COMMENTARY| Several NFL teams have been hit with significant injuries this training camp. Here is a look at some of the more notable ones along with the players replacing them.
Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn WR, Philadelphia Eagles
No other team has suffered a one two injury punch to its receiving core quite like the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL in the first practice of training camp and is out for the year. Arrelious Benn who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in line for an additional workload in Maclin’s absence. He too tore his ACL during a practice session with the New England Patriots and is also out for the year.
Next in line to start beside Desean Jackson are Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. Damaris Johnson is a second year player out of Tulsa who had 19 catches as a rookie in 2012. He figures to get some looks as well, but wide receiver depth will clearly be an issue going forward this season.
Dennis Pitta TE, Baltimore Ravens
Dennis Pitta was Joe Flacco’s favorite target last season during the Ravens Superbowl run. Pitta is now lost for the season after dislocating and fracturing his hip during practice.
Ed Dickson is next in line to replace Pitta as the Ravens starting tight end. He has missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury and has only recently returned to practice. Dallas Clark was recently signed as well for insurance purposes in case Dickson stumbles or gets injured.
Bryan Bulaga LT, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers moved Bryan Bulaga from right to left tackle this offseason hoping to shore up a leaky offensive line that gave up 51 sacks last season. Bulaga however tore his ACL and is done for the year.
The Packers will rely on rookie fourth round pick David Bakhtiari from Colorado to protect Aaron Rodgers’ blindside.
Dustin Keller TE, Miami Dolphins
In the most gruesome of injuries this training camp, Dustin Keller tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and dislocated his knee after being tackled by D.J Swearing of the Houston Texans during their week 2 preseason matchup.
Charles Clay a converted halfback is most likely to be Keller’s replacement however Michael Egnew also figures to get playing time as well. The Dolphins would also like to bring in a free agent tight end, however the market is really bare.
Dan Koppen C, Denver Broncos
Center Dan Koppen was lost for the season early in training camp with you guessed it, a torn ACL. Ryan Lilja was brought in to be his replacement but is dealing with knee problems of his own.
Manny Ramirez has been the starting center this preseason and is a virtual lock to start the season snapping the ball to Peyton Manning. Ramirez has never started an NFL game at center.
Jared Veldeer LT, Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders will be without LT Jared Veldeer for at least the first seven weeks of this season. Veldeer tore a triceps and muscle during a position drill in training camp that required surgery and will most likely be on short term injured reserve.
Alex Barron is the next man up for the Raiders. The former first round bust has his work cut out for him as he was used and abused during a recent preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.
Le’Veon Bell RB, Pittsburg Steelers
Perhaps no rookie was being counted on to start as much as the Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell was supposed to bring much needed relief to Ben Rothlisberger and the Pittsburg passing attack. Now Bell is sidelined for as many as 8 weeks with a Lisfranc injury to his foot.
The Steelers will now rely on the combination of Isaac Redmond, Jonathan Dwyer and Larod Steven-Howling to fill the void.