game week, it would be a totally different story," Washington said. "But it's still early. We've got a lot done in these OTAs, so we just want to make sure everything is fine. We've been taking it slow with the sprain."
Luckily for Titans fans, Nate's injury has been taken as a precautionary measure. He won't miss any game time, and is more or less definite to participate in Titans training camps.
Well there isn't one really, as long as Nate heals to 100 percent, and this injury doesn't become a repeat worry in the future for the Titans, then he should be just fine.
9. Santana Moss - Washington Redskins
Santana Moss's knee surgery has gone under the radar a little this offseason.
Fortunately for Redskins fans, Santana Moss is healing at a fairly steady rate from the surgery, and his recovery process has impressed the entire Washington Redskins staff.
However, with an injury that requires knee surgery, surely some concern does enter Santana Moss's mind, in regards to just how well he will perform this season.
Let's face it, Santana Moss hasn't been the most dominant wide receiver in the NFL. Sure he has been trustworthy and posted decent stats, but he has failed sometimes to remain at a consistent pace in terms of performance.
Therefore, an injury of this caliber could not only be season-changing for the Washington Redskins, it could also be career-changing for Santana Moss.
Like all surgeries these days, although the procedure may have been handled well, there is the slight chance that the injury may pop up again like a jack in the box.
So what can Santana Moss do to prevent this?
Well he needs to just work out slowly, and most importantly feel comfortable. The Redskins receiving corps isn't stacked right now, so Santana can not afford to go down again with a recurring injury.
Let's hope for Donovan McNabb's sake that Santana is 100 percent healthy for September; otherwise, some more concerns will arise in the passing game.
8. Brett Favre - Minnesota Vikings
In case you've been living under a rock recently, Brett Favre has undergone successful ankle surgery this offseason.
Funnily enough, this has been the only big headline we've heard from Brett Favre, however it is big news in light of Brett Favre's still pending decision.
The issue with Brett's injury is his age. Now officially the oldest player in the NFL, having a small injury to such a vital part of his body could prove costly to the Vikings' passing game.
Seeing as though Brett has driven forward in the face of adversity many times in his career, realistically this injury won't hold him back too much.
With that said though, it could affect his pending "to play or not to play" decision, and whether or not he is really up to the toll that another season of football would have on his body.
For the Vikings as a team, Brett's ankle injury is a concern, but not an overly dramatic one. The most important thing right now for the Vikings is Brett Favre's arm, and as long as that is holding up, everything should be okay.
7. Leon Washington - Seattle Seahawks
Injury: Right leg
As promising as the Seattle Seahawks' offseason campaign has been, something negative has struck finally this franchise.
It appears that running back Leon Washington now has what is labeled as a "minor leg injury," and is making a speedy recovery in time for Seattle's organized training camps.
In recent years, Seattle has notably struggled with running backs. Shaun Alexander left, and although Julius Jones still remains in the Seattle system, he is far from the fabulous running back that Seattle fans would love to have.
Therefore, Leon Washington's leg injury should be taken cautiously. If his leg does indeed heal, it is important for him to gradually edge himself back into the game.
I'm not saying it would be totally wrong to put him in a goal-line situation, however, if it is only preseason football, then there is no need to risk a possibly torn tendon or pulled muscle.
The concern is low right now, but as we have seen in past years, these small injuries can go south very fast. Leon Washington is still very young, so let's hope that he is taking it easy right now.
6. Kellen Winslow - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
To add to the list of notable players that haven't shown up to mandatory mini-camp, Kellen Winslow has now added himself to the list of coaching concerns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I think you'll agree. In 2009, the Bucs passing game looked pretty good. Young quarterback Josh Freeman seemingly has a very strong future, and the Bucs' young wide receiver game had finally stepped up.
Now though, it seems that Tampa Bay has taken two steps forward and one step back this offseason.
Yes, Kellen Winslow's knee injury is still a concern. Luckily for Tampa Bay fans, Kellen's minor knee surgery was a success, however from a team perspective, the Bucs staff feels it necessary to rest Kellen before the start of the season.
Luckily, Kellen should be good to go this season. He may be missing some OTAs, but his knee has healed, and is looking stable.
The only concern for Kellen is of course the extent of the injury. It may seem minor now, but what happens if Kellen lands awkwardly, and adds a little salt to an already open wound?
It's a question I don't like to answer, but let's just say, it wouldn't be a great scene to watch.
All I'm saying is, please Kellen, take care. Tampa Bay's passing game should be exciting to watch this season, and if it was missing one of their best wide receivers, then it simply wouldn't be the same.
