Week 1 Injuries: Verrett, Okudah Out for the Year; Fitzpatrick May Follow
The NFL retained last season's relaxed injured reserve rules for 2021, meaning that any player who is placed on injured reserve after the final roster cutdown day is eligible to return to practice after missing three weeks. As a result, we will continue to distinguish between players who will be placed on injured reserve (IR) and players who will likely miss the entire remainder of the season (Season).
49ers Cornerback Jason Verrett—Knee (Season)
49ers Halfback Raheem Mostert—Knee (IR)
Early reports out of San Francisco indicated that cornerback Jason Verrett suffered another torn ACL, the second of his professional career. A former first-round pick of the Chargers, Verrett has only played more than six games in a season twice in the eight (and now nine) seasons since he was drafted in 2014. He had an excellent 2020, starting 13 games for the 49ers, but this latest injury means that will remain the only season since 2016 that he has played more than a single game before being lost for the year. Normally, an injury this early in the year would give a player a strong chance to be ready for Week 1 of the next campaign. With Verrett, unfortunately, all bets are off. For this season, head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned former starter Richard Sherman, who is currently a free agent, as one possible option to replace Verrett.
Halfback Raheem Mostert injured the cartilage in his knee and will be placed on injured reserve. He is expected to miss at least two months with the injury. Shanahan running back roulette makes it very difficult to predict who his replacement will be, but Mostert should return around November.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw injured his groin. Most groin injuries to linebackers do not cause missed games, and 75% of players who suffer them are back in the lineup within two weeks.
Lions Cornerback Jeff Okudah—Achilles (Season)
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports that Jeff Okudah tore his Achilles against the 49ers. That injury will require surgery, and thus will end Okudah's season. Okudah was the No. 3 overall pick in 2020. Though he struggled as a rookie, the team had high hopes for his sophomore year after an impressive training camp. This year's third-round pick, Ifeatu Melifonwu, looks the most likely replacement, but the team also plans to sign another cornerback this week.
Washington Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick—Hip (IR)
Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation against the Chargers, a transient, often partial dislocation that is usually self-reducing (that is, the dislocated bone returns to its socket without external intervention). Though potentially less severe than a full dislocation, this is still a major injury that will keep Fitzpatrick out indefinitely. He will also require scans to assess any additional damage, though the team doctors believe that he has avoided any associated fracture. Fitzpatrick has been placed on injured reserve, with no clear timetable for his return. It is entirely possible that he could miss the rest of the season, depending on what the scans show. Taylor Heinicke reclaims the starting job in his absence.
Broncos Receiver Jerry Jeudy—Ankle (IR)
Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy left the team's victory in New York with a high ankle sprain. Though X-rays showed no fracture, high-ankle sprains are severely debilitating for wide receivers: more than half of receivers miss at least five weeks after such an injury, and almost 40% miss the rest of the season. Two of the highest-profile players in the league, Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas, missed almost the full year with high-ankle injuries in 2020. Though Jeudy will hope to avoid that fate, he is likely to be absent until at least late October, and then to be impaired by the injury for some time following that.
Lineman Graham Glasgow left the stadium in an ambulance after the team detected an elevated heartbeat. He remained in New York overnight as a precaution, but should return to Denver this week.
Jets Left Tackle Mekhi Becton—Knee (IR)
Jets Safety Lamarcus Joyner—Elbow (Season)
Per Ian Rapoport, Mekhi Becton dislocated his kneecap and injured his MCL against the Panthers. The patellar injury will require surgery, meaning he will miss the next four to six weeks.
Safety Lamarcus Joyner tore a tendon in his arm that will require surgery and likely end his season, also per Rapoport.
Punter Braden Mann injured his knee against the Panthers, meaning Matt Ammendola handled both kicking and punting duties. Rookie linebacker Jamien Sherwood injured his ankle, with no update yet available on his status.
The following players left their respective games with concussion symptoms and enter the league protocol:
- Eagles safety Marcus Epps
- Lions receiver Tyrell Williams
- Packers tight end Josiah Deguara
Based on our current data, a growing majority of players now miss at least one game following a diagnosed concussion, but around 80% return within two weeks.
Bears tackle Jason Peters injured his quad against the Rams, and backup tackle Larry Borom injured his ankle. Further news from the Sunday night game usually becomes public later on Monday afternoon.
Browns tackle Jedrick Wills injured his ankle against the Chiefs, but no update is yet public.
Cardinals Kelvin Beachum suffered a rib injury against the Titans, with more news on his status expected later today.
Chargers tackle Bryan Bulaga hurt his back against Washington, but the injury does not appear to be major. He is considered day-to-day.
Dolphins linebacker Raekwon Davis injured his knee against the Patriots, but early indications suggest that he could have returned to the game if needed. He will have scans on the injury today, but it does not sound overly serious.
Eagles receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and tight end Zach Ertz were hurt against the Falcons, but neither injury is believed to be serious.
Patriots tackle Trent Brown hurt his calf against the Dolphins. Most calf injuries to offensive linemen do not cause missed games, and 75% of players are back within two weeks.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore injured his thumb against the Packers and will require surgery. He is unlikely to play in Week 2 and may miss several weeks. Edge rusher Marcus Davenport strained a pectoral muscle, but the injury is not severe enough to require surgery. He should return in October, but he is likely to miss a few games.
Seahawks halfback Rashaad Penny aggravated his existing calf injury against the Colts, and the team is likely to place him on injured reserve this week to give time for the injury to heal more fully.
Texans defensive tackle Vincent Taylor was carted to the locker room against the Jaguars. Though exact details are not yet public, he is expected to miss time with the injury. Rookie defensive tackle Roy Lopez replaced Taylor against the Jaguars and is likely to start in his absence.