Many notable NFL athletes suffered season-ending injuries in 2017, a trend that has carried over into the 2018 NFL season.
In week three of the season, many players went down with injuries.
One of the most notable injuries was suffered this week by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. NFL writer Marc Sessler reported that Garoppolo tore the ACL in his left knee in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs when Garoppolo attempted to run for extra yardage.
Garoppolo won all five of his games that he started for the 49ers last year. San Francisco has missed the playoffs in its last four seasons, and the loss of Garoppolo hurts their playoff chances for this year.
The 49ers aren’t the only team facing injury concerns. NFL writer Herbie Teope reported that Falcons safety Ricardo Allen tore his Achilles tendon in a 43-37 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Along with Allen, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones injured his foot last week and safety Keanu Neal suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the season opener.
These are crucial losses for Atlanta’s defense. Their defense ranks 25th in the NFL this year with 28.3 points per game allowed. Their defense ranked eighth last year with only 19.7 points per game allowed. Atlanta has qualified for the playoffs in the last two seasons, but these injuries on defense could be problematic, especially because their next three opponents ( vs Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, vs Tampa Bay) all rank top-ten in points scored per game.
The Miami Dolphins also suffered a noteworthy loss to their defense. NFL writer Kevin Patra reported that defensive end William Hayes suffered a torn ACL while sacking Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the second quarter of the game. Hayes was leading the team with two sacks this season. Through three games, the Miami Dolphins only rank 23rd with six sacks. Sacks have been a problem for the Dolphins, as they ranked 26th in this stat last year, and have not been a top-ten team in sacks since 2012.
Looking ahead, all three of these teams have reasons to worry. San Francisco’s record last year was 1-10 before Garoppolo’s arrival. Their playoff hopes were dependent on his ability to play. The Falcons are last in the NFC South and their next three games will be tough for their injured defense. The Dolphins are 3-0 this season, but they will need to maintain a strong pass rush, especially because they play the Patriots next week. None of these teams look promising right now, but there are still 14 weeks left in the season. San Francisco, Atlanta and Miami will have to make adjustments to compensate for their injured players.