I wrote a piece a little while ago about the fact that I am terrified of injury. Injuries are plaguing the NFL. Starting with Michael Crabtree’s ACL tear that will take him out of the season, to Percy Harvin’s surgery that will make him miss the majority of the season, injuries are glooming over some of the top teams. The New Orleans saints lost two of their starting outside linebackers, one for the entire season. Most of these teams are very talented and will be able to replace the production lost by these guys, but injuries could be hard if happened to the wrong players.
For example: Michael Crabtree‘s injury hurts the passing game, but the receiver depth in San Francisco is so deep, they won’t miss much. However, if it were Frank Gore who got the injury, they don’t have a great running back right behind him to make the option work the way it needs to. Percy Harvin will be missed, but not as much if it was a mobile Russell Wilson was missing most games.
The Atlanta Falcons, for the most part, have stayed injury free. Mike Smith is making a huge deal about keeping injury out of camp. He’s telling players to end the play if someone finds themselves on the ground, and to avoid getting players in “awkward positions.”
No coach ever wants to play injuries as no big deal, but I’m not sure of many who are making the avoidance of such injuries so important. Everyone in Flowery branch knows how hard to go, they know their limits and they know when to stop. The Falcons are loaded with talent and a lot of that talent is a little top-heavy. No one can step in for Julio, Ryan, or Weatherspoon.
If Atlanta can get to week 1 with no injuries, it’ll be very difficult to stop this team.