Bruises, bonks, and boo-boos

Injuries happen, but seriously Sam Darnold, mono?

Tyreek Hill

After a roller coaster of an offseason, Hill exited the season opener with a collarbone injury. It was later diagnosed as dislocation, and he’s estimated to be back in 4-6 weeks. Kansas City will have to do without their Pro Bowl wideout for the time being. Their upcoming schedule doesn’t seem too troublesome; their toughest matchups are home matchups against the Ravens (Week 3) and Texans (Week 6).

The inevitable replacement for Hill is Mecole Hardman. The Chiefs drafted Hardman in the second round as a potential replacement due to their similarities. Like Hill, Hardman is an undersized 5’10”, has elite speed, and doubles as a kick return man. With this new opportunity, Hardman should have flashes of excellence, but I’m not expecting much consistency. Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce figure to see more balls headed their way in the upcoming weeks. However, with Hill out, Watkins will be seeing more intense coverage than he’s used to.

Hunter Henry

Following the Chargers’ Week 1 win against the Colts, they revealed that Henry fractured his tibia and will be out for approximately a month. Mike Williams, LA’s other big-bodied end zone target, is also battling an injury. Williams is questionable with a knee injury this week. Without their starting tight end and possibly their number two receiver, the Chargers could struggle to score in the coming weeks. They have an away matchup in Detroit and a home game against Houston in the next two weeks, both of which they could struggle against.

The immediate tight end replacement for Henry is Virgil Green. Green is in his 9th season and has yet to surpass 300 receiving yards in a single season.  I think it’s more likely they try to pound the ball in at the goal line with Austin Ekeler. Travis Benjamin should see a larger target share in the coming games, as should Keenan Allen.

Sam Darnold

The starting quarterback for the Jets is out at least one week with a case of mono, which leaves Trevor Siemian as the new starter. Can Trevor handle the pressure? The fans aren’t so sure. This is in fact an NFL headline, and not the synopsis of a ‘Saved By The Bell’ episode like you’re probably thinking.

The Jets play Cleveland on Monday, followed by tough games against New England and Philadelphia. Now the odds of them winning any of those are slim. Trevor Siemian has been disappointing as a starter in his career. I’m predicting a lot of throws close to the line of scrimmage, probably to RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Jamison Crowder.

Tevin Coleman

The 49ers’ starting running back exited the game in Week 1 in what was later determined to be a high ankle sprain. He’s expected to sit out their next two games, both home against the Steelers and Browns. Matt Breida will take lead back responsibilities for those two games, with occasional guest appearances by Raheem Mostert. I think Breida might even be better than Coleman, and could realistically earn the starting job in the next two weeks.

Sterling Shepard

The Giants will be without their starting wideout for at least this week. He suffered a concussion in their loss to the Cowboys. Cody Latimer and Russell Shepard are the most likely candidates to start at wide receiver in their upcoming matchup against the Bills. TE Evan Engram and RB Saquon Barkley are the most likely recipients of Shepard’s targets. Buffalo has a stout pass defense, so expect the Giants to attack on the ground this week.

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