For teams in the NFL, the preseason is a chance to get players back into proper game shape while acclimating new members of the team into the system each team employs. But this year, teams have had to deal with several costly injuries that will weaken their chances to make playoff runs in the eyes of fans and American football betting experts alike.
Packers Lose Jordy Nelson
Jordy Nelson has consistently been among the NFL’s best wide receivers in recent years, using his speed and ability to gain separation from his defenders and make big plays for the Green Bay Packers. He won’t be making any plays for his team this year, though, as he suffered a torn ACL in the Packers’ preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend.
Nelson suffered the injury while making a routine cut at Heinz Field, home of the Steelers, whose playing surface is notoriously unreliable in the eyes of players. He wasn’t hit by anyone when sustaining the injury, which makes it a complete anomaly in the dangerous world of NFL injuries, and one that will cost the Packers their best wide receiver in a year that they look to improve on last season’s NFC championship game loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Pouncey Goes Down For Pittsburgh
In the exact same game in which Jordy Nelson went down for the season with a knee injury, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost a key member of their offense, one that could cost them a playoff spot in the very challenging AFC. Offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey had his fibula fractured after a defensive player fell onto his leg in the middle of a play, meaning that Pouncey will miss roughly half the season trying to recover.
Unlike Nelson’s injury, which impacts the Packers at a skill position, Pouncey’s injury has a bigger effect on the rest of the Steelers’ offense, which relies on Pouncey to deliver on every single play. Without Pouncey available to block for his teammates, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will face more pressure on every down, which will lead to fewer completed passes. This will also allow teams to do a better job of stopping the Steelers’ running game. American football tipsters should keep an eye on Pittsburgh’s per play offensive numbers early in the season to see how they compare to last year in order to find out how Pouncey’s injury has affected them.
Is There A Solution To This Problem?
Believe it or not, players have come out and proposed that the preseason be completely eliminated. The most vocal of that contingent has been Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who says that he doesn’t need the preseason to get ready for real game action. This would limit the number of full contact situations players were in prior to the season, which would definitely reduce the number of injuries, but it’s doubtful that team owners would give up the revenue that preseason game attendance brings in.
Whatever the proposed solution, something needs to be done to limit the number of injuries in the NFL’s preseason to make sure the best players are on the field at all times when the games count.
By: Jason M. Sanin