Impactful Training Camp & Preseason Injuries NFL 2022

With the NFL preseason in full swing, players are beginning to showcase their regular-season form. With that – unfortunately – comes player injuries, which is to be expected in a hard-hitting game like football. A harsh reality of our favorite game, these injuries can derail players, who tend to sacrifice most of their ‘downtime’ to training in the offseason, and the teams they play on. Teams are often unable to fill the void left by certain players’ absences, regardless if said injured player is a star or not. In this article, I will examine key player injuries thus far and how teams plan on rebounding from the excruciating blows that have come to affect them this early in the new football year. 

New York Jets’ Quarterback Zach Wilson | Injury: Torn Right Meniscus, Bone Bruise 

Expected Time Out: 2-4 weeks 

It is too early to tell how long Zach Wilson’s injury will keep him out for. With estimations being thrown around from two to four weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if last year’s second overall pick was kept out longer to ensure he isn’t rushed through the rehab process. It’s also important to remember that Wilson missed four games last season due to a PCL sprain in that same knee 

when gauging when the Jets’ should restart him. Receiving surgery last weekend, Wilson’s injury status will most likely stretch into the regular season, meaning the Jets will be forced to turn to backup quarterback Joe Flacco in the meantime. 

How’d It Happen: After throwing a complete misread interception on the Jets’ opening possession in their first preseason game, Wilson started looking more and more like himself until he got tripped up on a scramble midway through the first quarter. With the pocket breaking down, Wilson made it about 7 yards past the line of scrimmage before being tripped up by Eagles rookie linebacker Nakobe Dean. Quick to get up, Wilson started hobbling before being examined by the medical staff and taken to the locker room. 

What’s Next: With Wilson in rehab, the Jets turn to a familiar face in former starter Joe Flacco. Flacco had two appearances for the Jets last year, starting one game. In two games, Flacco put up 338 yards and three touchdowns, going 0-2 in those appearances. While the Jets have yet to announce Wilson’s potential week one absence, don’t be surprised to see the former Super Bowl MVP starting against his former team in the Baltimore Ravens week one. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Center Ryan Jensen | Injury: Unknown Left Knee Injury 

Expected Time Out: Entire Season; Playoff Return Not Ruled Out

The Bucs have yet to talk specifics about the left knee injury that starting center Ryan Jensen suffered in early training camp, but the presence of the former Pro-Bowler will certainly be missed by Tom Brady and co. While there are talks about a potential playoff return, the Bucs can’t count on that now and must turn to backup center Robert Hainsey at the position. With Pro-Bowl right tackle Tristan Wirfs also going down with a strained oblique, the Bucs’ injuries at offensive line are only growing. 

How’d It Happen: Jensen was perhaps the most notable name to go down with injury during the NFL’s training camp period. On only the second day of camp, Jensen was carted off the field during practice. It is interesting to note that the Bucs coaching staff and organization have been extremely unspecific about the severity and details of the injury, so stay tuned for more news soon. 

What’s Next: Robert Hainsey is the favorite to start at center for the Bucs this season unless the team plans on adding a free agent in the next week or so. Starting at center in Tampa’s last preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, Hainsey played 26 snaps before being replaced by left guard Nick Leverett. Experimenting with youth, head coach Todd Bowles is in a precarious position given that Tom Brady’s absence is still on-going. While many expected the Bucs to cake-walk their way back into the postseason, challenges are beginning to mount for this team’s offense. 

Denver Broncos Receiver Tim Patrick | Injury: ACL Tear 

Expected Time Out: Entire Season 

It is an absolute shame that NFL audiences won’t be able to see the Wilson-Patrick connection this season, as it was bound to be something special. Without dropping a single ball last season, Patrick put up 734 yards and 5 touchdowns on 53 receptions. Leading the Broncos in receiving with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock at quarterback, Patrick was undoubtedly set to boost his stats with perennial MVP candidate Russell Wilson now under center. While we’ll have to wait another year to see that, the Broncos, luckily, have depth at the position group that will keep them afloat in a loaded AFC North division. 

How’d It Happen: Another victim of the NFL training camp period, Patrick went down during a non-contact catching drill in the first week of camp. Patrick was placed on season-ending injury reserve (IR) shortly after and will officially miss the entirety of this season. 

What’s Next: Despite having depth at the position, the Broncos receiver group is one that is very prone to injury. Last season, Jerry Jeudy missed 6 games with a high ankle sprain and KJ Hammler missed the majority of the season with a torn ACL and dislocated hip. While primary pass-catcher Courtland Sutton stayed relatively healthy all of last year, he missed all of 2020 with a torn MCL. With Noah Fant traded to the Seahawks in the Wilson trade, the Broncos will need to maintain a healthy receiver group in order to compete in the arms-race of a division that is the AFC North.

New York Jets Offensive Tackle Mekhi Becton | Injury: Right Kneecap Fracture 

Expected Time Out: Entire Season 

The Jets can’t seem to catch any breaks. After a blockbuster offseason in which the Jets nabbed up three great, first round talents in the 2022 NFL Draft, they suffered key injuries at quarterback and right tackle. Becton, who missed 16 games last season, will now miss all of this season with a right kneecap fracture. Being selected 11th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Becton has struggled with staying healthy during his short career and his absence will put even more pressure on Zach Wilson this season, whenever he returns. 

How’d It Happen: Becton went down with the injury during team practice. Unfortunately, the injury occurred in the same right knee that Becton injured and then subsequently repaired last season. Because of these injuries, Becton will only have played one game since his rookie season if he returns to the team and is ready to play next season. 

What’s Next: With Becton’s career in injury flux, the Jets have signed former Pro Bowler Duane Brown to fill the left tackle spot while George Fant will take Becton’s place over at right tackle. Becton, originally a left tackle, was moved to right tackle this season because Fant won the job by excelling in the role last season. Because Brown is 37 and a true right tackle though, Fant is being moved back to right tackle. All this movement will most likely not bode well for an already-injured Zach Wilson, who was sacked 44 times last year, as he once again is protected by a youthful and experimental offensive line group.

Carson Marsh graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication with special focus on Sports Media from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, Carson has worked in journalism as a field reporter for WeAreSC.com, the longest-running publication exclusively dedicated to USC football and also worked in the social media department with the Las Vegas Raiders.

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