The collective groan you heard on Sunday was from NFL fantasy players. Two of the top running backs — the Carolina Panthers‘ Christian McCaffrey and the New York Giants‘ Saquon Barkley — left their respective game with injuries.
Barkley was lost to a torn ACL. McCaffrey has a high ankle sprain is expected to miss multiple weeks.
Below is a look at the players who were injured in Week 2, their status and who the next player up will be.
Kaleb McGary, right tackle, knee
What’s next: Adam Schefter reported the fear is McGary suffered a sprained MCL. Matt Gono replaced McGary and did an admirable job before surrendering some pressure later in the game. The Falcons seem to have faith in Gono, but he’s no first-round pick like McGary was. Journeyman John Wetzel is the other tackle. The Falcons probably need to find a veteran with starting experience somewhere.
Takk McKinley, defensive end, groin
What’s next: It’s unclear how much time McKinley might miss, but the Falcons will have to rely on Steven Means alongside Dante Fowler Jr. right now, with versatile John Cominsky also capable of playing inside and out. McKinley has his fifth-year option declined, and he had been playing motivated and with a chip on his shoulder.
Ricardo Allen, safety, elbow
What’s next: The Falcons entered the season starting three safeties, with Allen and Keanu Neal playing in the box and Damontae Kazee at free safety. Allen’s snaps were limited in the opener. Allen has a hyperextended elbow, so the Falcons might have to nix the idea of that three-safety look for now, depending on what’s going on at linebacker. — Vaughn McClure
Tavon Young, cornerback, knee
What’s next: Young appears to have a season-ending left knee injury, coach John Harbaugh said. On the Ravens’ second defensive series, Young leaped to break up a pass and landed hard on the NRG Stadium turf. The only positive is the Ravens are deep at cornerback. Jimmy Smith, who was a six-year starter for Baltimore (2013 to 2018), will play on the outside on three-wide sets, and starter Marlon Humphrey will move to cover the slot. This is the latest setback for Young, who has missed two of the previous three full seasons due to injury. “We know he’ll tackle this challenge as well,” Harbaugh said. — Jamison Hensley
Christian McCaffrey, running back, ankle/lower leg
What’s next: McCaffrey has a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss multiple weeks, the Panthers announced Monday. The NFL’s highest-paid running back ($16 million a year) didn’t return after limping off the field following a 7-yard touchdown run with just over 13 minutes remaining. McCaffrey will be replaced by Mike Davis, who finished the game and had eight catches for 74 yards. Rhule has been high on Davis all training camp. “Mike’s a good player,” Rhule said Sunday. “He made some good plays. He’s a threat out of the backfield. We’ll see what happens with Christian.” — David Newton
Broncos QB Drew Lock exited the game and did not return after a hard hit by Bud Dupree caused him to fumble and injure his right shoulder.
Drew Lock, quarterback, shoulder
What’s next: Lock was injured on a sack in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is expected to miss 2-6 weeks if an MRI exam on Monday confirms what the Broncos medical staff believed was a sprain of his right (throwing) shoulder. Jeff Driskel was the Broncos’ pick in the offseason to be Lock’s backup — on a two-year, $5 million deal — and it would be Driskel behind center with Brett Rypien, who is currently on the team’s practice squad, expected to be the backup. If the Broncos don’t protect the passer any better than they did against the Steelers — seven sacks and 19 quarterback hits — they may want to keep the names of some other quarterbacks handy.
Courtland Sutton, wide receiver, shoulder/knee
What’s next: Sutton will undergo an MRI on Monday. He missed the opener with a shoulder injury and then left the loss in Pittsburgh in the second half with the knee injury. The Broncos will lean on rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler to go with Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton in the short term. Jeudy, Hamler and Patrick each had at least five targets in Sunday’s game. The Broncos also showed they are effective in the second half in their two-tight-end sets, and that was going to have to be a consideration even before Sutton left Sunday’s game.
Dre’Mont Jones, defensive end, knee
What’s next: Jones, too, will be at what figures to be a crowded room of players getting an MRI on Monday. Jones left Sunday’s game in the second half and did not return. If Jones has to miss some time, the Broncos may have to push rookie McTelvin Agim into the lineup some. Agim was a game-day inactive against the Steelers, but he showed some quickness and impact in pass-rushing situations in training camp. The Broncos have just one defensive lineman on the practice squad — DeShawn Williams, who was with the team in training camp. — Jeff Legwold
Davante Adams, wide receiver, hamstring
What’s next: Adams dropped out in the second half and did not return. But that could have been because the Packers were on cruise control against the Lions, who did everything they could try to take away Adams (three catches for 36 yards). Coach Matt LaFleur ignored a question about Adams’ status after the game. The Packers on Sunday leaned heavily on Aaron Jones, who had 236 total yards from scrimmage. That’s what they did last year when Adams missed four games because of turf toe, and it’s what they could do again. They also have more experienced at the Nos. 2 and 3 receiver spots with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who each have a touchdown catch already this season. — Rob Demovsky
Parris Campbell, wide receiver, knee
What’s next: Campbell had to be carted off the field after he suffered a left knee injury in the first quarter. The Colts don’t know the severity of the injury yet, but coach Frank Reich, who was near Campbell when the injury occurred, said “it didn’t look good.” Losing Campbell will put more pressure on rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr. The USC product had four catches for 37 yards against Minnesota on Sunday.
