Week one of the NFL season brings injuries to the forefront of the conversation as players have their first real opportunity to go full contact and full speed against an opposing team. Some veterans are beginning to feel their age as bumps and bruises turn into game-missing ailments, while other players attempt to fight through fairly serious injuries in order to help their team gain early wins.
The All Star wide receiver for the Houston Texans managed to play the entire week one game against New England but walked away with a slight limp into the locker room. Hopkins was placed on the injury report with a foot injury and was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle covered Wednesday’s practice and reported Hopkins, “looked mobile” in what he was able to do.
There are still a few days until the game and, barring any further injury during practice, it looks like Hopkins will play on Sunday. However, with fellow wide receiver Will Fuller looking to come back from his hamstring injury, the Houston coaching staff may try splitting reps between the two in order to keep their exposure to further injury at a minimum.
Green Bay Packers offense starts and finishes with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Without his efforts Monday night against the Chicago Bears, the Packers could have found themselves 0-1 to start the season. Still, Rodgers left the game with a sprained ligament in his knee that he described to ESPN as, “Pretty sore the last three days.” The star quarterback went on to say that he hopes to play Sunday, but as of right now there are no guarantees.
Green Bay’s opponent this week, division rival Minnesota, is not buying the injury ruse. Head coach Mike Zimmer said, ” He (Rodgers) walks on water, so I’m sure he’s going to play.” It seems unlikely that a sore knee would keep the captain of the Packer Offense out of the game against a division rival, especially with playoff implications already factoring in on week 2.
Steeler great Ben Rothlisberger injured his non-throwing elbow on the second to last play against the Browns on Sunday. While Big Ben has endured more serious injuries throughout his career, the quarterback is not getting any younger and minor injuries can turn into lingering problems.
Rothlisberger threw three interceptions the week before with no sustained injuries. What kind of quarterback will Steeler fans see with a nagging injury?
Another Steeler storyline to note offensive lineman David Decastro’s right hand injury. His bruised right hand is now listed as a fractured right hand injury, threatening to keep Decastro out multiple games. If he decides to play with a club (A cast wrapped in a soft shell to protect the injury and other players) a weak spot in the offensive line may open up, leaving a vulnerability to Big Ben and his elbow injury.
Fournette left Jacksonville’s game early last week due to a hamstring injury. Head Coach Doug Marrone plans on approaching Fournettes injury with caution, but he is not nervous about practice this week. If all goes well and Fournette’s hamstring holds up in practice on Friday, he will be able to suit up against New England this Sunday.
The Jags don’t need to rush Fournette back onto the field given they have seasoned running back TJ Yeldon, who scored a touchdown in last week’s contest, as a steady backup. The Jags will most likely save Fournette and for another week when he is feeling 100%. However, with a daunting match up against a the Patriots this week, the Jags may need everyone on deck.
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