Danny Amendola and 5 Worst Injuries from Week 1
While "it's just one game" and the sting of a loss in Week 1 may be easy to shake off, a serious injury to a starting player can hurt a team for the entire year.
The opening weekend of the 2011 NFL season saw several key players go down with bad injuries. While some (like the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton) look like they may be shaken off easily, many others are expected to keep players out for most of the season.
Here are the worst five injuries from Week 1.
5. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
It seems like the majority of big injuries hit losing teams in Week 1. The New Orleans Saints followed that pattern.
Wide Receiver Marques Colston was injured on the second to last play Thursday against the Green Bay Packers. Colston was the leading receiver for the high-powered Saints offense a year ago, catching 84 balls for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.
With a broken collarbone, Colston is expected to miss at least four games. Second receiver Lance Moore is currently out with a groin injury himself, which makes the Colston loss a huge blow to Drew Brees and the Saints.
4. Kevin Walter, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans lost their second leading receiver yesterday when Kevin Walter broke his shoulder. Walter caught 51 passes for 621 yards and five touchdowns a season ago.
While Andre Johnson obviously is the clear number one receiver, losing Walter hurts the passing game. Matt Schaub has one less solid target, and now the defense can focus more on blanketing Johnson.
With the severity of his injury, Walter is expected to miss at least 10 weeks.
3. Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers
Early word is that San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding is out for the season with a torn ACL. Kaeding was injured on the opening kickoff, which was also returned for a touchdown by Minnesota Viking Percy Harvin.
While most people scoff at kickers even being considered football players, the fact of the matter is they can win and lose games. The difference between having Adam Vinatieri and Graham Gano is huge.
Kaeding has been with the Chargers for seven seasons, in which he has reached two Pro Bowls and amassed an 86 percent field-goal percentage. The Chargers will have to sign a kicker, and he will likely not be nearly as good.
2. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs
Injury was added to insult yesterday when Eric Berry, the fifth overall draft pick in 2010 for the Kansas City Chiefs, was taken out of the game with a knee injury.
The former Tennessee Volunteer was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season and a part of a stingy Chiefs defense and All-Star secondary with Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.
An update is expected today, but the early word is that the injury is very serious for Berry. Without their uber-talented safety the Chiefs defense will be in huge trouble, especially after seeing the normally anemic Buffalo Bills gain 364 yards and put up 41 points on them.
1. Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
Sunday really was a spectacularly bad day for St. Louis Rams fans, as Sam Bradford, Stephen Jackson, and Danny Amendola were forced to leave the game (which they lost) with injuries.
Amendola was the leading receiver for the Rams a year ago, catching 85 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns. With his punt/kick returning factored in, he led the NFL in all-purpose yards.
Amendola left the game against the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday with a dislocated elbow. The expectation is that he'll be out eight to 10 weeks. He's a target Bradford can't afford to lose.
With Bradford hopefully playing next week and the word on Stephen Jackson still pending, the Amedola injury is the worst of the trifecta for the hobbling Rams.