Sports Football

Key injuries to top performers marred first week of NFL

By Torben Rolfsen

Allen Robinson #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars makes a catch against Tennessee Titans during the game at Nissan Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Allen Robinson #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars makes a catch against Tennessee Titans during the game at Nissan Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Week One in the National Football League arrived against a backdrop of social protests, natural disasters and the 9/11 anniversary.

The entertaining Thursday night opener, which featured an upset of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on the road by the Kansas City Chiefs, was followed by a lukewarm slate of Sunday games.

In only three of the 12 did the two teams finish within eight points of each other.

Further adding to the angst were key injuries incurred by some of the league’s star performers.

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (torn ACL – gone for the season), Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (wrist), and Baltimore Ravens RB Danny Woodhead (hamstring) all exited early.

Seattle’s offence looked dismal during an afternoon showdown in Green Bay. The offensive line let Russell Wilson down once again, resulting in an output of just three field goals.

While the Seahawks defence continues to burn brightly, this typically hard-fought rivalry game was not without its controversies, and head coach Pete Carroll was upset about the officiating at Lambeau.

Rookies who shone in their pro debuts included Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette, Panthers RB Christian McCaffery, Browns QB DeShone Kizer, and Lions WR Kenny Golladay.

A little comic relief was unintentionally provided by Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who, after his team was routed by the Rams 46-9, said “credit the 49ers”.

The last person to visit California and not know if they were in L.A. or San Francisco was Keith Richards.

Actually, it’s hard to keep track of where the teams are in California these days. Judging by the attendance Sunday, the fans don’t know either.

And finally, there was the Cowboys convincing win over the Giants in the national game Sunday night, which featured 104 yards rushing by one Ezekiel Elliott.

Just two days before, a Texas district court granted a temporary restraining order preventing the NFL from starting his six-game suspension.

As Jarret Carlen at 98.7 Arizona Sports in Phoenix put it: “I wonder what round that Texas judge drafted Elliott in during his fantasy football draft last week?”