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There is a lot going on on the NFL front this week as teams cut down their rosters and player injuries are adding up. Let us not waste any more time and get to the NFL News.
The Baltimore Ravens suffered a big loss in the final preseason game as running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending knee injury. Dobbins suffered the injury on the opening drive of the Ravens’ 37-3 rout of the Washington Football Team on Saturday.
Dobbins tore the ACL in his left knee on the ninth play of the game, though some are wondering why coach John Harbaugh was even playing Dobbins and other starters in the game. Harbaugh pointed out that Dobbins had only played 23 plays in the preseason and that the Ravens don’t play their starters as much as some other teams.
“But there are other teams that don’t play their guys at all,” Harbaugh said. “They don’t play their starters for one snap. We are probably as close to that as we’ve … I know we’re farther down that road than we’ve ever been. We played our guys so little this offseason. It’s just been how we’ve done it. But any time a guy gets hurt, you ask yourself those questions.”
Dobbins was entering his first season as the feature back for the Ravens after rushing for 805 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020 as a rookie. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry, the second-highest average by a rookie running back over the last 20 seasons.
Baltimore will now turn to Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams to handle the ball-carrying duties at the running back position. Edwards has averaged 5.2 yards per carry over the last three seasons, while Williams was an undrafted back out of BYU that rushed for 131 yards this preseason (5.5 yards per carry).
The Ravens are among the top contenders for the AFC title this season, according to the BetUS Sportsbook’s AFC Championship odds. Baltimore has +850 odds to win the AFC championship, trailing the Kansas City Chiefs (+225), Buffalo Bills (+600) and Cleveland Browns (+750).
Wentz Among Colts On COVID-19 List
The Indianapolis Colts just learned that Carson Wentz would likely be ready to play in their season opener but had to put him on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. Wentz is one of three players — along with Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly and receiver Zach Pascal — who were in close contact with a team staff member who tested positive.
The players can return in five days if they continue to have negative tests and remain asymptomatic. All three are likely unvaccinated, as it would take a positive test for a player to be put on the list if he was vaccinated.
Wentz was recently cleared to be a full participant in practice after undergoing surgery on his left foot on Aug. 2. The team is hoping he can recover enough to be the starter in Week 1 against Seattle, though second-year quarterback Jacob Eason may now be in line for that duty.
Indianapolis is expected to contend for the AFC South title this season, holding +130 odds at BetUS Sportsbook. Tennessee is the only team with better odds at -110 according to the sportsbook’s odds.
Vikings TE Smith To Undergo Surgery
Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. is scheduled to undergo surgery this week to repair a meniscus injury he suffered in the team’s preseason finale at Kansas City on Friday. The timetable for Smith’s return is uncertain, as he could be a few weeks or several months, depending on the severity of the injury.
“We’ll see how that surgery goes, but (Vikings’ head team physician) Dr. (Christopher) Larsen is one of the best in the country, so we expect a good turnout,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said when announcing the injury on Monday. “We’ll just see where he’s at. A lot of times, you can’t really tell anything until you get in there. We really won’t know until they get in there.”
It’s uncertain when Smith suffered the injury during the game, as he did not disclose it when talking to the media during or after the game. Smith caught 30 passes for 365 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Minnesota used two tight ends on the field on 445 snaps in 2020, the third-highest total in the NFL. The Vikings are already hurting for depth at the position, so Zimmer said the team is looking to add another tight end to the roster.
The Vikings hold the second-best odds to win the NFC North this season, being listed at +225 on BetUS Sportsbook. The Green Bay Packers are listed as the favorite at -175, with Chicago (+500) and Detroit (+2200) trailing at the book’s NFC North division odds.