The first half of this season has seen an uncharacteristic amount of star players go down with major injuries. Here is a list of the most significant injuries thus far.
1. Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals, QB)
Palmer was placed on the IR on Oct. 26 after sustaining a broken arm in Sunday’s contest on Oct. 22 against the Rams. Palmer’s injury will require surgery and although deemed not as bad as originally conceived, the Cardinals gunslinger could miss upwards of 6 weeks. This would mean a possible return for the playoffs, that is if QB2 Drew Stanton can get them there. Palmer’s injury is undoubtedly a huge blow to the Arizona offense as the QB was red hot before he went down. Since week 3 Palmer has thrown for 7 TDs and over 1,300 yards.
2. David Johnson (Arizona Cardinals, RB)
David Johnson is coming off the best season of his career. He finished the 2016-17 campaign with over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 20 TDs. The star tailback went down with what appeared to be a minor wrist injury early in week 1 against the Lions. A closer look concluded that Johnson had dislocated his wrist and would miss an extended period of time. It seems as if the Cardinals can’t catch a break with Johnson going down week 1, and QB1 Palmer going down week 3. Sources have confirmed that Johnson is targeting a return to the field by Thanksgiving day, but it is very possible that Johnson could miss the remainder of the season.
3. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers TE)
Olsen left Sunday’s game on Sept. 17 against the Bills with an apparent Right foot injury. At first, Olsen’s injury looked minor as he was deemed “likely to return” after heading to the locker room in the first half. Further examination revealed that Olsen had broken his right foot and would wind up on the IR. Olsen was no doubt a significant part of the Panther aerial attack in the 2016-17 campaign attracting a heavy workload from QB Cam Newton. Since Olsen’s injury in week 2 backup TE, Ed Dickson has filled the void surprisingly well amassing 1,117 yards from weeks 2-7 including a monster week 5 against the Lions with 175 receiving yards. The Panthers have managed to make do without Olsen managing a 4-3 record. If all goes well we could see Olsen back on the field for week 12 in NY against the Jets.
4. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers, QB)
Things turn a turn from bad to worse for a Packers team who was already dealing with injuries from WR Davante Adams and RB Ty Montgomery; when QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone during week 6 against the Vikings. Since Rodgers’ injury, the Packers offense has looked atrocious. With Brett Hundley under center the Packers chances of making the playoffs look slim. History is not on the side of the Packers either. Rodgers suffered a similar injury in 2013 breaking his collarbone in Week 6. He missed 7 games, and during that stretch, the Packers had the least efficient offense in football. Rodgers is targeting an optimistic week 15 return.
5. J.J. Watt (Houston Texans, DL)
Watt exited the Texans week 5 tilt against the Chiefs with an apparent knee injury. Watt was carted off the field while in obvious discomfort. Doctors confirmed that Watt had suffered a tibial plateau fracture and will require season-ending surgery. Although this is obviously a significant blow to the Houston defense, Watt’s production has been limited this year. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year recorded only one sack this year. Nonetheless, this is definitely not uncharted territory for a Houston squad who has had to operate without Watt before. Watt missed the 2016-17 season with a herniated disc. So it’s worth noting how the Texans defense is able to function without Watt for the remainder of the season.
6. Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings, RB)
Cook, the rookie back out of FSU was on track for a breakout season with the Vikings before his injury. Cook was injured during week 4 against the Lions. After undergoing a medical analysis the Vikings worst fears were confirmed, Cook had suffered an ACL tear. Cook had been incredibly productive through the first 4 games of his career averaging over 100 yards per contest and a career-high, 27 carries in week 3 against the Buccaneers. Luckily for the Vikings, running backs Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray have split carrier in Cook’s absence quite effectively.
7. Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants, WR)
Beckham Jr. who was limited during the first 2 weeks of the season by a preseason ankle injury will miss the remainder of the season with a broken ankle. Beckham was carted off the field on Oct. 8 after his ankle was stepped on by Charger defender. Odell managed to rack up 274 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 3 games he was healthy prior to his injury. Beckham was not the only Giants WR to go down in that contest; Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepherd, and Dwayne Harris all exited the game due to injury. Of those 3, Marshall and Harris will miss the remainder of the season.