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NFL Week One Injuries: So, Will Kyle Orton Be Standing at Season's End?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Aaron Kampman #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to tackle Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos during the NFL season opener game at EverBank Field on September 12, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Michael KellerAnalyst IIISeptember 16, 2010

Reading the NFL injury reports coming out of last week's game was like an admissions chart for an inner city ER on a Saturday night.

Almost every team lost major name players to either missed practice time or in some cases, to IR and the entire season. Even though Denver escaped this week with relatively minor scrapes and bruises, they still are banged up and missing key players.

A look at the Denver Bronco partial injury list from Wednesday reveals some disheartening news: LB Elvis Dumervil - out for season, RT Ryan Harris - Did not practice Wednesday, Uncertain, OL Kris Kuper - Did not practice Wednesday, Uncertain, WR Eddie Royal - Did not practice Wednesday, Uncertain.

If you look closely at that list, two veteran starting offensive linemen and a critical WR didn't practice Wednesday. Will they play Sunday, and if so, will they be at a hundred percent?

Plus our two top RBs played in their first game last week after missing all of training camp and looked rusty in spots and are still not at full recovery. Denver did sign RB Laurence Maroney from the NE Patriots, McDaniels old team. But he comes in as somewhat damaged goods with a thigh injury that may limit his practice time and availability for this week's game with the Seahawks.

Factor in the possible loss of Royal to a groin injury this week, who accounted for 8 catches for 98 yards. And groin injuries in a WR can be a tricky thing to heal completely during the season.

All of this doesn't bode well for QB Kyle Orton lasting throughout the season. He had two bad ankles most of last year that reduced his already limited mobility. 




Against JAX, he was sacked twice and hurried and/or hit 6 times. Multiply that physical abuse across sixteen regular season games and possible playoffs, and Mr. Orton's physical future looks a bit bleak.

Is he any more or less at risk than the other QBs in the league? Yes and no. With the patchwork offensive line in front of him, an injured key WR and a sub-par running game, he is at more risk than many of the other signal callers.

Does that mean he is the only one in the line of fire? No, as the speed and size of the defensive side of the ball increases, so does the chances for all QBs to go down.

But with neither backup QBs looking fully ready to step in in an emergency, this could be a long painful season for Orton, the team and the fans.

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