The Top Offensive Players Returning from Injury in 2016
Last year the NFL saw many injuries both before the season started and during the season. These injuries sidelined star players and impacted how their teams played. In the 2016 season, these star players are looking to come back as strong as ever and regain the position they once dominated on the team.
- Kelvin Benjamin- Carolina’s 6’5” receiver tore his ACL in the preseason during a practice. The previous year, which was his rookie year, he connected with Cam Newton for over 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns. With such a great rookie year, the injury was a big disappointment of what could have been with the QB-WR duo Carolina would’ve have. Although Newton was the MVP, not having the top receiving threat hurt the team, as they finished only 24th in receiving yards. It’s a scary thought of how good the Panthers could be with the returning receiver. After all they just finished the season 15-1 and their quarterback was MVP. Benjamin is bound to have a great comeback year.
- Jordy Nelson- The Green Bay Packers receiver tore his ACL in the preseason game against the Steelers. This had to be one of the most significant injuries to a team as the Packers dominant passing game dropped all the way down to 26th in the league. Without Jordy on the field, the receivers could not get open for Rodgers. It was a struggle all season long for the Packers on the offensive side of the ball. Rodgers statistically had one of his worst seasons. After all, the previous season he threw for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns to Nelson. Jordy is a huge puzzle piece for the Packers offense in order for them to get back to how they use to be. Nelson’s presence this year will help the Packers go far this year.
- Le’Veon Bell- The Pittsburgh Steelers running back was having a huge season even after being suspended for two games of the 2015 season. That was until he tore his MCL against Bengals. In just six games, Bell had 556 yards and 3 touchdowns and in 2014 he finished second in rushing yards. Bell is part of possibly the most well balanced, most dominant offenses in the game. Luckily the Steelers had a great backup in DeAngelo Williams who helped the team replace Bell and carry the team into the playoffs. Bell is also so dominant because he is great and catching the ball out of the backfield. This season, the best trio in football of Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Bell could post up huge numbers. With a hopeful healthy season, expect Bell to have the best season he has had yet.
- Jimmy Graham- Graham was one of the most dominant tight ends in the league while on the Saints and the Seahawks expected a lot when they traded for him. It took him awhile to get in a rhythm with Wilson, but eventually it happened and right when things looked up, they went down. Graham suffered a torn patellae tendon against the Steelers on a deep pass to the end zone. During the season he only had 605 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games. This year Graham will look to connect with Wilson on a high level and get back to being one of the best tight ends there is.
- Tony Romo- the loss of Romo for the Cowboys impacted the team tremendously. The team dropped from 12-4 in 2014 to 4-12 in 2015. Romo suffered a broken collarbone twice in the same year and eventually had to have surgery on the bone. He got to play in four total games having to leave two of them early due to his injuries. Romo is one of the top quarterbacks when healthy and when Dez Bryant is healthy, they both are one of the top duos together. The addition of Ezkiel Elliot should also help boost what was just one of the most dominant teams just two years ago.
- Jamaal Charles- Charles for the second time in his career tore his ACL. Charles played in just 5 games in 2015, rushing for 364 yards and four touchdowns. When healthy, Charles is one of the top running backs in the game. The Chiefs were able to have a fantastic season and made their way into the playoffs without Charles. Although he is entering his 9th season and seems to be injury prone, Charles is a threat to any team he is playing and will come back strong. After he tore his ACL the first time he returned the following year to rush for over 1,500 yards and five touchdowns.
This year every team hopes that they can keep their star players healthy. Unfortunately it is out of their control and the injury might have no impact at all or could completely mess up their season. These players are all known to the league as some of the best and this year they will look to come back after a major injury to show they still are.