NFL 2018: 5 injured players in 2017 that could be impactful in 2018
2017 has been a year that has seen a lot of star players getting injured. As a result, many teams have missed playoffs because of injuries. Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans are the two teams that have been impacted a lot due to injuries. Packers lost one of the greatest quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, while the Texans have lost a slew of players to injuries including the three-time Defensive player of the year JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus, TE Federowicz and the young star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Ravens have also lost quite a few players even before the season started. Luckily, they got back their quarterback Joe Flacco by week 1. Patriots have also lost Julian Edelman during pre-season but they have quickly replaced him by trading for Brandin Cooks. Vikings lost Sam Bradford after an amazing start to the season in week 1 but Case Keenum has stepped up brilliantly in his absence. Eagles also lost their young quarterback Carson Wentz but to everyone's surprise, Nick Foles has stepped up and helped them win the Superbowl.
But, not all teams are as fortunate as Eagles, Patriots, and Vikings. Teams like Texans, Packers, and Cardinals who lost their star running back David Johnson have missed Playoffs because of injuries. Let's take a look at the injured players who can be impactful in 2018.
#5 JJ Watt
The three-time defensive player of the year is arguably one of the most dominant individual players in the National Football League. The kind of impact he creates on and off the field is very well documented. He is a shoo-in as a first ballot Hall of Famer when his time comes. But, the last two years have been riddled with injuries.
JJ Watt is known for his toughness and willingness to play through pain. his last DPOY came in 2015 during which the Texans defensive end had played through a lot of significant injuries. During the backend of the season he even played with a club wrapped around his left hand, such is his dedication. But the injuries have caught up to him in last two season. he played eight games in last two seasons due to injuries to his back and his leg.
Will JJ Watt comeback to his dominant self is remained to be seen. Before getting injured last year, he could not able to record a sack in 5 games. But, he was still able to bring in pressure on the quarterback and disrupting the plays. With Whitney Mercilus also coming back from an injury of his own which he suffered on the same game as Watt, and Jadeveon Clowney in his contract year and an amazing 2017, Watt should be in less pressure to perform right away.
The Texans fans have been long waiting to see both JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on the field for a full season together for the past four seasons. 2018 could be that season. With Mercilus back and Texans adding Tyrann Mathieu to bolster the secondary the Texans defense should be back to its scary 2016 form and help the offense (more on that later) and guide the team back to the Playoffs.