Malik Hooker, safety, Achilles
What’s next: Any injury involving an Achilles isn’t a good one. Hooker suffered the injury in the first half. Rookie Julian Blackmon replaced Hooker in the lineup. Blackmon had a pass defense on throw a down the field that would have been a 20-plus-yard reception, and he deflected a pass that was intercepted by fellow safety Khari Willis. Sunday was Blackmon’s first game since he tore his ACL in the Pac-12 championship game for Utah in December 2019. — Mike Wells
Brandon Linder, center, knee
What’s next: Coach Doug Marrone said after the game that Linder’s status is uncertain, and he’ll be evaluated on Monday. The problem for the Jaguars is this is a short week — they play the Miami Dolphins on Thursday — and that may keep Linder from being able to play even if the knee injury isn’t serious. Tyler Shatley relieved Linder and would be the starter. Right guard A.J. Cann also has snapped and likely would be the backup.
D.J. Hayden, cornerback, concussion
What’s next: Hayden left the game on the Titans’ final drive and did not return. He’s the Jaguars’ nickelback and essentially a starter — as well as their best defensive back. As with Linder, the short week may hurt his chances of playing on Thursday if he is diagnosed with a concussion and doesn’t clear the protocol quickly enough. Rookie Chris Claybrooks, who is also the Jaguars’ punt and kick returner, replaced Hayden. If he does not start there on Thursday, then it may be rookie Josiah Scott who gets the call. — Mike DiRocco
Tyrod Taylor, quarterback, chest
What’s next: Taylor told the Chargers he was experiencing chest pains after warm-ups on Sunday, prompting No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert to start at the last minute. Herbert performed well, going 22-for-33 for 311 yards, two touchdowns — one of them on the ground — and one interception. But Chargers coach Anthony Lynn didn’t sound as if he wanted to make a change after the 23-20 overtime loss to the Chiefs. “I’m gonna wait and see what type of health Tyrod is in,” Lynn said. “If he’s 100% ready to go, he’s our starter. But I know Justin can pick up the slack.” — Alden Gonzalez
Cam Akers, running back, ribs
What’s next: Akers suffered a rib injury when he was tackled on a 5-yard carry during the Rams’ opening series, and the rookie second-round pick did not return. Coach Sean McVay said after the game he did not have an update on the severity of the injury. Because of the Rams’ committee approach at running back, their run game did not suffer in Akers’ absence, as Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown rushed for 81 and 47 yards, respectively.
Malcolm Brown, running back, finger
What’s next: Brown suffered a finger injury late in the game that kept him on the sideline. Henderson, as mentioned above, will handle the bulk of the carries if Akers and Brown are out.
Joe Noteboom, left guard, calf
What’s next: Noteboom went down with a calf injury in the third quarter and did not return. McVay did not have an update on the severity of the injury. Second-year pro David Edwards, who started 10 games last season, replaced Noteboom at guard. — Lindsey Thiry
Byron Jones, cornerback, groin injury
What’s next: Jones left Sunday’s game early in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return. Coach Brian Flores didn’t have an immediate update on his status postgame, but it’s fair to conclude the Dolphins may have to prepare to be without him for their quick turnaround game Thursday at Jacksonville. Pressure is on rookie first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene, who struggled covering Stefon Diggs on Sunday. Without Jones, the secondary allowed Josh Allen to throw for a career-high 417 yards and provide tape on how to expose Igbinoghene and the rest of the defensive backs. — Cameron Wolfe
Anthony Barr, linebacker, shoulder
The Pro Bowl linebacker was knocked out of the Colts game with a shoulder injury and replaced by rookie Troy Dye, who also got hurt in Indianapolis. “We ran out of linebackers there for a little bit,” coach Mike Zimmer said. The Vikings were left scrambling in the second quarter as their strongest defensive unit took a significant hit, which played into how poorly they defended the run. If Barr has to miss time, Eric Wilson can fill his role next to Eric Kendricks when the Vikings are in their nickel defense. If they’re in base and Dye is healthy, he’ll get Barr’s snaps. — Courtney Cronin
Saquon Barkley, running back, knee
What’s next: An MRI confirmed that Barkley has a torn ACL; he will undergo surgery, the team announced Monday. That puts the Giants in a serious bind. Barkley is irreplaceable. The Giants built their offense around the talented third-year running back. They used Dion Lewis on Sunday during a 17-13 loss in Chicago, and Wayne Gallman will also see an increase in playing time moving forward. But the injury is a crushing blow to the Giants and Barkley, who is eligible for a contract extension after this season.
