The preseason is officially over and while fans are getting ready for betting on NFL games, some teams already have their hands full with injuries. Injuries are no laughing matter and can take a team from being a playoff contender, right to the bottom of their division. That was the case for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 whom had been predicted by many to win the NFC East. However one crucial injury to their starting quarterback sent a 12-4 team to a lowly 4-12 season. If you want to find success when you bet on sports then you have to keep up with injuries and knowing which key players are out can prevent fans from making a debilitating prediction. So, on the verge of the 2016 season, which teams have already begun to account for injuries?
Tony Romo is as famous for choking as he is for getting hurt. As aforementioned the injury-prone quarterback was the reason 2015 was a fluke for the Cowboys and now Romo is hurt before the first snap of the 2016 season has even been played. Dallas was 1-11 in games without Romo in 2015, but they didn’t have Dak Prescott. The rookie sensation has been phenomenal in the preseason and those betting on NFL Rookie of the Year award predictions should definitely keep an eye on Dallas’ newest quarterback.
Terry Bridgewater is the only player who has a higher quarterback rating than Prescott in the preseason. Granted he only attempted half as many passes, and now with a torn left ACL, it’s unlikely he’ll be attempting more passes than Prescott in 2016. Now the Vikings – a team many consider Super Bowl contenders – turn their hopes to Shaun Hill. The 36-year old Hill has never started more than 10 games, and that’s in a career that has spanned 14 seasons. Taylor Heinicke, the Vikings 3rd option at quarterback, will be out for 8 games due to surgery. Without depth, or skill, at the quarterback position it’s unlikely fans will favor the Vikings when betting on NFL futures.
The Bears will be trying to take advantage of the quarterback-less Vikings in the NFC North. However they will be dealing with their own injuries now that Hroniss Grasu, their starting center, is out with a torn ACL. Grasu will be out for the season, raising more questions for the Bears offensive line.
The Colts will have to start the season without Vontae Davis, their Pro Bowl cornerback. Davis is considered week-to-week but his status has been enough of a concern that the Colts have decided to sign veteran Antonio Cromartie. The Colts also have to contend with some injuries on offense. Jack Mewhort, their starting guard, has sustained a left knee injury. The injury could’ve been much worse but Mewhort is expected to miss a few weeks minimum.
Nick Martin is a second-round draft pick the Texans were hoping would be able to step up and fill the void left by Ben Jones – who decided to sign with the Titans this offseason. Now that Martin has suffered a high ankle sprain Houston has no other choice but to turn to Greg Mancz, an undrafted rookie from the 2015 draft cycle.
Joe Flacco will be returning healthy but he was counting on Benjamin Watson, tight end, to help carry the load offensively. Watson has suffered a tear in his Achilles tendon but he isn’t the only Raven getting banged up. Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, both of whom are tight ends, are expected to miss some games early in the season. The Ravens will have to resort to some funky formations on offense if they don’t add some emergency depth to the tight end position.