Injuries are Starting to Hit Teams as the NFL Season Progresses
There is universal agreement among players, coaches, and trainers. With the NFL playing its longest season in history, there will be more injuries than ever before.
Here is where things stand on the injury front after the first half of this very long season.
Mike McGlinchey – 49ers RT
Each time it begins to look like the 49ers are close to getting healthy, another injury strikes.
This time it is starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey going down with a torn quad and knocking him out for the rest of the season. The former first-round pick has been solid for the Niners on the right side of the line, and the strength of the San Francisco running game comes from its tackles.
When McGlinchey went down on Sunday he was replaced by 10-year NFL journeyman Tom Compton, and Compton is expected to get the start this Sunday against the Rams. Compton has also played for Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Minnesota, and the New York Jets.
McGlinchey is the third starter lost for the season, and he joins a list of 11 starters that have missed at least one game due to injury.
The Niners host the LA Rams for Week 10’s finale. NFL point spread odds price San Francisco as four-point home underdogs.
Zach Wilson – Jets QB
As good as Mike White has looked in place of the injured Zach Wilson, the number two overall pick in the future with the Jets. He’s been cleared to return to practice this week, but the team is in no rush to put him back in the lineup.
Head coach Robert Saleh explained: “We’re not in any hurry to rush him back because of the fact that this is a two-to-four week injury. He’s going into week three and there’s a couple of hurdles he has to pass.”
No doubt, part of the reason Saleh and the Jets feel like taking their time in getting Wilson back in there is because of the play of White. No reason to take an unnecessary risk with the franchise’s most valuable asset, when his replacement looks so good.
Saleh said as much, explaining, “If [Wilson] isn’t fully healthy it’d be irresponsible of us to throw him out there.”
Also, if White continues to play well in Wilson’s stead, he becomes a possible trade asset for the upcoming offseason.
White left the game with the Colts with a nerve contusion in his forearm but is expected to be available for this Sunday’s game with the Bills.
Even under White the Jets are still the Jets and catching almost two touchdowns at home. The NFL odds for Sunday’s game have the Jets as +475 underdogs against the Buffalo Bills.
Russell Wilson – Seahawks QB
We did not get the Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes matchup in Week 9 that we were all hoping for, but we might get the Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson head-to-head in Week 10.
At least the Russell Wilson part of that equation will be playing at Lambeau Field on Sunday, as Wilson has been cleared to return.
Wilson has missed the last month of the season after having surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He suffered a fracture-dislocation of the joint, plus a tendon rupture, in a game against the Rams on October 7. Geno Smith has filled in for Wilson since then, but the Seahawks have last three of the four games in which Smith played.
Wison is now back, but at 3-5 and well behind both the Cardinals and Rams in the NFC West, the task for the Seahawks to get back into playoff contention is bordering on Herculean.
As for Rodgers, he remains out following a positive test for COVID-19, and the earliest he can return to the team is Saturday. His status for Sunday won’t be official until then, but he’s already declared there’s a great chance he’ll start. Betting markets are assuming the same with the spread favoring the Packers by 3½ points at home.
Sam Darnold – Panthers QB
The Panthers finally got back running back Christian McCaffrey, only to potentially lose quarterback Sam Darnold to a shoulder injury.
It’s been a tough year for Darnold, who suffered a concussion in Week 8 but cleared protocol in time to start Week 9. The shoulder injury may also go back to a Week 8 hit he suffered from Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun, but he only now has had an MRI on the shoulder.
Darnold threw three interceptions on Sunday, but Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that he didn’t think the shoulder injury was at fault, but rather bad decisions by Darnold.
When asked if Darnold was still the best quarterback in Carolina, Rhule non-answered with, “I think right now we’re focused on him and his health”.