NFL News: Kris Jenkins, Dallas Clark, and The All Injured-Reserve Team
The 2010 NFL season has seen an inordinate amount of season-ending injuries occur.
While some players were done for the year before the first official week of play, others like TE Dallas Clark had their season cut short after leaving it all on the field.
With the exception of DeAngelo Williams and the mess that is the Carolina Panthers team, every member on this list is being sorely missed by their respective squads.One wonders what could have been had they been able to stay healthy.
Mark Clayton, WR, St. Louis Rams
After being cast out of Baltimore, Clayton was beginning to shine with QB Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams.
Establishing himself as the No. 1 receiving option in the offense, Clayton was making highlight-type plays on a regular basis and had the Ravens' front office in fits about his departure.
Unfortunately, Clayton saw his season abruptly end in Week 5 when he tore his patellar tendon in the first quarter of action. With the chance to eclipse 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, Clayton will try to rehab and prove his early season success was no fluke in 2011.
Leigh Bodden, CB, New England Patriots
It's not like mastermind Bill Belichick had undrafted corner Kyle Arrington slated to start during the preseason.
After re-establishing his worth as a legitimate starter in his first season with the Patriots, Bodden was being counted on to be an integral piece in an otherwise young secondary this season. It hasn't exactly worked out that way.
A torn rotator cuff ended his 2010 campaign before it even got under way, and the veteran has been sorely missed. Hopefully, Bodden can play with the same level of effectiveness when he returns to the gridiron.
Cedric Griffin, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Averaging over 80 tackles during the last three seasons, it's clear that Griffin has been sorely missed by the Vikes.
Although most of the team's problems may lie on the offensive side of the rock, the defense hasn't been as strong as many had predicted. Furthermore, the secondary has regularly gotten exposed, most recently by Greg Jennings and his three touchdowns.
While Griffin probably couldn't improve the team's win-loss record by much, his presence on the field certainly wouldn't hurt their chances.
Aaron Kampman, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
There weren't a lot of people who took notice, but Kampman was making a major stamp in the Jags' improved defense.
A career member of the Green Bay Packers, the powerful defensive lineman was really making his presence felt. It's a tough break for both sides, as the Jags made a sizable free agent investment in him and Kampman had provided solid, steady veteran leadership.
Coming off consecutive ACL tears in both knees over the last two seasons, Kampman will have to prove that his explosiveness hasn't been completely sapped.
DeMeco Ryans, LB, Houston Texans
With well over 100 tackles each season he's been in the NFL, Ryans' consistency and abilities to contribute are hardly in question.
Unfortunately for the Texans, he won't get that chance this season. An unbelievable talent, Ryans suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Week 6 against the Chiefs. A very gruesome injury to come back from, the skilled linebacker will have to put in a lot of work in rehab if he hopes to get back to his elite ways.
While the Texans have had most of their defensive issues contained in a porous secondary, there's no doubt that the void created by Ryans' absence has been a big one.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
While some might argue that Williams was ineffective on the field this season, that was more a product of poor health and an awful offensive line.
Clearly not running with the same wheels as in past years, the veteran runner was often stopped at the line, and looked like this year's version of 2009 LaDanian Tomlinson.
Although the Panthers have several areas of need, if they hope to rise from the cellar at any point next season, a healthy Williams will go a long way toward improving the run game if he is still on the roster.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
On pace for a monstrous breakout campaign, Finley's knee injury ended his efforts before they had a chance to really get underway.
Clearly becoming Aaron Rodgers' go-to guy, the budding star tight end illustrated the unique skill set that got so many in the Packers' organization excited about his prospects.
With an excellent chance to begin 2011 100 percent healthy, Finley should be raring to go and prove to everyone that he is a legit threat down the middle. The Packers could certainly use him right about now.
Kris Jenkins, NT, New York Jets
Jenkins was really being counted on to anchor the front line for the Jets in 2010, but it didn't exactly unfold in that manner.
Eerily similar to his 2009 campaign, the big man blew out the same ACL for the second consecutive season and saw his season end far earlier than anyone had hoped. An uber-talent and rock-solid leader, Jenkins' ability to rally the troops cannot be understated.
Surely missed by the Jets despite their impressive 9-2 record, Jenkins will come back and give it another go in 2011, but if he blows out his knee for the third time, it could be a sad ending to the vet's career.
Dallas Clark, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Undoubtedly the biggest loss of any member on this list, Clark's involvement in the Indianapolis offense has grown tenfold over the last couple of seasons.
Now Peyton Manning's most targeted receiver, No. 44 was a weekly lock for a solid contribution before injuring his wrist. Due to the unique nature of the injury, Clark had to shut it down early as he faces a long path ahead of him in rehab.
With the Colts looking as beatable as ever, it's fairly clear that a healthy Dallas Clark would be welcomed with open arms by just about anyone in the Indianapolis community.
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