When we assess the effect of injuries in the league and their effects on the NFL betting odds, our thinking tends to be binary: every team can either be a winner or loser. When you lose a key player in your squad, it either creates an opportunity for someone else to rise up and fill up the position for a sustained efficiency in the team, or your team’s overall output drops because none of the existing members in the team is able to replace the injured footballer.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 21, 2015
Week 2 Injuries that May Impact the NFL Betting Odds
As such, the following injuries from the second week of the 2015 NFL season could affect your betting positively or negatively, especially in regards to the opponents their teams will be facing in Week 3.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
The 48-23 loss by Chicago to Arizona was more than just a bad home loss to the Bears, as the team also saw starting QB Jay Cutler leave the game with a hamstring injury. Jimmy Clausen came in for the injured starter, completing 14-of-23 passes for 121 yards and one interception for a QBR of 56.6. According to Chicago Coach John Fox, Cutler will undergo further tests and the Bears will inform the press about further developments in the course of the week. This is not the first time the 32-year-old QB is facing such injury concerns, as he missed 12 games between 2011 and 2013 due to different ailments. With a Sunday trip to Seattle for a matchup against the Seahawks in a Week 3 encounter, the Bears will need to have their best man under the center. And going by Clausen’s preseason and his game against the Cardinals in Week 2, Cutler (even with his error-prone games) is the best man, so the Bears better hope that he is fit in time for Seattle’s game.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
After losing All-Pro star receiver Dez Bryant in Week 1 for 10-12 weeks, and also having TE Jason Witten out with two sprained ankles and a sprained knee, the Dallas Cowboys suffered another setback in their offense as QB Tony Romo broke his left collarbone in the third quarter of Sunday’s encounter against Philadelphia and never came back in the game. The Cowboys went on to win the game, as the Dallas defense stood its ground, keeping the Eagles scoreless until the fourth quarter, while Romo’s replacement Brandon Weeden also impressed by throwing for a TD to give the Cowboys a hard-earned 20-10 victory. After suffering a similar injury in Week 7 of the 2010 campaign and missing the rest of the season, and after the Cowboys struggled a lot in the offense without Romo and Bryant on Sunday, there’s certainly a need for concern. It is currently unclear exactly how many weeks Romo will be out, but it will be a while—something that is likely to hurt the team’s contention for the playoffs, starting with Sunday’s home game against Atlanta. It remains to be seen whether Weeden can formidably lead the team. In his relief appearance for Romo against Washington in 2014, Weeden was unimpressive, and his lone start of 2014, six days after the loss to Washington, he threw two interceptions in a defeat to Arizona. Even so, there’s some hope for Dallas (2-0), based on the backup’s relief work on Sunday, where he went 7-of-7 for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Williams, S, Buffalo Bills
In one of Sunday’s freakish moments in Sunday’s New England victory over Buffalo, defensive back Aaron Williams injured his neck and face in the fourth quarter, leading to a 12-minute delay in the game. Williams was his trying to keep Patriots receiver Julian Edelman out of the end zone when he accidentally smashed his face on the turf, keeping him down for several minutes. The 25-year old was later placed on a stretcher, loaded into an ambulance, and was taken to a hospital within the area. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Adickes, who does work with ESPN, tweeted that he had talked to Williams’ father who said the #23 safety “has full movement in all extremities following his neck injury.” The Bills also released some news after that, announcing that Williams went through a number of tests and was released from the hospital a couple of hours after the incident. Obviously, the Bills are laden with talent in the secondary, so finding someone to replace Williams as he gains full recovery is not an issue, but that doesn’t mean Buffalo won’t miss the reliability of the fifth-year starting safety.
Mathew Stafford, QB, Detroit
Despite the Lions suffering a 26-16 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, Detroit’s starting QB Mathew Stafford didn’t do too many wrongs, as he completed 32 of 53 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Stafford also led Detroit in rushing with four carries for 20 yards. However, the veteran QB was on the ground several times, suffering eight quarterback hits in the game, along with multiple other shots when he pounded the ground for rushing yards. Resultantly, Stafford (who stayed on the field to finish the game) had to undergo X-rays on his chest and ribs after the match. With nothing major reported so far from his medical checks, it doesn’t look like Stafford will be missing Sunday’s Prime Time clash against the Broncos. Still, with Denver’s defense known to very physical, you can expect a rather scared performance from the QB, as he seeks to avoid further wear and tear to his aging body.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Like Stafford, Brees should be available for this week’s in-division matchup between the Saints and the Panthers in Carolina. However, Brees endured several hits in the 26-18 home loss to Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. Admittedly, Brees said the many hits affected a couple of his throws that “didn’t come out really well.” He finished the game 24 of 38 for 255 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and also fumbled twice when he was sacked in the first half, though both were recovered by the Saints.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta
Atlanta’s rookie RB Tevin Coleman, who won the starting job over second-year back Devonta Freeman, was carted off the field during the second quarter of the 24-20 win over the Giants. Coleman didn’t return to the game, with Freeman taking over most of the carries in his absence. Before leaving the game, Coleman scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard first-quarter run, and had racked up nine carries for 32 yards. This was after he had posted a game-high 80 rushing yards on 20 carries against Philadelphia last week. The status of Coleman’s injury and his availability for Saturday’s clash against Dallas is yet to be clarified, though it would be a big miss for the Falcons if the rookie—who’s done nothing but impress so far in the NFL—is ruled out of the clash. Linebacker Paul Worrilow (calf) also did not return for Atlanta in the win over the Giants.
Other Worth-mentioning Injuries
RB Eddie Lacy, DE Josh Boyd and WR Davante Adams all left the first half of the Packers-Seahawks game with ankle injuries. Lacy was ruled out of the game and we are yet to know his status. With star WR Jordy Nelson out for the season due to a torn ACL and WR Randall Cobb still battling a shoulder injury, a speedy return of Lacy (who rushed 1,139 yards in 2014), together with a full and quick recovery to the duo of Adams (446 receiving yards in 2014) and Boyd (made four starts last season), will be crucial for the Packers, who are have a tough test against Kansas City next Monday. Earlier last week, Green Bay’s starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a left knee injury. Fortunately, he underwent a successful surgery on Saturday and is expected to be back after 4-6 weeks, and not missing the whole season, as had been suggested by some pundits.
Stud running back Carlos Hyde left the game against the Steelers with a head injury and never returned. Hyde, however, didn’t look that bad, as he walked to the locker room on his own after the third-quarter injury. TE Vance McDonald also suffered a knee injury in the same game and did not return for the 49ers.
Defensive end Gerald McCoy suffered a shoulder injury in his team’s upset win over New Orleans, but told reporters after the game that he was okay.
OG Chance Warmack suffered a knee injury against Cleveland and did not return. Rookie QB Marcus Mariota also injured his ankle in the game, but the team believes that he will be fine.
New York Giants:
OL Ereck Flowers suffered an ankle sprain against Atlanta and did not return. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was also evaluated for a concussion in the same game and did not return.
Running back LaMarr Woodley left the game against Chicago with a right shoulder injury and did not return.
LB Perry Riley Jr. suffered a calf injury in the win over St. Louis and did not return to the game.
In the game against Dallas, the Eagles announced that LB Mychal Kendricks suffered a hamstring injury. Kendricks failed to return to the field following the injury
Tackle Branden Albert suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter of Miami’s 23-20 loss to Jacksonville, and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Running back Lamar Miller also injured his ankle in the same game and did not return.