Injuries to several superstars mar season-opening action
NFL teams must adjust to injuries as an unfortunate constant, but some teams had to do that far sooner than they would have preferred to open the 2014 season -- especially since there are some very big names who left their openers -- and may be out for the foreseeable future.
Clowney left the Redskins game with a knee injury -- some were saying that it was just cramps early on, but it ultimately proved a bit more serious. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says Clowney injured his meniscus in the game and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. According to Rapoport, he's slated to have surgery on Monday. The No. 1 overall pick dealt with two ailments in the offseason (sports hernia and a concussion).
Johnson, who was the best player on the Chiefs' stellar defense last season, left the team's season-opener against the Titans with a torn Achilles tendon, as did DeVito, and both are likely gone for the year. Backup linebacker Joe Mays is already out with a wrist problem, so the Chiefs will be scrambling, especially when they go into their frequent dime packages.
Mathis, who may very well be the best guard in the NFL, left Philadelphia's disastrous first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a knee injury, and reports indicate it's an MCL injury. He's expected to undergo an MRI Monday. Mathis, who was replaced by Andrew Gardner, was rolled up into by running back LeSean Mccoy and left the field in a lot of pain. The Eagles were down to the Jags 17-0 at the half, and heard a chorus of boos when they went into the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field. Losing Mathis would be a devastating blow to a line that started the same five guys all the way through the 2013 season.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns
Cameron left the Browns' tilt with the Steelers with a reported re-aggravation of the AC joint in his shoulder. It's not known how long the Browns' tight end could be out. Cameron had two catches for 47 yards before leaving the game.
Hill, Jeff Fisher's pick to replace Sam Bradford after Bradford went down in the preseason with a torn ACL, was benched after the first half and replaced by Austin Davis after completing 8-of-13 passes for 81 yards and an interception. Then, it came out that Hill had suffered a thigh injury. That's an interesting note, as Hill didn't appear injured, but perhaps the Rams are just doing some damage control there. We shall see. In any case, the Rams' pursuit of the NFC West will be severely hampered with their current quarterback situation, to say the least.
Matthews hurt his ankle in the second quarter of the Falcons-Saints game, limped into the locker room at the half and came out for the second half without wearing a helmet. Projected left tackle Sam Baker was already out for the season with a knee injury, and now, Gabe Carimi and Lamar Holmes are playing tackle for the Falcons -- not great news for Matt Ryan from a protection perspective.
The Dolphins lost linebackers Koa Misi (ankle), Dannell Ellerbe (hip) in-game against the Patriots, and Philip Wheeler was scratched before the game started with a thumb issue. But the Dolphins still played the Pats tough at Sun Life Stadium, upsetting the Patriots in convincing fashion, 33-20.