Tuck: NFL Injuries Make Impact
Jeremy Maclin tearing his ACL is a really big loss for the Eagles. He was the perfect fit for the Chip Kelly offense. Off the radar to most, he played a hybrid play-maker position in college for Missouri. He had 40 carries for over 300 yards his final year. While not quite Percy Harvin, he was counted on to touch the ball a lot, in many different ways. It made him ideal to play a De’Anthony Thomas-type role with Philly this year. DeSean Jackson will handle the bulk of that now, but he is more fast/less physical and won’t produce the desired effect. This offense will feature a heavy-dose of Shady McCoy, and sprinkle in Jackson and the tight ends, Brent Celek and rookie Zach Ertz.
Dennis Pitta dislocating and breaking his hip sounds even more painful for him than his team trying to move on without him. I thought Pitta would be a top five fantasy tight end this season, and a major target for Joe Flacco minus Anquan Boldin who left via free agency for San Francisco. Now, Flacco will have extra pressure to produce without his two most reliable targets (and top two pass catchers from a year ago). Baltimore was transitioning to a more pass-dominant team, but now may have to focus on the run with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. It’s the kind of loss that makes me wonder if they’ll be able to make the playoffs this year.
And the biggest, albeit least exciting or newsworthy, injury of the weekend happened in Denver. The Broncos lost backup center Dan Koppen for the year with a torn ACL. They were already without starter JD Walton for the season, and were forced into signing Koppen. The Broncos will be the pick of many to win the Super Bowl and many more to win the AFC, but it sounds a little scary that they’ll have a 3rd-stringer snapping to Peyton Manning all year, doesn’t it?