One of the biggest fears heading into a 2011 season following a lockout and a truncated training camps was injuries.
Players did not have their regular amount of time to workout in team facilities, get in shape, absorb hits in practice, shake off the rust in preseason games and ramp up to regular season form in time for opening weekend.
Whether or not the alarming rash of injuries sustained across the league in Week 1 was a direct result of the lockout or not, a number of teams find themselves already have serious health concerns.
Kansas City chiefs second-year safety Eric Berry is the latest big-name player to reportedly be lost for the season with a torn ACL, according to a person familiar with the situation. Berry was hurt on a block by Buffalo receiver Stevie Johnson in the first quarter of Sunday’s 41-7 loss to the Bills.
San Diego Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding suffered the same injury on the opening kickoff the the Chargers-Vikings game.
But neither team’s losses can possibly compare to the toll in St. Louis.
First the Rams lost veteran starting running back Steven Jackson to a right quad injury on his first carry of the year — a 47-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter, second-year quarterback Sam Bradford got the right index finger on his throwing hand stuck in a defender’s helmet.
If that wasn’t enough, the team’s catch leader in 2010, Danny Amendola, dislocated his left elbow on a gruesome play and right tackle Jason Smith sprained his ankle.
On Monday, word trickled out the stinger cornerback Ron Bartell experienced during the game actually resulted in “a couple small fractures in his neck”
The long-term impact of the injuries remains to be seen, although the Rams are reporting Bradford and Jackson should be back either this week or within the next 2-3 weeks.