5 NFL Teams Who Have Been Devastated by Injuries

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIDecember 5, 2011

5 NFL Teams Who Have Been Devastated by Injuries

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    The 2011 NFL season has brought us one surprise after the next, a few of those being bad surprises for some teams.

    Many teams that began the year with promising outlooks have been severely hampered by injuries, while other teams were doomed from the beginning.

    Here are five teams whose seasons haven't been what they had hoped, due in large part to injuries.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    The Kansas City Chiefs had a surprisingly good season in 2010 and came into this season with high expectations, but after two bad early-season losses were compounded by the loss of star running back Jamaal Charles for the season, things looked grim.

    The Chiefs battled back and were contending for the division even without Charles, but when starting quarterback Matt Cassel was also lost for the season, the Chiefs were out of luck.

    Adding insult to injury, newly-signed quarterback Kyle Orton dislocated his finger on Kansas City's first drive against the Chicago Bears.

Indianapolis Colts

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    What can we say about the Indianapolis Colts? Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning was the glue that held this team together, but he hasn't played a snap this year because of his neck surgery.

    The Colts were doomed from the start and now sit at 0-12. Running back Joseph Addai was injured at one point this year as well, and tight end Dallas Clark is currently on the bench with a leg injury.

    This team's flaws have been severely exposed without Manning on the field.

Buffalo Bills

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    The Buffalo Bills began the year 5-2 and were strongly contending for the division crown, even with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets in that same division. But after slipping up a little bit, disaster struck with the loss of running back Fred Jackson.

    Jackson was playing outstanding football, rolling up almost 1,400 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 10 games before getting injured.

    The Bills now stand at 5-7, and any shot they had of getting out of their funk and contending for the playoffs has since vanished.

Detroit Lions

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    It's probably much too soon to call Detroit's season a failure, but the injuries they've sustained have really hurt their chances of making the playoffs.

    After rookie running back Mikel LeShoure, who was supposed to be an instant impact player for Detroit's meager running game, tore his ACL before the season even began, starter Jahvid Best got a concussion and has since been put on IR with post-concussion syndrome.

    To make things even worse, one game after re-signed running back Kevin Smith broke out against the Carolina Panthers, he sprained his ankle and left the Lions working with Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams, the team's fourth- and fifth-string running backs.

    The Lions started 5-0, but currently sit at 7-4 with a tough matchup against the New Orleans Saints looming this evening.

Chicago Bears

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    The Chicago Bears must feel like one of the unluckiest franchises in the NFL right about now.

    After storming back into playoff contention behind the strong play of Jay Cutler at quarterback, Cutler was lost for the season with a hand injury and gave way to the young Caleb Hanie at quarterback.

    Since the loss of Cutler, the Bears are 0-2, and Hanie has thrown three interceptions. Granted, he didn't get much help from his receivers in the loss to the Dolphins, but it seems as though the whole team deflated after Cutler was injured.