The Tennessee Titans suffered a major blow on Wednesday when pass rusher Harold Landry III went down with an injury during practice. The team later confirmed the starting OLB suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The recovery time is expected to be 9-12 months.
Over the past four years, Landry III has appeared in 64 games (52 starts). He has 256 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 31.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. He was named to his first ever Pro Bowl last season and signed a new five-year contract with the team this past March.
This is bad news for a Titans’ defense that saw Landry III put up a career-high 12.0 sacks and 14 tackles for loss last season – both of which led the team. He applied a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and in a quarterback-heavy conference, that’s going to be missed.
Other NFL Players Who Were Injured This Preseason
The Tennessee Titans aren’t the only team with injury concerns heading into the regular season and Harold Landry III is just one of the NFL players to go down this preseason. It’s unfortunate, but it’s something we witness every single year and something that teams need to prepare for.
It seems like every day we have a new injury to talk about and it’s not only affecting NFL teams – especially considering Week 1 is just one week away – but it’s also affecting fantasy football owners – who have either already drafted these NFL players (or are drafting them this week).
While Harold Landry III is the latest, he’s far from the first and certainly won’t be the last. With the preseason over with and teams (as well as fantasy owners) preparing for Week 1, let’s do a quick recap of some of the most notable NFL players to sustain injuries during preseason.
20. James Washington
On August 1st, Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver James Washington was carted off the practice field with a foot injury. He had surgery the following day and was expected to miss 6-10 weeks at the time. He has since been placed on the IR, meaning he will miss at least four games.
Washington was set to play a heavy role in the Cowboys’ offense this season, especially with Amari Cooper out of the picture. Over the past four years, while with the Steelers, Washington had 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns. We should see him back soon, though.
19. Tim Patrick
On August 2nd, Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Tim Patrick tore his ACL during practice. He was immediately placed on the IR, meaning he won’t be available at all this upcoming season. His surgery went well, but we likely won’t be seeing any of him until next season’s OTA’s.
Patrick could’ve had a career year with Russell Wilson throwing him the ball, but that’ll have to wait until next year. The former undrafted free agent has 143 catches for 2,009 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past four seasons. He was the Broncos’ second-best receiver in 2021.
18. N’Keal Harry
On August 6th, Chicago Bears’ wide receiver N’Keal Harry suffered a high ankle sprain during practice. He had surgery on the ankle several days later and was given a recovery timeline of up to eight weeks. He has since been placed on the IR and will miss at least four games.
Harry was once a promising receiver for the New England Patriots, but things didn’t go well for the first round draft pick – only recording 57 catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns over the past three seasons. He’ll have a chance to redeem himself with Chicago, but it’ll have to wait.
17. Jimmie Ward
On August 14th, San Francisco 49ers’ free safety Jimmie Ward suffered a hamstring injury that immediately put his status for Week 1 in jeopardy. In a shocking turn of events, he was recently placed on the Injured Reserve and will now miss at least the first four games of the season.
Ward was a first round draft pick by the 49ers back in 2014 and has started 74 games for the team since. He has 401 career tackles, 3.0 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, and two defensive touchdowns. The 49ers rely on his veteran presence, so this one will hurt.
16. Zach Wilson
On August 12th, during a preseason game vs. the Eagles, New York Jets’ quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a meniscus tear and bone bruise in his knee. He later had surgery to repair the knee and his status for Week 1 is now in jeopardy – Joe Flacco is currently expected to start.
Wilson started 13 games for the Jets as a rookie last season after going No. 2 overall in the 2021 draft. He had a 3-10 record, throwing for 2,334 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Many people were wondering if he would take a leap this season, but who knows at this point.
15. Nick Harris
On August 12th, just two snaps into the team’s preseason opener, Cleveland Browns’ center Nick Harris suffered a right knee injury that required season-ending surgery. A couple days later, the team placed him on the Injured Reserve, officially bringing his 2022 season to an end.
The Browns made a bold move this offseason when they released JC Tretter, their longtime starting center. They planned to replace him with Harris, but those plans have changed. He has started two games in the past two seasons and just missed out on a great opportunity at more.
14. Dawson Deaton
On August 13th, just one day after the team lost their starting center, Cleveland Browns’ backup center Dawson Deaton tore his ACL during practice. He was placed on the Injured Reserve the same day as Nick Harris, meaning they’ll both be out for the year – a major blow for the O-line.
Deaton played three years of college football at Texas Tech and was a two-time Second-team All-Big 12 player before the Browns drafted him in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. With Tretter and Harris out of the picture, Deaton will miss a great opportunity to impress.
13. Malcolm Butler
On August 11th, during the team’s preseason opener, New England Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler suffered a hip injury. He was placed on the IR just a few days later, ending his season. Most recently, the Patriots released the veteran cornerback on an injury settlement.
Butler wasn’t expected to be a starter for the Patriots this year, but they were hoping he could fill a veteran backup role after missing all of last season due to injury. He started in 84 games since 2014 and still has some quality game left in him – he just needs to find a way to stay healthy.
12. Joe Burrow
While it technically didn’t happen in preseason, Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow underwent an appendectomy on July 26th after rupturing his appendix. It kept him out of all three preseason games, but he has been practicing since August 14th and is recovering well.
Burrow will likely be ready to go when Week 1 rolls around, but you have to wonder if he’ll be 110%. Coming off a 10-6 record and throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns in a season that included a Super Bowl appearance, expectations are going to be high for Burrow this year.
11. Jourdan Lewis
On August 17th, Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback Jourdan Lewis suffered a hamstring injury during practice. He was seen limping off the field and was originally expected to miss the rest of the preseason. Not much has been heard of him since, but there’s a chance he’s ready for Week 1.
