Ty Schalter, an NFL writer for Bleacher Report, joins Scott and Jeremy to discuss the upcoming NFL season and crucial injuries thus far.
In the NFL’s preseason, the most important priority for starters is staying healthy. For the Rams, the worst possible scenario has occurred. In St. Louis’ week three preseason game, QB Sam Bradford went down with another ACL injury.
“Actually, I’m kind of OK with Shaun Hill getting the job,” said Schalter. He’s played well whenever called upon. He played well when Alex Smith when out in San Fran, and he played well when Stafford was out in Detroit. It’ll be up to him to keep the boat steady there.”
“It was tough to see Sam as a guy who was going to dethrone the Seahawks and 49ers in that division anyway,” Schalter added.
Another notable NFL injury occurred on Saturday, and though it may sound less serious, it may be much more serious in the long run. Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker sustained his fifth concussion in a full year on Saturday, and it’s not known what his status is for week one.
“It’s tough to tell with these head injuries. The NFL obviously wants to be very careful with these concussions,” said Schalter. “They’re going to treat him with kid gloves, and honestly, they have so many options at WR in Denver, it might not slow them down at all. Emmanuel Sanders looked as though he may surpass Welker on the depth chart anyway.”
The aforementioned injury issues are all fans can be concerned with in the NFL preseason, but just because wins and losses hold no water, it doesn’t mean terrible offensive play isn’t concerning.
“When a team like the 49ers can’t get an offense going against other starters and are outscored by a huge margin, that matters,” said Schalter. “Things that you see in Cleveland with missed assignments and alignment issues are also telling as to whether or not a team is ready for week one,” Schalter added.
Both Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III have shown very little production thus far, and Schalter believes there is cause for concern.
“I’d be more concerned about Griffin, because we haven’t seen what he does well since Shanahan was his coach in his rookie year. Outside of that, regardless of coach, he hasn’t looked confident, he hasn’t looked composed and it’s a question whether he can fit into Gruden’s offense,” said Schalter.
Although those players have shown some negative trends of late, there are still a few teams and players who look to be Super Bowl contenders.
“It’s tough to bet against the Seattle Seahawks right now. They’ve made all the right moves. But I think they’ll lose the NFC to the New Orleans Saints. Right now in the AFC it’s the Broncos and the Patriots. I like what the Ravens are doing in the preseason with Joe Flacco and that new offense,” said Schalter.