We select one player from each club in the sector whose return from physical issues will be critical to success during the 2022 regular season
Every year, there is only one team that breaks the champagne and raises the Vince Lombardi Trophyand 31 other clubs left disappointed, defeated, thinking how different things might have been under other circumstances.
Among these often unavoidable circumstances, injuries play a predominant role. With the arrival of the new season, many teams begin to recover some players who could not finish last season due to injury, or who had to endure some stretch of the calendar decimated by injury.
While the teams of the NFL are stuck in the last phase of preparation to face the regular season, that is, training camps and preseason, it is worth reviewing which are the key players who, in case they return from injuries in good shape, will give an important boost to the clubs once they can return to activity.
We continue with the four teams of the NFC East:
When it’s on, Lawrence he has the talent to be among the best in the league at rushing opposing quarterbacks. However, persistent injuries have severely limited his ability to impact the team’s defense. cowboysand in recent years it has naturally fallen behind in terms of recognition.
Lawrence He signed a massive five-year, $109 million contract extension in 2019. At that time, he was coming off two consecutive seasons with double-digit sacks (14.5 in 2017 and 10.5 in 2018) and two invitations to the Pro Bowl.
Since then, his season-high sack total was just 6.5 in 2020, and last season saw him miss 10 games with a broken foot. In the inter, names like Aldon Smith Y randy gregory received more attention in the staff of Dallasalthough none of them really played much better than Lawrence when he was on the field of play.
2022 is a season of revenge for Lawrence, who signed an agreement in March to increase his current contract by three seasons, including one that terminates automatically, that of 2025, with an additional 40 million dollars. Although the main objective is to help alleviate the salary cap situation of the cowboys Going forward, he also provides an outlet for the club should it want to move on without the defender, with a fee of just $9 million if he is released before the 2023 season.
Micah Parsons shone brightly last year, when he was forced to take on quarterback hunting duties in the absence of Lawrence Y gregorybut it is not clear how much you will want Dallas return him to that role. What is clear is that the defense of the cowboys requires, yes or yes, that Lawrence get your level back Pro Bowl to generate enough pressure to allow players behind the line to nail down the turnovers that made the unit so successful in 2021.
To date, there are those who do not forgive the giants for having invested a second global turn in a corridor, but Barkley he came into the league as one of the most dynamic forces in the backfield from the get-go. The Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 he had 15 touchdowns as a rookie en route to his first and, to date, only Pro Bowl.
Afterwards, the injuries began to accumulate. Barkley he missed three games in his second season, and only played two games in his third year. In 2021, Barkley he missed four games due to an ankle problem that significantly diminished him in the games he was able to participate.
The versions from New York indicate that Barkley he is healthier now than he has been in recent months, and that can only be good news for a cadre of giants with big question marks at skill positions, starting with the starting quarterback job.
Apparently the mentality of Barkley for his mission in the fifth season of his career NFL it is clear
“I’m tired of the s— being said about me or the team, and I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still here,” he said. Barkley to SNY last April.
There is a new head coach at the head of the giants, brian dabollwho does not have any ties that bind him to Barkley or the quarterback Daniel Jones, selections from previous regimens. 2022 is the last call for both — albeit the quarterback for different reasons — with the offenses in the final year of their contracts. If you don’t want the next one to be your last season with the giantsyou have to win a new agreement, and in the case of BarkleyThat is going to require good health.
The biggest story around eagles last season it was the surprising effectiveness of his running game. Behind all that and the talk around the quarterback Jalen HurtsMainly, there was an injury that robbed his best quarterback hunter of 15 regular season games.
Graham he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the Week 2 matchup after missing only one game in the previous nine seasons. Although he is not an elite quarterback hunter in the NFL –he has never achieved double-digit captures–, he is a fundamental piece in the trenches to philadelphiaplaying on one side of the dominant Fletcher-Cox.
The progress of the rehabilitation with Graham seems to be on the right track. In early May, he said he participated fully with the rest of the team, with no restrictions on working on the practice field during organized club activities.
With just 29 sacks in 2021, the second-lowest total in the NFLthe return of Graham will be crucial for eagles. However, we must not forget that he already carries 34 years of age in tow, so waiting for a second season of Pro Bowl on his part, coming back from an injury of that severity, might be asking too much.
During the 2020 season, the defensive line of Washington became a true revelation, with four first-round draft picks and Youngthe most recent among them, as the icing on the cake.
However, 2021 could not have been grayer for the unit. Young, Defensive Rookie of the Year in the previous season, he missed eight games due to injury. Montez Sweat also missed seven games, and there was an altercation between Jonathan Allen Y Daron Payne in December that went to the hands on the bench of Washington.
For Youngit was a torn anterior cruciate ligament that could force him to start the campaign on the list of unable to participate due to physical problems, automatically marginalizing him for the first four games of the campaign, at least.
It is clear that the collective loss of play in the trenches of Washington was not due solely to the injury of chasebut it is also clear that Young he is the most dynamic element of the quartet, and his presence — completely healthy — is crucial to raising the level of the teammates.
For now, don’t expect to see him competing with the rest of his teammates during training camp.
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Who is the key player coming back from injury for each NFC East team?