The first week of NFL action is here, as tomorrow brings the first official game between the Patriots and Steelers. Needless to say, injury news is flying around at record speeds and who will or won’t be suiting up in week one could have a big impact on how you conduct your NFL betting.
One of the bigger names on the shelf has been Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring). He’s back at practice and looks ready to start against the Indianapolis Colts, which is great news for the Bills as they play host this weekend. Indianapolis is the mild favorite heading into this game, but a healthy Shady could give the Bills the edge they need. Indy’s run defense was suspect last year and with Arthur Jones recently being placed on injured reserve, McCoy could have his way in a win.
C.J. Spiller is being counted on for a big passing down role in New Orleans this year, but it will have to wait. Spiller’s knee issue has lingered into regular season preparation and he’s already been ruled out for the Saints’ game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Saints will have to feature Mark Ingram even more in the passing game and may also use Tim Hightower more off the bench.
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Victor Cruz was making his way back from a torn patellar tendon, but a recent calf injury has the Giants concerned he may not be ready for week one. In fact, reports suggest it could be a multi-week issue that takes him off the field for up to four weeks. That just means extra pressure on Odell Beckham Jr. when the G-Men head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. Dallas is the clear favorite here and with one less option in the passing game for New York, that remains the same going into week one.
Cleveland will have access to rookie running back Duke Johnson all week, as he’s gotten over his preseason concussion and can now focus on playing a bigger role against the Jets in New York. Isaiah Crowell is still slated to start this game, while the Browns in general are facing an uphill battle against a very talented Jets’ front line. Getting the explosive Johnson back and healthy certainly doesn’t hurt their chances, however.
Alshon Jeffery looks to be on track to play in Chicago’s home opener against the Green Bay Packers, as he’s battling back from a calf injury. The Bears have been very quiet on the exact injury and how it may impact him, but the Bears badly need him to help their passing game. With or without Jeffery, Chicago is unlikely to take down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers this weekend.