As training camps start it is a sure thing that players will go down with major injuries. Sorry to be the grim reaper, but here are the guys these teams cannot afford to lose most.
Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy are the stars of the offense but I think Peters is a last guy the Eagles could afford to lose in training camp. Kelly’s offense showed that he could put in different players and still be effective. Both Foles and Vick were able to run the offense as one of the tops in the league. Even Mark Sanchez may be able to hold his own for some time if needed. I also think losing McCoy could be devastating but not season ending. Sproles could come in and still keep the offense functioning. But losing Peters again would put a big strain on the Eagles offensive line which looked to be the best in the division. They already have lost Lane Johnson for a quarter of the season so far. Philly has dealt with not having Peters before but I doubt they want to do it again.
Fletcher Cox is the most talented player out there for the Eagles defense but I don’t see him as the most worrisome in losing in camp. If he was to go down I believe Vinny Curry could step in and help a lot still. So I went with Brandon Boykin who may not even be considered a starter but I think he is very valuable as a third corner. I am not a fan of the Eagles secondary but Boykin showed he can step up and be a solid player. If he went down I feel they could be in disarray. We have discussed in the past how bad the NFC East defenses could be again and losing Boykin could be crushing.
Obvious choice should be Eli Manning because he has Curtis Painter and an untested Ryan Nassib behind him but he never goes down so I eliminated him. The Giants lost Hakeem Nicks and drafted Odell Beckham early. Both Beckham and Ruben Randle may need time to get used to their new roles in the offense. The Giants also are weak at tight end and have yet to find their every down back. The one constant is Cruz who needs to get his play back to the Super Bowl run year and help out Manning. He is the one proven option that Manning has going into camp and it is time he becomes a leader in the offense.
The Giants have a bunch of what I would call 7’s on their defense. Jon Beason is already down and could be a huge factor for a team with a weaker linebacking core. So I am going with Antrel Rolle since he seems to be the most consistent Giants defender and the most dependent. The Giants defense has a lot new faces so if Rolle went down it could be a back breaker for Perry Fewell’s unit. Even with adding DRC and Walter Thurmond at the corner position the Giants will need Rolle to lead the back end especially with Stevie Brown coming off a major injury. If Rolle was to miss time they could be many issues back there.
Going with the second biggest name on the Cowboys. I could have gone with an offensive lineman like Tyron Smith since they have had some line issues in the past. I think Bryant is the one the Cowboys can’t lose even though the Romo-led passing game has always seemed to put up numbers. With the Cowboys past defensive issues it is certain that Dallas will have to score points and that is what Dez can bring. If he goes down the Cowboys lose their top weapon and put a lot on guys like Williams and Beasley. And if Bryant went down it would put the cap-strapped Cowboys in a tough spot with Bryant playing in a contract year. Doubt they lose him but I believe most had Ware as a Cowboy for life.
Just like we say with the Redskins, you can lose them all! But since they have already lost their most important defender in Sean Lee I have to go with Bruce Carter. If Carr or Claibourne could ever play up to their contracts or draft status it would be one of those guys but they have not been able to. So I go with Carter who the Cowboys have been hyping up going into camp. Based on last season’s performance and who the Cowboys have lost since then this could the most amazing defense to watch in NFL history so Carter will be needed in the worst ways.
I want to say Robert Griffin but if Trent Williams was to go down Griffin could soon follow. Washington has some decent depth at the skill positions now but the offensive line is still a huge question mark other than Williams. Williams saves the line from being considered the league’s worst and has been very durable since being suspended. Griffin could not afford to lose Williams on his blind side or it won’t matter how healthy he is or what Gruden has in store because he will be running for his life. This team is all about getting RG3 back on track and Silverback is a force they cannot lose.
So many places to go here because there are still so many questions. Many wished Jim Haslett wouldn’t be back but he is. Jason Hatcher is already down so we can eliminate him. Orakpo and Kerrigan may be the best they have but I feel they have decent backups including rookie Trent Murphy. So I am going with D Hall. He was the best they had last season on a miserable unit and has become a leader for this crew. He has a couple young guys on the back side so he and Ryan Clark will need to mentor. Clark’s play will be a question but I no longer think Hall is as he has gotten better with age as a Redskin. Losing him would leave the Skins depending on a second year guy in David Amerson way too much.