Well, the first week of the 2018 NFL season is in the books. Of course, it didn’t happen without a lot of intriguing storylines or some unfortunate injuries. Let’s try to catch up on all the important stories from Week 1.
Not Ringing the Bell
Running back Le’Veon Bell was notably absent from the Steelers during their Week 1 tie against the Browns. Bell continues to hold out and now the Steelers are starting to plan as if he won’t be around for at least four to six weeks. In his place, James Connor had 192 all-purpose yards against the Browns. Aside from a fumble, the Steelers could not have been more pleased with Connor’s performance. However, according to reports, they have no plans to rescind the franchise tag or attempt to trade Bell.
Comeback and Sit
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to an amazing comeback Sunday night, especially considering he went to the locker room with some kind of knee injury only to return and work his magic in the 4th quarter. However, Packers coach Mike McCarthy indicated on Monday that it’s not a lock that Rodgers will be able to play Week 2 against the Vikings. Rodgers was told by team doctors that he would not do any more damage if he played the second half, although he admitted to his knee getting a little stiff the longer he played. McCarthy noted on Monday the team was “still collecting all the information,” so whether Rodgers plays on Sunday is up in the air right now.
The New England Patriots have been victimized by the dreaded ACL tear, as running back Jeremy Hill has been ruled out for the season after suffering that injury in the season opener. Hill signed with New England over the offseason but managed just four carries and one catch before suffering the torn ligament. The Patriots still have plenty of backfield depth with Rex Burkhead and James White. They also have rookie Sony Michel, although he sat out the season opener with an injury.
Heisman Gets the Gig
To be fair, backup quarterback jobs aren’t super exciting, but they are when they involve Lamar a pair of former Heisman winners like Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III. The Ravens ended up choosing Jackson as the backup to Joe Flacco, although they kept RG3 on the roster. That means Jackson saw some action late in the team’s 47-3 shellacking of the Bills in Week 1. However, based on that game, it doesn’t seem like Flacco’s job will be threatened anytime soon.
Pay the Man
The Arizona Cardinals are no doubt excited to have David Johnson back from injury this season, and they showed him their appreciation last week by giving him a three-year extension worth $39 million. The deal comes with $30 million guaranteed, which is the third-highest total for active running backs. Coming off a season in which he played just one game due to injury, it’s not a bad deal at all for Johnson.
Who’s the Bosa?
The Los Angeles Chargers lost their Week 1 game against the Chiefs without Joey Bosa on the field, and they may have to deal with his absence a little longer. Bosa will reportedly see a foot specialist for an undisclosed injury that could end up keeping him out for several weeks. Of course, until there’s a diagnosis, it’s unclear how much time he could miss.
Titans in Trouble
The Tennessee Titans did not come out of their season opener feeling good. Tight end Delanie Walker has already been placed on IR and will miss the season after suffering a broken ankle and ligament damage on Sunday. Left tackle Taylor Lewan is also in concussion protocol, so his status for the immediate future is in question. Finally, quarterback Marcus Mariota left Sunday’s loss with an elbow injury. Tennessee was forced to go with Blaine Gabbert for much of their loss against the Dolphins. Mariota’s status moving forward is yet to be determined.
Not A Strong Start
There are seven teams with new coaches this season, and somehow, none of them found their way to a win in Week 1. The Giants, Bears, Cardinals, Colts, Lions, Raiders, and Titans all made a coaching move after last season and all lost their season opener. The Colts, Lions, and Titans were all favorites in their games, making it all the more surprising that all seven lost.
Have a great week as you wait for NFL Week 2!