NFL 2010 Season Preview: The 10 Most Worrisome Preseason Injuries
Losing a player to injury is something that teams prepare for every offseason. When it happens, though, some teams are still underprepared for it.
After all, the backups are backups for a reason.
It's never comforting to lose a key player to injury, but it's a reality that some teams have to deal with every year.
Missing time during training camp and the preseason seems like the best time to do it, but that's a crucial period of warming up and getting back into the swing of the season that helps every player along.
Here's my list of 10 worrisome injuries this preseason.
10. Gibril Wilson
Wilson has taken a turn for the worse since posting a career-high four interceptions in 2007, but he had a lot to offer a Bengals secondary that severely lacks playmakers.
He won't get to offer anything, though, as he will likely miss the entire season after incurring damage to both the ACL and MCL in his left knee.
Wilson has become better known for his run defense over the years, but the Bengals could have even used him in that regard. Chinedum Ndukwe or Roy Williams may be asked to step up in his stead.
9. Limas Sweed
The Steelers' interior offensive line showed inconsistency in the 2009 season, and the Steelers ultimately showed less of a tendency to run as a result.
Although Maurkice Pouncey helps to address that issue, the fact remains that the Steelers were better equipped to pass with consistency, until trading away Santonio Holmes and losing Limas Sweed for the season.
Of course, they still have Grandpa Ward, and Mike Wallace has looked good both in 2009 and in the preseason, but the Steelers offense is running low on talented pass-catchers.
8. Donnie Avery
The Rams young wide receiver is just about the only one with any talent in the corps.
After Avery tore his ACL in the preseason game against the Patriots, Sam Bradford will have to get it done in 2010 without him.
One has to wonder how Bradford will fare without any threats at receiver and with a lackluster offensive line.
In his stead, the Rams are counting on veteran Laurent Robinson to make an impact for them.
Although it appears unlikely, if he and Bradford can quickly get on the same page, the two could hit stride together.
Robinson has yet to produce on the NFL level, though, so that appears a long shot at best.
7. Donovan McNabb
This injury could rank higher on the list if it were more serious. The foot injury leaves McNabb questionable for Week 1 against the Cowboys.
Still, the implications of this injury would frighten me if I were a Redskins fan.
Although he led the Eagles to five NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl appearance, McNabb developed a reputation for injury in between.
If McNabb can't stay healthy, it could be another long year in the nation's capital.
6. Calvin Pace
The former Cardinals outside linebacker turned Jets pass rush specialist logged eight sacks in 12 games for the Jets last year.
His presence is being counted on in a Jets defense that relies heavily on its ability to create pressure on the quarterback.
He will miss six games in 2010 with a broken foot.
The team is supposedly targeting Adalius Thomas, but the former Patriots linebacker took a turn for the worse in New England over the past three years.
A reunion with Rex Ryan may be just what he needs, but it may be too little, too late.
5. Ty Warren
The Patriots have lost one veteran after another over the past few years in every way imaginable: to free agency, trade, and retirement, and now to injury.
Ty Warren and the Patriots announced a few weeks ago that the former first-round pick would undergo hip surgery, putting him on injured reserve for the extent of the 2010 season.
With a lot of youth in back stock on the Patriots shelf and a couple of recent veteran additions, they will be calling upon a lot of new faces to step in and fill the void.
It could be easier said than done, or we may discover a new star in the Patriots defense. Who knows?
4. Percy Harvin
On Aug. 19, Percy Harvin collapsed due to a severe migraine, a recurring issue he has dealt with his entire life.
He was rushed to a hospital, and has since recovered, but continues to undergo a battery of tests to determine the source of the problems.
The Vikings have to be hoping, for both Harvin's sake and their own, that this is an issue they can control and keep suppressed.
If it poses a threat to his long-term health, though, I hope they'd make the right decision.
3. Ed Reed
After much deliberation, the Ravens put hallmark safety Ed Reed on the active/PUP list for the preseason, and if they don't take him off before the regular season begins, he'll be automatically ineligible for the first six weeks of the regular season. The Ravens would then get Reed back in October.
Even if they get him back, will he be the same physical specimen after recovering from a hip injury? The team has Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura who could potentially fill the void, but will either be the ball hawk or the team leader that Ed Reed became notorious for being all these years?
This is a team that is ready to win a Super Bowl this year; they need someone to step up and produce now.
2. Elvis Dumervil
The league's sacks leader in 2009 is sidelined with a pectoral injury that required surgery, and it's still uncertain if he'll even return for a snap in the 2010 season.
This is extremely saddening news for a team that was relying on him to be as productive as last year.
The situations is made even worse for Broncos fans with a few other injuries at outside linebacker depleting what depth they had remaining.
With Mike Nolan sent packing, it could be up to defensive coordinator Don Martindale to draw up the schemes for the defense to reach the quarterback.
1. Sidney Rice
I'm still confused. Can someone correct me if I'm wrong, but did Sidney Rice really wait eight months after injuring his hip to undergo surgery?
Was there ever any doubt it would need surgery? Did he realize it would take some time to recover from it?
The Vikings offense appeared fully loaded, with Rice, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shianco, Brett Favre, and of course Adrian Peterson manning the skill positions.
Now, with Rice out, and with Harvin experiencing violent migraines that threaten his playing time in 2010, the Vikings offense may be a shell of its former self.