Training camp isn’t even a week old and there have already been three season-ending injuries to key players.
1. Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip and will be out for the year. Pitta was second on the team in catches and touchdowns last year. The Ravens now have to replace him and leading receiver Anquan Boldin, who they traded to the 49ers for very little in the spring. They’ve signed veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to fill Pitta’s role.
2. Denver Broncos centre Dan Koppen tore his ACL and will be out for the year. Koppen was actually Denver’s Plan B after JD Walton went down with an injury in June. They’re one of the favourites in the AFC, but they’ll have to sort out their centre situations in the next several weeks.
3. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL and will be out for all of 2013. While the Eagles were never expected to contend in the NFC East, their lone strength was at the skill positions with Maclin, Desean Jackson, and Lesean McCoy. Now that is gone. Riley Cooper will probably see a lot more action in his place.
The Ravens and Broncos are among the dozen or so teams that have a chance to win it all this year, and these injuries are significant.
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