Here are some of the biggest headlines from the end of Week 1 in the National Football League:
Doug Baldwin To Miss Foreseeable Future
It appears that Seattle Seahawks’ number one wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, might be on the shelf for a while. After having to leave Sunday’s game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Baldwin suffered a partial MCL tear during the loss to the Broncos.
While there is no definitive timetable, this injury can oftentimes take at least a month to heal. For a Seattle team that has lost its identity on defense and has shown struggles on the offensive side, this is a huge blow for them. Last year, Baldwin had 991 yards on 75 receptions. He also had 8 touchdowns. The Seahawks will square off with the Chicago Bears in week 2.
Mack Makes Huge Impact In Bears Loss
After being traded from the Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears for two first round picks, there were high expectations for Khalil Mack. When the Bears turned around and signed him to a six-year, $141 million contract with $90 million in guarantees, expectations went through the roof.
After week one of the regular season, I don’t think that words can describe the expectations that Bears fans have for Mack. Despite the loss, Mack was an absolute Beast on Sunday night. He finished the game with a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception, interception returned for touchdown, and 3 tackles.
By the way, did we mention that he is a little “rusty” after not playing at all during the pre-season. More importantly for the Bears, he made the defense around him better as he was constantly getting double-teamed, allowing more opportunities for players like Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd to get to work.
Sadly for Bears fans, though, Aaron Rodgers is pretty darn good. After complete domination by the Bears in the first half, Rodgers (albeit on one leg) came back out in the second half and was just on fire. He finished the game 20 of 30 for 286 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. He did giftwrap a clear interception opportunity for the Bears’ Kyle Fuller, but after he failed to bring it in, Rodgers made the Bears pay. He went on to hit Randall Cobb for a 75-yard touchdown with 2:13 left on the clock. With the Bears unable to tack on more points, the Packers walked away with a 24-23 win.
For the Packers, they have to be ecstatic to get a win after such a poor start, but have to be holding their collective breath that Rodgers will make it through the season, given he already had an injury scare Sunday night. For the Bears, while frustrated that they let such a big lead slip away, there were a lot of encouraging things to take away from the game, especially on the defensive side.
Le’Veon Bell Still Absent From Steelers
It is no longer about just preseason games, Le’Veon Bell is now starting to miss game checks. Unfortunately for Steelers fans, it doesn’t sound like the holdout will be ending anytime soon. Bell, who missed the Steelers’ game one tie against the Cleveland Browns, has shown no indications of ending his holdout and on Tuesday, the Steelers showed that they were ready to focus on week two without him.
On the week two depth chart, Bell’s name is not even listed as it features James Conner, Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley. For Le’Veon Bell, he is looking for a massive payday, but for the Steelers, they have only been willing to give him the franchise tag. With neither side willing to budge, for now it seems as if it will be James Conner moving forward.
That is not completely a bad thing, though, as Conner had a pretty nice game in week one. In the 21-21 tie, Conner had 31 rushing attempts for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also added 5 receptions for 57 yards. While he is still not the dynamic player that Bell is, if Conner can continue to give this type of production, the Steelers may end up being just fine.
Martavis Bryant Re-signs with Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders just can’t completely make up their minds on Martavis Bryant. Earlier in the offseason, they traded a third round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Bryant. Reports indicate that Bryant is likely facing a lengthy suspension, with some reports saying up to a year, for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
This prompted the Raiders to release the wide receiver during their last round of cuts. With the suspension not official, though, the Raiders plan to re-sign him with the hopes of him being able to play until the suspension goes into effect. With that in mind, it is likely that you see Bryant playing this weekend for the Raiders alongside Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson.
Greg Olsen Likely Out For A Few Weeks
It appears as if Greg Olsen will be out for at least a few weeks for the Carolina Panthers. The Carolina tight end, and one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets fractured his foot. Trying to avoid surgery, Olsen will simply try to rest it hoping for a quick recovery. After missing a lot of the 2017 season due to an injury to the same foot, though, it may not be overly promising for the Panthers in regards to how much they will actually get Olsen this season. Hoping to push off surgery until the offseason, Olsen at the bare minimum will likely miss a few weeks.