5. Steve Smith - Carolina Panthers
Injury: Broken arm
I always thought that players took better care of their bodies in the NFL offseason.
It seems though, that Steve Smith has risked everything, all for a friendly game of flag football. Personally, I can't blame Steve Smith, after all flag football is a fantastic game, but was it really worth a broken arm?
I'd say no. However, this is the reality that the Panthers need to live with.
Fortunately for all of us, Steve Smith did only break his arm. Of course, the usual six week healing process has already begun, but it may affect Steve's catching ability a little this season.
Speaking from experience, I know just how weak an arm can become after it's broken. Throw in the factor that an NFL quarterback is lobbing passes at you, yeah I'd say that Steve may feel a little pain now and again.
Realistically, this isn't a huge injury. After all, people break their arms every day and recover just fine. But it may just cause a few headaches for the Panthers in OTAs.
4. Brandon Marshall - Miami Dolphins
When I first heard the news that Brandon Marshall had left out the juicy detail of his hip surgery when signing with the Miami Dolphins, I did find it quite humorous that most people considered this a big deal.
Now though, my mind has changed, as I recognize the concern that lays with an injury of this extent.
In recent weeks, we've seen the happy side to Brandon Marshall. He's been pleasant while cycling on the exercise bike, and seems to have a new outlook on his career now that he is with Miami.
However, as great as it is to see Brandon with a smile on his dial, the concern with hip surgery is quite major.
For those with grandparents who have had hip surgery, you'd know what I'm talking about. It can be a recurring problem, and it only takes a hard hit or heavy knock to shift it into an awkward position.
Now I know what you're thinking, "Brandon is a young guy, there is no chance of this happening."
Although that's right, considering that he is going to be engaging in the Wildcat formation this season, he best be ready for some of the best cornerbacks in the game to teach him a thing or two about hard knocks.
As a fan, I wish Brandon all the best. He's a great wide receiver, and I enjoy watching him. People need to realize the extent of this surgery, as it may come back to haunt Brandon very soon.
3. Al Harris - Green Bay Packers
Injury: Left knee
Ever since I can remember, I've been an Al Harris fan. His tackling ways always reminded me of an old western movie—the way he ropes up his defenders.
Nowadays, Al Harris has taken a turn for the worse. His left knee has been a problem since the day he was injured, and it seems no amount of rehab is going to fix the problem.
Recently, head coach Mike McCarthy told the press that Al Harris isn't expected to return to Green Bay's training camp.
It's sad news, and quite devastating news for the Packers defense. Although the Packers did manage without trusty old number 31, he will be sorely missed if he is yet again absent in 2010.
For the game's sake, I hope Al gets better. He is a fantastic cornerback, and for all that he has given the league, he doesn't deserve to go out this way.
2. Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons
I think you'll agree that the Atlanta Falcons sorely missed Michael Turner in 2009. Their run game was gone, and unfortunately, the Falcons struggled offensively at times.
Finally though, Michael Turner is now 90 percent healthy. His ankle is stable, and more importantly he is ready to prove something this season.
"I'm definitely out to prove that I'm not a one-year wonder," Turner said. "I want to keep putting back-to-back seasons together."
As good of news as this is for Falcons fans, a running back like Michael Turner could be destined for a recurring injury.
Playing the running back position notably takes a toll on your body, and if you ask Tiki Barber why he retired, he will give you that reason exactly.
Therefore, Michael may be in for a lean year. Hopefully the injury bug doesn't bite him again, but if his ankle is the slightest bit tender, it may affect his performance.
Michael, like Frank Gore, is a power running back. He strives on holes created by the offensive line, and drives through them like a pitchfork. Throw an ankle injury into this mix, and we may not see the same explosive Michael Turner we saw in 2008.
1. Wes Welker - New England Patriots
I think most of the nation felt sorry for Wes Welker when he went down with a knee injury toward the end of the 2009 season.
Unfortunately for everyone, the bad news doesn't stop there, as it appears unlikely that Wes Welker will appear in the Patriots' opening game this season.
In Wes Welker's case, this type of a knee injury is difficult to overcome. Many analysts have predicted that Wes will miss the opening six weeks of the 2010 season, which is, of course, devastating to the New England Patriots.
More so, this is also devastating to Wes Welker. Not only is the rehab strenuous, he is also missing a large portion of the game, which could result in some serious fatigue when he does finally return.
For now though, let's focus on the knee injury. It is still on everyone's minds, and I think I speak for everyone in saying, let's hope this guy gets healthy very soon.
Not only is he great to watch, he is also a fantastic wide receiver. Until then, we'll have to hold our breath, I think the Wes Welker injury bug is still injecting its venom.