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It feels like the NFL injury report gets longer by the season and various teams got pretty banged up in the preseason. Here are some of the biggest names and key pieces to fall as we head into the regular season.
Doug Baldwin (WR, Seattle)
There’s already a lot of personnel turnover for the Seahawks as they enter a season full of question marks. The last thing they need is to see an experienced receiver suffer an injury, and Baldwin is currently dealing with a sore knee that makes him questionable for Week 1. Sitting out since early on in training camp, the good news is head coach Pete Carroll believes he’ll be back in time for the opener.
A.Q. Shipley (Center, Arizona)
Staying in the NFC West, the Cardinals have been designated as either a sleeper or the inevitable basement dwellers of the division this year. One key component to any potential rebound will be the return of running back David Johnson, but he’ll be missing some key protection for the entire season with Shipley landing on the IR. The good news for Shipley is he got some recent security with a one-year contract extension.
Marqise Lee (WR, Jacksonville)
Lee was knocked out in a Week 3 contest against Atlanta after taking a low hit to the knee. Some are blaming the NFL’s new helmet rules for defender Damontae Kazee going after the lower body. Regardless, the Jaguars’ leading receiver was placed on IR and will miss the 2018 season.
Jimmie Ward (DB, San Francisco)
The oft-injured defender for the 49ers suffered strained quadriceps in the team’s third preseason game against Indianapolis. He’s dealt with hamstring issues during training camp and has recorded limited time in making a transition back to the cornerback position. SF needs all the help they can get on defense, meaning he needs to stay healthy.
Jerick McKinnon (RB, San Francisco)
Things didn't get easier for the 'Niners as they lost starting running back McKinnon to a torn ACL. It gets worse. The non-contact injury came on the last day of camp, on the final play, as he was merely making a cut. Sometimes the injury bug bites, and sometimes he hits you in the face with a 2 x 4.
Derrius Guice, Samaje Perine (RBs, Washington)
After the Redskins learned they’d lose the 59th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft all season with an ACL injury, Samaje Perine went down with an ankle injury. The latter has returned to practice, but because of the massive hit to the top of the depth chart at tailback, the team has brought in Adrian Peterson to help out. Peterson has given himself the expectation of starting in the team’s opener.
Plenty of long-term LA Chargers injuries
Way back in May, tight end Hunter Henry was considered out for the year with an ACL tear, but with the progress that’s taken place, there’s a chance (but improbable) that he could return late in the 2018 season. He’s been placed on IR, and subsequently, rookie tight end Austin Roberts was lost for the season just over a month ago. Since that time, they’ve lost safety Jaylen Watkins who was signed in the offseason, and cornerback Casey Hayward is dealing with hamstring issues. Injuries that annually plague the Chargers seem to be happening again.