7 NFL Teams Getting Hit the Hardest by Training Camp Injuries

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

7 NFL Teams Getting Hit the Hardest by Training Camp Injuries

0 of 7

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Now that all 32 NFL teams have belatedly entered "full swing" training-camp mode, all 32 are finally and unfortunately encountering significant injuries. 

    But thus far, some have been hit much harder than others. 

    With the start of the regular season only two weeks away, the following seven NFL squads are reeling more than others from a health standpoint. 

Denver Broncos

1 of 7

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Key injuries: WR KJ Hamler (hamstring), LB Todd Davis (calf) 

    The Denver Broncos, who lost offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James to a COVID-19 opt-out earlier this month, were avoiding the injury bug before Hamler and Davis went down in the last week or so.

    The former is a rookie second-round pick with the ability and expectations to excel immediately, and the latter has been a steady starting linebacker for four years running. 

    It doesn't look like either injury will be season-threatening or close to that, but lost time for Hamler is big, and time without Davis would be far from ideal for a team with a minuscule margin for error this year. They may need to rely heavily on 2018 fourth-round picks DaeSean Hamilton and Josey Jewell in the slot and at linebacker, respectively, early on. 

    On the bright side, they did get veterans Von Miller and Melvin Gordon III back recently after the two missed short bouts of practice time due to injuries. 

Chicago Bears

2 of 7

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Key injuries: CB Artie Burns (knee), RB David Montgomery (groin)

    The Chicago Bears entered camp trying to replace COVID-19 opt-out Eddie Goldman, and their defense took another hit when Burns suffered a season-ending torn ACL. The 2016 first-round pick was a potential starter opposite Kyle Fuller, but now they'll need to hope rookie second-round pick Jaylon Johnson is ready to contribute ASAP. 

    The offense also took a hit Wednesday when Montgomery went down with a groin injury. He's expected to be out 2-4 weeks, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, which is something to watch if you're a Bears fan or have a fantasy football draft coming up.

    There isn't anyone else of note besides Tarik Cohen on Chicago's running back depth chart, so the Bears may decide to make a move on the open market. Devonta Freeman remains available in free agency. 

New York Giants

3 of 7

    Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

    Key injuries: S Xavier McKinney (foot), LB David Mayo (knee)

    For most of camp, the New York Giants avoided injuries while focusing on how to replace COVID-19 opt-out Nate Solder at left tackle. That alone wasn't ideal, especially since the defense likely won't have 2019 first-round pick DeAndre Baker at cornerback due to his legal trouble

    But now they've been hit by injuries to McKinney and Mayo.

    McKinney, a second-round pick out of Alabama, was expected to step in right away at safety. Instead, he'll likely be out for "10 or so weeks," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, after suffering a broken bone in his foot. There isn't a lot of depth in the Giants' secondary, so all eyes will now be on 2019 fourth-round pick Julian Love to take on a bigger role next to Jabrill Peppers at safety.

    Mayo was the team's second-leading tackler last year, but he is now expected to miss a few weeks to recover from a meniscus injury, per Rapoport. The Giants will likely count on 2019 fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly to soften that blow, and he did intercept two passes and pick up a sack in only four games as a rookie. 

    For a defense that finished last season 30th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed, these two injuries are a major setback.

Cleveland Browns

4 of 7

    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Key injuries: CB Greedy Williams (shoulder), S Grant Delpit (Achilles), LB Mack Wilson (knee), C J.C. Tretter (knee)

    The good news for the Cleveland Browns is running back Nick Chubb cleared concussion protocol and returned to practice this week, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry appears to be healthy.

    The bad news is that the defensive back seven—which was already a weak spot on a strong roster—has been hit hard. 

    The hope was Delpit would play a major role as a rookie second-round pick, but he's now out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon. Williams suffered a shoulder injury in the same practice, and his long-term status is uncertain. There's no word on when Wilson will return. The Browns were likely to heavily rely on both sophomores from the get-go. 

