NFL Week 6 Picks: Five Injuries That Could Cost Their Team a Game
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers sustained a concussion during the Packers week 5 matchup agains the Washington Redskins and will miss their next game. This is another big loss for the Packers, but this is also the life of the NFL.
Injuries make the NFL unpredictable. Every year a team comes out of nowhere to make the playoffs. On the other side, every year a "juggernaut" slips and misses the playoffs. This is often due to a key player going down injured. No one could predict who that will be every season, and nobody wants to.
The list of key players going down and ruining their teams chances is a long one. The 1999 New York Jets were said to be Super Bowl favorites, those hopes were ruined when QB Vinny Testerverde tore his ACL during week 1. The Patriots, Super Bowl contenders every year this decade, had their 2008 season ruined by a Tom Brady torn ACL suffered during week 1. The Steelers were undone by Troy Polamalu being in and out of the lineup last season.
Injuries are a week in week out thing in the NFL. No team comes through an entire season with everyone intact. The key for teams is how they overcome those injuries, do they simply patch the whole for a few weeks, or do they need a backup to step up big for the duration of the season?
Here are five injuries that could cost their teams games during week 6.
5. Darrelle Revis
Formet Jets LB Greg Buddle said during the pre-season "I'm worried that when Darrelle Revis signs his contract, he will rush to be ready for week 1, and like what happens with every player who holds out, they will end up tweaking a hamstring or getting a small nagging injury that could effect them all season."
Well Mr. Buddle that is exactly what happened to Darrelle Revis. Revis had a sore hamstring after the Jets week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He then strained the hamstring in the Jets week 2 win over the New England Patriots on Randy Moss' one-handed touchdown catch.
Revis sat out the next two weeks but raced to get back in time to face Moss again, this time as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Now it appears that the hamstring is acting up again and will force Revis to miss the Jets week 6 contest in Denver against the Broncos.
There is no doubt that right now the Jets are better then the Broncos, and they have faired well without Revis, winning both games that he missed, and holding Randy Moss to zero catches in the second half against New England. But before facing Baltimore in week 5, Denver had the best passing offense in football.
The Broncos are also historically a very tough game for the Jets, and have provided the Jets with typical trap game losses. Most recently in 2008 when the Jets were coming off back to back road wins against New England and the 10-0 Tennessee Titans.
Not that history matters for Head Coach Rex Ryan, who has set out to eliminate all the negativity around the Jets franchise and their fans. But the problem for the Jets is the Broncos have a very strong passing attack, and have a very strong home field advantage at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Last season with Revis the Jets were the #1 defense against the pass, and were a bit worse against the run. This season they have been great against the run, but have had some struggles in the secondary. Missing their best corner could be just one too many obstacles for the Jets in this one.
4. Michael Vick
Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid has already said Mike Vick will be the starter when he returns from injury. The problem for the Eagles is that the cracked ribs Vick suffered against the Redskins in week 4 are likely to keep him out of the Eagles trip to Atlanta in week 6.
Kevin Kolb played well in Vick's absence in the Eagles week 5 win in San Francisco, but there is a reason the Eagles chose Vick over Kolb when Kolb was hurt.
Vick provides a different dynamic then Kolb, and gives the Eagles multiple running threats. Right now the Falcons could be the hottest team in the league. According to ESPN.com's Gregg Easterbrook, the Falcons are averaging 17 more plays per game then their opponents, good teams usually average between five and 10 more plays then their opponents.
While everyone had San Francisco as a pre-seaosn favorite to not just come out of the NFC West, but to also make a lot of noise around the league, this has not been the case. They are a weak team, and that is why they are 0-5. Kolb narrowly beat a week team, and going against Atlanta will be a much different experience for him.
This is one game where the Eagles are going to wish they had Michael Vick under center.
3. Calvin Johnson
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson suffered a shoulder injury in the Lions week 5 rout of the St. Louis Rams. The Lions are hoping that Johnson will be able to practice at some point this week, but even that is far from a lock.
There is a chance that Johnson could still play Sunday even without practicing all week, but how effective could he be? The Lions are already missing Matthew Stafford, forcing them to go to battle with Shaun Hill, who has done a decent job of holding down the fort in Stafford's absence. Losing Johnson though, will give Hill a problem finding reliable options in the passing game.
This one is easy, the Lions are facing the hot New York Giants who are coming off of back-to-back wins against the fast-starting Chicago Bears, and everyone's darling Houston Texans. If Johnson can't play, the passing game will be very limited, which will make RB Jahvid Best's day much more difficult. Without Johnson, the Lions don't stand much chance at winning this game.
2. Brett Favre
Brett Favre is absolutely going to play in week 6 when the 1-3 Minnesota Vikings host the 1-3 Dallas Cowboys, a game that will surely end one of these two teams seasons.
Favre though, is playing with tendinitis in his throwing elbow. The problem, which he has admitted, is that the tendinitis is getting worse, not better. After the Vikings loss on Monday Night Football to the Jets, Favre said that physically this is the worst he has ever felt after four weeks of football.
During the second half of the game against the Jets, amid Favre late game rally, Favre was seen grabbing his elbow in pain after nearly every throw.
Tendinitis is only going to get better over time, not if Favre keeps playing with it. Favre is going to keep playing with it and therefore it will likely continue to get worse and give him pains every time he throws.
The Vikings don't really have any other option at quarterback, unless they really want to turn to Tavaris Jackson. Therefore they will stick with Favre. However it appears that age is finally beginning to catch up to the iron man of the NFL as his body may finally be breaking down.
It is difficult to say whether Favre will be able to overcome his elbow injury and lead the Vikings to victory.
1. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers could be the most important injury the NFL has seen so far this season. The Green Bay Packers, picked by many to be the NFC's representative in the Super Bowl, have just been dealt their second big blow of the season.
The Packers already lost RB Ryan Grant for the season during week 1 and have struggled since then. In week 5, QB Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game against the Washington Redskins with a concussion.
Though backup quarterback Matt Flynn said Rodgers was fine when the two played cards on the flight home, you never know with a concussion. The fact that Rodgers had to fly on a plane with a concussion could set him back some.
Even a minor concussion could have lingering affects for quite some time. How they affect Rodgers, could influence whether he plays against the Miami Dolphins or not. It could also affect, how effective he would be if he were to play.
If Rodgers cannot play against the Dolphins, the Packers will be without their starting quarterback and running back. They will be facing a very potent Miami team, coming off a bye week and before that, a blowout to division rivals the New England Patriots. Miami does not want to fall even further behind the Jets in the AFC East, and will come out strong looking to win this game.
If the Packers don't have Rodgers, they will have a tough time finding a way to win this one.