2021 NFL Season Preview Part 2: Injury And Illness
As preseason games are ongoing, NFL football fans and sports bettors are doing more than watching the games. They are also keeping an eye on the sidelines for any indications of a key injury. Injuries can have a major impact on futures odds bets.
There isn’t much more that’s heartbreaking to fans than to enter the NFL regular season with hope, only to watch that hope disappear because of a key loss of personnel. With that in mind, let’s take a look around the league and see what is happening on the injury front.
DE Carl Lawson Goes Down (New York Jets)
Over the last 5 seasons, the New York Jets have recorded a total of 23 wins. They have watched first-round draft choices forget how to play football and gone through a couple of coaching changes. All the while, fans are starting to get a little fed up with mediocre football.
This isn’t an issue that’s fixable in a single season. It’s going to take a series of good drafts, astute trades, and strong free-agent signings. The Jets thought they had taken a big step in the right direction when they signed free agent defensive end Carl Lawson. Lawson was coming off four strong years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
That first big step ended up being on a landmine when Lawson tore his Achilles tendon. The injury will end up keeping Lawson on the sidelines for the entire season.
The injury occurred during a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers. Up to the point of the injury, the 25-year-old man had been a terror on the football field. He had the most ardent Jets fans giddy with glee as he made clear he was going to make an impact on defense. That impact will have to wait until next year.
The Jets acquired his services when they signed Lawson to a three-year, $45 million deal in March.
WR Deebo Samuel Leaves Practice Early (San Francisco 49ers)
If the San Fransico 49ers have a weakness, it is the lack of depth at wide receiver. Coming into this season, the 49ers’ offense was counting on major help from wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Both of these young men are clearly the class of the San Francisco receiving corp.
During a joint practice with the San Diego Chargers, Samuel pulled himself out of practice with a hamstring issue. It left teammates holding their collective breath as he sat on the sidelines with the medical staff.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan reported that the injury is not serious, but Samuel will miss games. For fans and sports bettors, that is serious enough. At issue is the fact Samual is trying to bounce back from a 2020 season that saw him constantly battling injury issues.
In Other News: QB Battle Brewing in New England?
While the Philadelphia Eagles looked a bit hapless in their recent preseason game with the New England Patriots, the Pats looked strong. In fact strong enough for a 35-0 rout of the Eagles.
While Cam Newton should have a stranglehold on the starting QB job this season, rookie QB Mac Jones out of Alabama isn’t laying him down. On the field during practice and the game, he has been making believers out of the coaching staff.
In the Eagles game, Newton passed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 8 of 9 passing. Jones responded by completing 13 of 19 passes for 146 years while getting ample opportunity to show his wares. As the team’s 2021 first-round draft choice with the 15th pick overall, Jones looks poised to make the coaching staff look good.
Meanwhile, Eagles 2020 first-round pick Jalen Hurts out of Alabama was a scratch from the game due to illness. That left most of the snaps for veteran QB Joe Flacco. Flacco hit on 10 of 17 passes for 83 yards with one interception.
While still trying to develop into an NFL QB, Hurts cannot afford to be missing time. There was no word on the circumstances surrounding his illness. In the COVID19 era, no news is not what fans and sports bettors want to hear.