    More could fall on rookie third-round pick Jacob Phillips and/or veterans Malcolm Smith and B.J. Goodson at linebacker, but the bigger concern might be in the secondary. Safety was already a potential problem, and former Raiders bust Karl Joseph and the soon-to-be 33-year-old Andrew Sendejo may now be taking it all on. The loss of Williams would hurt more since veteran Kevin Johnson is coming back from a lacerated liver

    At least the veteran Tretter is expected to be back relatively soon.

Buffalo Bills

5 of 7

    James P. McCoy/Associated Press

    Key injuries: CB Josh Norman (hamstring), OL Jon Feliciano (chest), WR Robert Foster (concussion)

    With veteran defenders Star Lotulelei and E.J. Gaines already inactive following COVID-19 opt-outs, the Buffalo Bills need Norman to get back on the field and help that unit out. He was supposed to compete for a starting job but has missed about a week of practice time with a hamstring injury.

    "We don't know the severity exactly," head coach Sean McDermott told reporters Friday. "Those things take some time to get a good read on. He'll continue to learn and be out there when he can." 

    Until then, look for Levi Wallace to become the clear No. 2 outside cover man behind Tre'Davious White. Wallace excelled as a starter in 2019, but competition and depth are good at that critical spot. 

    Meanwhile, the steady Feliciano underwent surgery for a torn pectoral muscle at the end of July and is expected to be sidelined for 8-12 weeks, according to ESPN's Marcel Louis-JacquesAnd it could be hard for Foster to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 campaign as he remains in concussion protocol. 

    The Bills aren't gutted by any means, and they're deep enough at receiver that the loss of Foster won't hurt unless their top options go down as well. But every man counts when you're trying to win your first division crown this century. 

Philadelphia Eagles

6 of 7

    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Key injuries: G Brandon Brooks (Achilles), OT Andre Dillard (biceps), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot), RB Miles Sanders (lower body), DT Javon Hargrave (pectoral)

    Brooks has been a Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons, so the Philadelphia Eagles were already reeling from his season-ending injury when camp opened up. Then they lost key cogs Hargrave and Sanders just days apart, although neither is expected to miss a large chunk of regular-season time (if any). 

    The same can't be said about Dillard. The 2019 first-round pick was supposed to take over at left tackle this season, but he tore his bicep at practice Thursday and is expected to miss the season, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Timeless veteran Jason Peters, who was shifting to right guard this year, may take over his old spot in place of Dillard.

    Jeffery is the biggest mystery. The veteran wideout has been recovering from surgery stemming from a foot injury suffered last season. He hasn't been on the field in nearly nine months, but Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recently sounded optimistic about his chances of returning soon. 

    Still, he remains on the physically unable to perform list, putting extra pressure on vet DeSean Jackson and youngsters Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

San Francisco 49ers

7 of 7

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Key injuries: DE Nick Bosa (leg), DT D.J. Jones (concussion), WR Deebo Samuel (foot), WR Jalen Hurd (knee), WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring), WR Richie James (wrist), C Weston Richburg (knee)

    The San Francisco 49ers have been hammered in the receiving corps. Hurd is done for the year with a torn ACL, but they at least hope to get the rest of their injured guys back in relatively short order.

    Regardless, a position group that lost Emmanuel Sanders in the offseason will now be playing catchup. Samuel was the team's top target before he suffered a serious foot injury, and his exact timeline to return remains murky. Aiyuk, this year's No. 25 overall pick, is week-to-week with a hamstring injury.

    Bosa, who is coming off a Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, is "week to week" with a muscle strain. While San Francisco's defensive line is deep, Jones' injury combined with the departure of DeForest Buckner could put a lot of pressure on that unit. 

    Put it all together, and San Francisco is facing an extra obstacle in its quest to overcome the Super Bowl Losers' Curse