Three Injuries That Changed The 2022 NFL Season

Injuries

There isn’t anyone associated with or followers of the NFL that enjoys seeing a player go down to injury. Even though teams have to be resilient and preach a “next man up” type of mentality, seeing someone who has worked their entire life to get to a certain point be physically unable to play is sad. 

A lot of times, NFL teams that can overcome injuries with altered strategy or solid depth are the ones that end up making the postseason. 

With that said, there are certain injuries that completely change the course of a team’s season and are pretty difficult to overcome. We’ll take a closer look at the three most impactful injuries of the 2022 NFL season.

Breece Hall

The New York Jets have been one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season. Many fans put their money where their mouths were during the preseason here: https://www.bovada.lv/sports/football/nfl, as they bet under New York’s projected win total, figuring they would finish last in the AFC East.

As it turned out, the Jets have been extremely competitive this year, thanks to a much-improved defense led by head coach Robert Saleh. New York was able to play a specific style early in the campaign that stymied opponents’ offenses and controlled the clock. They were able to stick to this script thanks in large part to the performance of the running back they selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Breece Hall was the first running back taken and looked to be a rising star in the league. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur started to give him more of an opportunity to shine after the first few games, and Hall made the most of it. He scored a touchdown in his last four games played and ran circles around the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, and Green Bay Packers.

He was well on his way to slicing and dicing the Denver Broncos too but tore his ACL in Week 7 in that contest. While the Jets have talent in their backfield with Michael Carter and James Robinson, Hall was the type of player who could dominate a game. New York lost the ability to dictate the blueprint for the game after he got hurt.

Cooper Kupp

The Los Angeles Rams were riding high after winning the Super Bowl last February. They were able to reach the pinnacle of the sport last year thanks in large part to a historic effort from wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

There wasn’t anything defenses could do to slow him down, as head coach Sean McVay lined Kupp up all over the offensive formation. He was fantastic during the Super Bowl, catching eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Kupp had to perform without Odell Beckham Jr. taking away defensive attention for most of the contest, and he came through.

Kupp did not slow down much during the first half of the 2022 season. He remained the focal point of an offense that struggled to run the ball or find other reliable receiving options. 

Against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10, Kupp went down with a high ankle sprain, which usually takes several weeks to heal. The loss of one of the best players in the NFL cannot be understated for Los Angeles, who has tried to hang in games by scheming their way open. The ultimate mismatch will miss at least four games, which damages the Rams’ chances of remaining relevant in the NFC postseason picture.

Elijah Mitchell

When thinking about the broader scope of NFL injuries, Elijah Mitchell’s ailment may not immediately register at the very top. Some might argue that his injury wasn’t even the biggest on his own team, as starting quarterback Trey Lance was ruled out for the season after going down in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.

However, a case could be made that Mitchell’s Week 1 knee injury was the most notable in the league. He was poised to be the starter in a Kyle Shanahan offense that allows running backs to thrive in space. Losing him so early forced the team to pivot away from their preseason plans and think about upgrading their running back room.

While Mitchell was on the shelf, the San Francisco 49ers sent a significant amount of draft capital to the Carolina Panthers for Christian McCaffery. The team felt that they had a chance to enhance their chances of winning the conference with one big swing, and decided to go for it even though Mitchell was due back in a couple of weeks.

If Mitchell stays healthy for the first half of the year, it’s possible San Francisco doesn’t feel as motivated to trade for McCaffery. As it stands now, the team has one of the top one-two backfield punches in the entire league. 


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