Key Players To Go On IR After Week One

keanu neal
Photo: Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Falcons S Keanu Neal (Knee)

This was the first of what was two big-time week one injuries for the Falcons defense. Neal is an extremely talented player so this will be a big loss. They will attempt to replace him with Damontae Kazee, who looked promising in week one and he actually had a nice play to break up a pass and force an interception.

Falcons LB Deion Jones (Foot)

This is an even bigger blow for the Falcons because they’ll be replacing Jones with someone who has no experience, in Foyesade Oluokun. Oluokon is an undersized rookie that’ll be trying to replace a guy who racked up 166 tackles during his first two seasons. This is a major loss for the Falcons defense because Jones can cover the whole field with his athletic ability.

Texans OT Seantrel Henderson (Ankle)

This is a big loss for the Texans because anytime you lose someone playing one of the tackle spots it’s a big deal. He’ll be replaced by Kendall Lamm, who has minimal experience and has had a hard time sticking in Houston, but now he will have a chance to stick.

Texans CB Kevin Johnson (Concussions)

Johnson was placed on IR after suffering multiple concussions. While this is tough for Johnson, this is at least a position the Texans can afford to lose someone. Their top two corners are Jonathan Joseph and Aaron Colvin, and they also have Kayvon Webster and Johnson Bademosi on the roster, who has been around the league.

Titans TE Delanie Walker (Ankle)

This was the biggest week one injury in my mind. Marcus Mariota has used Walker as his safety blanket the whole time he’s been in the league and Walker has been extremely dependable, but he’ll now be sidelined all season after suffering a gruesome ankle injury. Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser will try and pick up the production that’s been lost, but this is a monumental blow to the Tennessee offense.

Patriots RB Jeremy Hill (ACL)

This is a tough loss because the Patriots were hoping for a big year from Hill, but they at least have Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel and Kenjon Barner, who’s been around the league, so they have some depth at the position. Ultimately they should be fine here, they will just probably have to go even more by committee than they were already going to do.

Buccaneers CB Vernon Hargreaves (Shoulder)

This was not really a loss the Buccaneers could afford to have happen. Hargreaves has yet to live up to his status of being a first-round pick in 2016, but he’s at least serviceable and now that he’s gone, they’ll be stretched pretty thin at the cornerback position. The Bucs have a lot of talent on defense, but the secondary is a really thin spot and now they’ll be relying a lot on Ryan Smith, Javien Elliott, and some rookies.

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