Just five weeks into the 2020 NFL regular season, the league has been wrecked by brutal, high-profile injuries. For perspective, here’s an entire all-star-level team comprised of players currently dealing with significant injuries.
QB: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys — The league’s passing yardage leader suffered a brutal ankle injury in Week 5, which means we, unfortunately, won’t see him again until at least the spring.
RB: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants — The versatile Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers would serve as a change-of-pace back to 2018 offensive rookie of the year, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
WR: Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos; Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles; Sterling Shepard, New York Giants — Sutton (knee) is a Pro Bowler, Jeffery (foot) is a well-accomplished veteran, and Shepard (toe) could hold down the slot. Tyrell Williams of the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t even make the cut. It’s been a tough year for wideouts in particular.
TE: Dallas Goedert, Eagles — The former second-round pick had a 100-yard performance in Philly’s opener before suffering a significant ankle injury two weeks later.
OT: Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys; Zach Banner, Pittsburgh Steelers — A seven-time Pro Bowler, Smith was recently placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury. Banner was on a promising trajectory in Pittsburgh before tearing his ACL in September.
G: Brandon Scherff, Washington Football Team; Brandon Brooks, Eagles — It’s a knee for Scherff and an Achilles tendon for Brooks, both of whom are three-time Pro Bowlers.
C: Weston Richburg, San Francisco 49ers — The steady Richburg (knee) beats out four-time Pro Bowler Mike Pouncey of the Chargers (hip).
Edge: Nick Bosa, 49ers; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings — Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, Melvin Ingram of the Chargers, and Dee Ford of the 49ers would also be worthy of this list in most Octobers, but Bosa (knee) and Hunter (neck) were two of the most productive pass-rushers in the sport last year.
DL: Jurrell Casey, Denver Broncos; D.J. Reader, Cincinnati Bengals — Vita Vea of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also deserves a shoutout, but Casey (biceps) and Reader (quad) are top-notch starters in their primes.
LB: Anthony Barr, Vikings; Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys — Oh, and don’t forget about COVID-19 opt-outs Dont’a Hightower of the New England Patriots and C.J. Mosley of the New York Jets at the off-ball linebacker position. The Vikes and Cowboys desperately miss Barr (pec) and Vander Esch (collarbone).
CB: Richard Sherman, 49ers; A.J. Bouye, Broncos; Chris Harris Jr., Los Angeles Chargers — Justin Coleman of the Detroit Lions would also be a strong candidate for the slot corner position we’re assigning to Harris (foot). He’s a four-time Pro Bowler, Sherman (calf) is a five-time Pro Bowler, and Bouye (shoulder) has been a top-tier player for years.
S: Derwin James, Chargers; Malik Hooker, Indianapolis Colts — James (knee) is one of the best young defensive players in the game, period. And Hooker (Achilles) is a playmaker with a bright future who can’t seem to stay healthy.