Injury watch for 2013 NFL season
Some key injury concerns for teams as preparation for the 2013 season begins in earnest, starting with Dennis Pitta. The Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl title defense will have to go on without the services of the reliable tight end after the 28-year-old fractured and dislocated his hip on the third day of training camp. The Ravens signed Visanthe Shiancoe a day after Pitta's injury as they seeks to maintain their passing offense without departed wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller tore his ACL, PCL, MCL and dislocated his knee after taking a low hit from Texans rookie safety D.J. Swearinger. Keller had recently signed with the Dolphins on a one-year, $4.25 million deal.
The Bills released this statement on Aug. 17, regarding their hopeful opening day starting quarterback: "EJ Manuel had some swelling in his left knee this morning and was examined by our medical staff. An MRI revealed that he will need to have a minor knee procedure and that has been scheduled. He will miss the remainder of the preseason and then be re-evaluated at that time."
The Raiders starting left tackle has a torn triceps, which requires surgery and may force Oakland to make do without him all season.
Malcom Floyd, who led the Chargers with 56 receptions for 814 yards in 2012, injured his right knee during practice and apparently strained his knee.
The Chargers second-leading receiver last year, Danario Alexander will be unavailable in 2013 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Plaxico Burress suffered a torn rotator cuff during a Pittsburgh practice and his recovery from shoulder surgery will sideline him for the entire year.
The Bears' cornerback tore his left hamstring, an injury that almost certainly will land him on injured reserve for the year. He had 37 tackles, five pass break-ups and an interception last season.
Joe Morgan had just 10 catches last season, but averaged a staggering 37.9 yards on those receptions. The Saints had him pegged as a frontrunner for their No. 3 receiver spot, but his torn meniscus and ACL ruins those plans.
While in the running to be the starting right tackle for the Falcons this year, Mike Johnson suffered a dislocated left ankle and fibula fracture on Aug. 6 and was immediately scheduled for surgery.
Packers starting left tackle Bryan Bulaga reportedly suffered a season-ending knee injury during a scrimmage in the first weekend of August.
The Dallas Cowboys' depth on the defensive line took a serious hit when Tyrone Crawford tore his left Achilles tendon on the first day of practice. In his rookie year, Crawford made 20 tackles, but he was expected to see more playing time in 2013 as a result of his versatility on the line at either defensive end or tackle.
A torn ACL will likely cost Philadelphia Eagles speedster Jeremy Maclin his entire 2013 season. The wide receiver's injury comes at a terrible time both for himself --Maclin's rookie contract expires at the end of the season -- and for his team. The Eagles' offense was expected to expand under new head coach Chip Kelly with Maclin and DeSean Jackson creating a dynamic deep-threat duo.
The Eagles season took another blow when wideout Arrelious Been tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during practice on Aug. 6, ending his season.
The Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers will have to make do without top target Michael Crabtree, who underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon on May 22. Since the surgery, Crabtree has been rehabbing but will likely return no sooner than the final few weeks of the season. Crabtree's injury will makes the 49ers' acquisition of Anquan Boldin all the more crucial.
The New England Patriots have watched their stable of star tight ends decrease from two to possibly zero as the odyssey of Rob Gronkowski's recovery multiple injuries continues. Gronkowski has had multiple surgeries on his broken left forearm in addition to back surgery this offseason, likely leaving him not ready to play by the start of the season.
Chris Culliver drew a crowd at the Super Bowl after he made anti-gay comments. On Aug. 1 the cornerback tore an ACL, sidelining him for the season.
The Denver Broncos' offensive line, already banged up, suffered another blow when center Dan Koppen tore his ACL in his left knee in a team workout. Koppen joins a long list of injured or recovering Broncos offensive linemen, including Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Chris Kuper and J.D. Walton. With Koppen likely out for the season, the Broncos will have to turn to Manny Ramirez, who started 11 games at right guard last season.
Kenyon Coleman followed former Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to New Orleans, but won't play this year after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.
Third-year wide receiver Armon Binns tore his ACL and MCL, forcing him to miss all of the Miami Dolphins' 2013 campaign. The Dolphins' likely No. 4 wide receiver caught 24 passes for 277 yards last season, split between the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami.
When safety Ed Reed will debut for his new team is still unclear as the Houston Texans open training camp. The longtime-Raven is still recovering from a hip injury suffered in the AFC Championship Game and reaggravated during offseason workouts. According to his new teammates, there is good news as Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson told reporters Reed told him he'd be ready for the season opener.
Heath Miller's 2012 season ended tragically as the Pittsburgh Steelers tight end tore his ACL, MCL and PCL in Week 16 of his best professional year. Now seven months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, the 30-year-old is unsure about whether he'll be able to play in the season opener. Miller caught 71 balls for 816 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Despite requiring surgery to repair injuries to his MCL and lateral plateau in his left knee, Henry Hynoski is still aiming to be ready to play by Week 1. With Hynoski out, the New York Giants have turned in the interim to Ryan D'Imperio at fullback. Hynoski got five carries last season for 20 yards and also caught 11 passes for 50 yards with a touchdown.
With Michael Crabtree out for most of the regular season, fellow wide receiver Mario Manningham's health has become critically important to the San Francisco 49ers. Manningham tore his ACL and MCL in Week 15 last season and is reportedly about a month away from returning to on-field activities. In his first season with the 49ers last year, Manningham caught 42 passes for 449 yards and a touchdown.
Jason Phillips, a fifth-year linebacker who played for Carolina and Baltimore before joining Philadelphia, tore his right ACL in a July 29th practice and is out for the year.
Third-year offensive tackle Bruce Campbell tore his rotator cuff during Carolina's preseason game against Chicago. The resulting surgery will require him to miss the season.