Lewis is expected to play a vital role in this Cowboys’ defense after starting 26 games for the team over the past two seasons. He’s coming off a career-year, in which he set career-highs in interceptions (3), tackles (61), and passes defensed (11). He also finished with 1.5 sacks.
10. Kayvon Thibodeaux
On August 21st, during a preseason game against the Bengals, New York Giants’ defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux suffered a knee injury. They didn’t think he would miss any time at first, but it was later confirmed to be a sprained MCL. He’s expected to miss the start of the season.
Thibodeaux played three years of college football at the University of Oregon between 2019 and 2021 – where he recorded 126 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 19.0 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He was selected by the New York Giants in the first round (No. 5 overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft.
9. J.C. Jackson
On August 23rd, Los Angeles Chargers’ starting cornerback J.C. Jackson underwent ankle surgery to address discomfort in the area. At the time, he was expected to miss 3-4 weeks, putting his status for Week 1 in jeopardy – though he shouldn’t miss too much regular season.
Jackson spent the past four seasons with the New England Patriots, where he recorded 158 tackles, 53 passes defensed, and 25 interceptions – including 17 interceptions the past two seasons. He’s entering his first season with the Chargers and should be returning very soon.
8. John Metchie III
It’s technically not a preseason injury, but Houston Texans’ wide receiver John Metchie III announced on July 24th he had been diagnosed with leukemia – he’s likely to miss the 2022 season while he undergoes treatment. The good news is it’s the most curable form of leukemia.
Metchie III played three years of college football at the University of Alabama, where he recorded 155 catches for 2,081 yards and 14 touchdowns – including 96 catches, 1,142 yards, and eight touchdowns last season. He was drafted by Houston in the second round in 2022.
7. Matt Corral
On August 19th, during a preseason game against the Patriots, Carolina Panthers’ rookie quarterback Matt Corral suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. The team placed him on the Injured Reserve several days later, bringing his rookie campaign to an end before it started.
Corral played four years of college football at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where he threw for 8,287 yards, 57 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions. He had at least 3,300 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons, including 1,120 yards rushing in that same time.
6. Rigoberto Sanchez
On August 20th, Indianapolis Colts’ starting punter Rigoberto Sanchez tore his Achilles while sprinting during practice. He was later placed on the Injured Reserve, meaning he is done for the rest of the season. The team immediately signed former Buffalo Bills’ punter Matt Haack.
Sanchez played two years of college football at the University of Hawaii, where he punted 144 times for 6,457 yards – he also hit 21 of 24 field goals and 72 of 74 extra points. He was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and has been the team’s starter ever since.
5. Aaron Stinnie
On August 20th, during a preseason game against the Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting guard Aaron Stinnie suffered a torn ACL and MCL – meaning he will miss the entire 2022 season. The Bucs also have injuries to their starting center and starting tackle this preseason.
Stinnie was a three-year starter at James Madison University before the Titans signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018. After playing just four games with Tennessee, he was waived and picked up by the Buccaneers – where he has played in 14 games, but started just one game.
4. Sam Darnold
On August 26th, during the team’s preseason finale, Carolina Panthers’ backup quarterback Sam Darnold suffered a left ankle injury that will keep him out at least four weeks. It’s a major blow to the Panthers’ offense, who also lost rookie quarterback Matt Corral a week prior.
Darnold was a two-year starter at the University of Southern California (USC) before the Jets drafted him No. 3 overall in 2018. Over the past four seasons, he has just a 17-32 record with 10,624 yards and 54 touchdowns. He recently lost his starting QB role to Baker Mayfield.
3. Brian Robinson
On August 28th, it was announced that Washington Commanders’ rookie running back Brian Robinson had suffered multiple gunshot wounds after two suspects tried to rob him. He was recently added to the non-football injury list, meaning he’ll miss the first four games, at least.
Robinson played five years of college football at the University of Alabama between 2017 and 2022, where he ran for 2,704 yards and 29 touchdowns – including 1,343 yards and 14 TDs in 2021. He was drafted by the Commanders in the third round (No. 98 overall) in the 2022 draft.
2. Mekhi Becton
On August 8th, New York Jets’ starting tackle Mekhi Becton suffered a knee injury and was carted off the practice field. While the Jets’ were originally optimistic, things took a turn for the worse after the MRI was taken. The team later announced he would miss the entire season.
Becton was a two-year starter at the University of Louisville before being drafted in the first round (No. 11 overall) by the Jets. He played in 14 games for the team as a rookie, starting 13 of those games, but only started in one game last season and will now miss all of 2022.
1. Tyron Smith
On August 11th, Dallas Cowboys’ starting tackle Tyron Smith suffered an ankle injury, though it wasn’t serious. Two weeks later, Smith tore his hamstring in practice and is now listed as out indefinitely – his earliest possible return would be sometime in December, which is bad news.
Smith has been a mainstay on the Cowboys’ offensive line, starting all 144 games he has played in since being drafted No. 9 overall by the team in 2011. Though playing in at least 13 games in each of his first nine years in the NFL, he has only played in 13 games since 2020.
Which NFL Players Are Returning From Injury in 2022?
We’ve seen numerous star players go down with an injury this preseason – as you can see above – but let’s not forget we do have a number of star players returning from injury. Last season was a rough one with injuries, but there’s still a lot to be excited about in 2022.
Some NFL players returning from injury are Travis Etienne, J.K. Dobbins, Jack Conklin, David Bakhtiari, Jaire Alexander, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Derrick Henry, Khalil Mack, Christian McCaffrey, JJ Watt, Tre’Davious White, and Jameis Winston.
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NFL players and coaches understand the importance of availability, so limiting the amount of injuries has to be at the forefront of every season-long plan. Being healthy and staying healthy are two completely different things in the NFL, so let’s hope everyone stays healthy this year.
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