Dear NFL injury bug,
Please stop. Come on. Just calm down. Take your foot off the gas for one week why don’t you?
We’ve already seen a number of significant injuries to star players in 2021 and Week 3, unfortunately, began with another as Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffery strained a hamstring in Thursday’s win over the Texans.
In that game, Houston had a rough time moving the ball with starting QB Tyrod Taylor on the shelf. Rookie Davis Mills struggled in his first career start.
A handful of other backups will be called upon in Week 3.
Carson Wentz somehow sprained both his ankles in a loss to the Rams last week. He made a surprise return to practice so it’s unclear if Wentz will be good to go for the Colts or if they’ll be forced to turn to Jacob Eason or even Brett Hundley on the road against division Tennessee.
It looks like Jacoby Brissett, a former Colts QB, might be the man to lead the Dolphins into Las Vegas to face the Raiders after Tua Tagovailoa suffered fractured ribs.
IS JUSTIN FIELDS READY TO TAKE OVER IN CHICAGO?
Sticking with the banged-up QBs, Andy Dalton sustained a left knee bone bruise and that means Justin Fields is set to make his first start with the Bears.
Chicago traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select the former Ohio State star with the No. 11 pick and suffice it to say the fan base has high hopes.
Fields scored a rushing touchdown in Week 1 and replaced Dalton last week, so he’s not going out there totally cold. Still, a rookie’s first start is a daunting task regardless of the circumstances.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy said they’ve seen some new things from Fields with him taking first-team reps this week, which is what you'd hope to hear.
“I think I'm ready,” Fields told reporters this week after being named starter. “I've been preparing for this moment for a long time.”
At least one former MVP can attest to that.
WHOSE O WILL GO?
The silver lining for Panthers after losing McCaffery is the fact the team sits at 3-0, one of only six remaining unbeaten teams. That list is guaranteed to shrink by at least one after this week with an anticipated showdown between the Buccaneers and Rams headlining the second wave of games Sunday.
The other three 2-0 teams are all favoured to stay undefeated, with the Broncos double-digit favourites against the Jets, the Raiders hosting a Dolphins team sporting an injured QB and the 49ers facing the Packers in the Sunday nighter.