Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Big Name Receivers Leaving Holes in Lineups
Plaxico Burress and Donte Stallworth have their off-the-field issues keeping them out of training camp so far, but injuries are taking their toll on some other big names expected to help carry their teams this season.
Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers has injured his shoulder and Antonio Bryant of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery today. Bryant is expected back for the first regular season game. Still waiting on word about the severity of Smith's shoulder injury.
As a QB, I like big targets, but Steve Smith is a guy I want on my team. He is scrappy, strong, mean, and willing to fight for the goal line. The Bucs' Antonio Bryant is a good receiver as well and the Bucs have very limited experience at the WR spot. They already signed Mario Urrutia, a 6'6" receiver from Louisville. Their most experienced guy now is Michael Clayton, known as the best blocker in the league, which isn't good for the QB's on the team. Rookie Sammie Stroughter, the 5'10" kid from Oregon State, has been turning some head in camp thus far.
QB's need receivers, receivers need QB's. With the 80 man rosters of the NFL, the stars must practice in "live" situations more often, exposing them to more risk.
Obviously injuries can happen on any play, but the NFC South was already a power running division with the Falcons and Panthers and if any more WR's go down it may become the Ground South Division.