A Super Bowl-contending team could be assembled solely by choosing players currently on injured-reserve — it’s been that type of season with many unfortunate injuries. As a whole, the NFL is snake-bitten. While a number of superstars’ seasons are already over, several others are attempting to play through injuries. Unfortunately, it is showing — there is a notable decline in their on-field performances.
Let’s examine five players who have regressed this season due to injuries.
Ziggy Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
Ansah’s 14.5-sack season in 2015 feels like ages ago. Dealing with the lingering effects of a knee injury all season long, Ansah is only practicing occasionally and is not making the impact he’s capable of.
In a contract year, this was not the performance he was hoping for. Ansah has been held sackless in seven out of 10 games this season and Detroit has only 22 sacks on the season, which is the 24th fewest in the league. The Lions recently added veteran Dwight Freeney to ignite the pass rush and make up for Ansah’s lost production.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Many pundits believed Tampa Bay was a contender in the NFC entering the season, but with a 4-8 record, the Buccaneers are more likely to have a top-10 draft pick.
While the defense has been disappointing, Winston has failed to take the next step in his development this season. The same decision-making flaws that have always plagued Winston are still prevalent, but over the last five games, Winston is showing obvious discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
The hopeful breakout season is on hold until next year, when Winston’s shoulder is 100 percent and the talent around him improves.
Cordy Glenn, OT, Buffalo Bills
Glenn has been a stalwart at left tackle for the Buffalo Bills over the last five seasons, but he’s been a shell of himself this year. A big reason why Buffalo boasted the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack in 2015 and 2016, Glen has been hampered by an ankle/foot injury dating back to last season.
While rookie Dion Dawkins has had positive moments in his absence, Glenn is a top-10 offensive tackle when healthy. Buffalo has allowed the eighth-most sacks in the NFL and the rushing attack has been hit or miss.
The Bills’ offense is missing its franchise left tackle.
David Amerson, CB, Oakland Raiders
Whether it’s been a foot or a concussion, Amerson has been hobbled all season long. After emerging as Pro Football Focus’ ninth highest-graded cornerback in 2015, Amerson was rewarded with a four-year, $38 million extension. This year, Amerson has battled injuries and struggled to perform on the field as a result.
Oakland’s pass defense is allowing a quarterback rating against of 108.2, worst in the league. Amerson is part of a secondary that has collectively struggled to stay healthy and opponents have torched Oakland through the air all season.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
When he’s healthy, Reed is among the most gifted tight ends in football. The problem is that he is rarely healthy and this year is no exception. Battling chest, hamstring, shoulder and toe injures, Reed is on pace for the least productive season of his career and is averaging under eight yards per reception.
In a year when Washington needed Reed to be heavily featured in the passing game after losing both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, he’s proven to again be unreliable.
A season after featuring the NFL’s second most prolific passing offense at 297 yards per game, Washington has dropped to 12th with an average of 249 yards per contest.
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