What’s more important than who won or lost in the first week of the NFL preseason is who was injured. NFL preseason injuries can change a players and a team’s season. Sometimes they can change a player’s career. Of all players on the field, rookie quarterbacks are the most vulnerable. The NFL is a whole other game when compared to college football and in the preseason, when many offensive lines are just starting to get it together and defensive players may be trying to make their mark and avoid being cut, the new quarterback can easily become a casualty.
That’s exactly what happened in the initial week of the 2016 NFL preseason. The number one draft pick, and the number two, both went down with injuries. Welcome to the NFL! Here’s a look at those and other NFL preseason injuries.
Jared Goff, Rams QB
Goff’s injury is not considered to be serious, and it’s the first of many dings he’s bound to receive in the NFL. After a hit in the second quarter of the Ram 28-24 win over the Cowboys, Goff was hit hard. The result was a sore left shoulder, but he’s a righty, so his throwing arm is not affected. The top draft pick of 2016 sat out the second half of the game. Coach Jeff Fisher expects Goff to practice this week and continue down the path to becoming the starter ASAP.
Carson Wentz, Eagles QB
Wentz sustained an injury in the Philadelphia 17-9 win over the Buccaneers. His is more serious than Goff’s. Wentz sustained a hairline fracture to the ribs when he was hit in the Thursday night game. Coach Doug Pederson expects Wentz to miss a few weeks and hoes he’s back by September 1 for the final week of the preseason. In the meantime, vets Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel will quarterback.
IK Enemkpali, Bills LB
Of all the NFL preseason injuries in Week One, this is one of the biggest. IK Enemkpali suffered a torn right ACL in the Bills’ 19-18 loss to Indy. Although not considered a first line player, he had been focused on being a starter this season due to the fact that the Buffalo defensive front and middle had been so badly depleted. He’s out for the season and the Bills continue to grow weaker on defense.
Bernie Fowler, Broncos WR
Fowler, who is looking to be Denver’s third wide out, was injured on a punt return during the Bronco 22-0 win over the Bears. He sustained a right elbow fracture, which may sound like it will keep him out a long time. But the news is that coach Gary Kubiak expects him to miss just a few weeks.
Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots WR
Malcolm Mitchell, who is expected to be a major part of the New England offense this year, looked like he had received an injury so bad that he might be out well into the 2016 season. But according to the Pats, their receiver could be ready for the initial game of the 2016 season, which is against the Cardinals. His injury is a dislocated left elbow.
NFL Preseason Injuries Problematic
NFL preseason injuries are simply a reality, but they are a major concern. The four-week preseason is a time for teams and players to get it into gear so that they are running on all cylinders by Week One of the regular season. Unfortunately for some teams, the preseason is a time when they can lose major contributors on offense and defense. We’ll see what the second week of preseason play brings.