Sterling Shepard, wide receiver, toe
What’s next: As if losing Barkley wasn’t enough, Shepard injured his toe while being tackled late in the first half Sunday. He tried to return but on the first play of the second half but realized it wasn’t going to happen. That opened the door for Golden Tate (who was slated to be the third receiver) to see a spike in his usage. Tate now becomes even more important moving forward. He caught five balls for 57 yards in the second half in Chicago. C.J. Board also will enter the mix if Shepard can’t return. — Jordan Raanan
Breshad Perriman, wide receiver, ankle
What’s next: Another hit to the receiving corps, which already was down Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Denzel Mims (hamstring). Without Perriman, the Jets were down to Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios and Josh Malone, a patchwork group. Perriman’s status for Week 3 against the Colts is uncertain. The team is hopeful that Crowder can return.
Connor McGovern, center, hamstring
What’s next: McGovern didn’t finish the game, never a good sign. His status for Week 3 against the Colts is uncertain, pending tests on Monday. He was replaced by ex-Colt Josh Andrews, who would get the nod if McGovern can’t play. One of the key offseason acquisitions, McGovern is the leader of the line and a help to QB Sam Darnold. His absence also would hurt the interior running game. — Rich Cimini
49ers DE Nick Bosa injures his left knee in the first quarter against the Jets and is taken to the locker room on a cart.
Nick Bosa, defensive end, knee
What’s next: Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said Bosa “most likely” has a torn ACL in his left knee, which would end Bosa’s second season. The loss of Bosa is devastating to a team that has invested serious resources into its defensive line. The Niners were already thin at edge rusher and they have nobody who can come close to Bosa’s production. For now, veteran Kerry Hyder will get a chance to step in, but expect the 49ers to keep seeking help there as they wait for Ronald Blair to return from the physically unable to perform list.
Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback, ankle
What’s next: Garoppolo has a high right ankle sprain, according to Shanahan. That’s an injury that generally means missed time, although Shanahan indicated that determination wouldn’t be made until they see how Garoppolo feels this week. Nick Mullens would step in if Garoppolo can’t play in Week 3.
Raheem Mostert, running back, knee
What’s next: Mostert is dealing with a “mild” MCL sprain in his knee that cost him the second half of Sunday’s game. That is an injury that will probably cost him games, but how many will depend on what an upcoming MRI reveals. If Mostert is out, the 49ers will turn to a committee of Jerick McKinnon, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson to fill the void. Coleman also departed Sunday’s game with a knee injury, though, so the Niners might need to add another back for next week.
Solomon Thomas, defensive tackle, knee
What’s next: The Niners fear that Thomas also has a torn ACL, but Shanahan said there was more optimism about Thomas than there was for Bosa. Either way, Thomas will miss some games and the Niners will need rookie Javon Kinlaw to continue to develop as he gets more work in Thomas’ stead. Kentavius Street and Kevin Givens will provide the depth. — Nick Wagoner
Marquise Blair, safety/nickelback, knee
What’s next: Blair left Sunday night’s game for good in the second quarter when his right knee was hit by teammate K.J. Wright, causing it to bend awkwardly. Blair will undergo an MRI to determine the severity, but coach Pete Carroll said it’s “probably fairly serious.” Blair had moved from nickelback to free safety when Quandre Diggs was ejected. Ugo Amadi took over at nickelback and drew praise from Carroll, who said the 2019 fourth-round pick “did really well” while making eight tackles, including one for loss. Amadi (5-foot-9, 201 pounds) is built like a traditional nickelback, so the Seahawks will lose some of the size and physicality they had with Blair, who was one of the standouts of camp as he made a strong transition to that position. — Brady Henderson
Johnathan Joseph, cornerback, leg
What’s next: Joseph didn’t return to the game after exiting in the fourth quarter. Rookie Kristian Fulton came in to take Joseph’s place. The Titans are already without Adoree Jackson (knee) for at least one more game, since he is on injured reserve. — Turron Davenport
Brandon Scherff, right guard, knee
What’s next: Scherff suffered a right knee injury and was carted off the field in the first half; coach Ron Rivera said they would update Scherff’s status Monday. If Scherff has to miss substantial time, it would be a blow to a Washington offensive line that has struggled. Wes Schweitzer, who has with 36 career starts, replaced Scherff. The left side of Washington’s line will endure growing pains all season with tackle Geron Christian and guard Wes Martin. They needed the right side with Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses to lead the way. — John Keim