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The 2023 NFL season has been marked by numerous significant injuries, sidelining several key players and impacting their respective teams’ performances. This article provides a comprehensive look at players who were placed on Season-Ending Injured Reserve (IR) due to various injuries, detailing the nature of their injuries and the implications for their teams.

Quarterbacks

QB

NameTeamInjuryDetails
Aaron RodgersNYJAchillesLeft Achilles tear. 'Speed bridge' surgical technique
Kirk CousinsMINAchillesRight Achilles tear.
Anthony RichardsonINDShoulderRight AC sprain Type III. Season-ending surgery.

Aaron Rodgers (NYJ) – Achilles
Aaron Rodgers, the star quarterback for the New York Jets, suffered a devastating left Achilles tear early in the season. The injury occurred during Rodgers first game as a Jet, leading to the implementation of a ‘speed bridge’ surgical technique to expedite recovery. This technique aims to enhance the healing process, but Rodgers’ season was over, leaving the Jets to have to deal with Zach Wilson who struggled as a viable replacement.

Kirk Cousins (MIN) – Achilles
Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback, Kirk Cousins, faced a similar fate as Aaron Rodgers, suffering a right Achilles tear. Cousins’ injury was a severe blow to the Vikings, who were relying heavily on his experience and leadership. Cousins was an ironman before this injury, having played 8 straight seasons playing at least 15 games. He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason and now has an even more loaded offense than he had in Minnesota. 

Anthony Richardson (IND) – Shoulder
Rookie sensation Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts had a promising start to his NFL career cut short by a right AC sprain Type III. This shoulder injury necessitated season-ending surgery. Richardson’s dynamic playing style and potential were sorely missed by the Colts, who had high hopes for their young quarterback. There’s a good chance he picks up exactly where he left off in 2024. 

Running Backs

RB

NameTeamInjuryDetails
Nick ChubbCLEKnee (ACL)Left MCL + partial ACL + meniscus.
Nyheim HinesBUFKnee (ACL)Torn ACL (while on jetski)
J.K. DobbinsBALAchillesSeason-ending Achilles tear.
Marlon MackARIAchillesSeason-ending Achilles tear.
Evan HullINDKneeKnee injury. Meniscal tear, requiring repair.
Jonathan WilliamsWSHUnknownNo details

Nick Chubb (CLE) – Knee (ACL)
Nick Chubb, the powerhouse running back for the Cleveland Browns, suffered one of the most gruesome injuries you will ever see. A catastrophic left knee injury, involving the MCL, partial ACL, and meniscus. Chubb’s injury was one of the most devastating from a fantasy-perspective of the entire season. It remains to be seen if he will be able to make his debut early in the season, or if it will be delayed. The other question is will Chubb look like his pre-injury self? More info to come as the offseason comes to a close.

Nyheim Hines (BUF) – Knee (ACL)
In an unusual accident, Buffalo Bills’ running back Nyheim Hines tore his ACL while on a jetski. The non-football injury was unexpected and sidelined Hines for the season, impacting the Bills’ depth at the running back position and their special teams unit where Hines was a key contributor.

J.K. Dobbins (BAL) – Achilles
J.K. Dobbins of the Baltimore Ravens suffered a season-ending Achilles tear, a year after . Dobbins was returning from an ACL tear. Achilles tears are dreadful injuries for running backs, and the majority of RBs who have suffered them have struggled to be effective again, including James Robinson and Cam Akers. Now he tries his luck with the Chargers continuing to serve with Gus Edwards. 

Marlon Mack (ARI) – Achilles
Arizona Cardinals’ running back Marlon Mack also ended his season with an Achilles tear. Mack hasn’t been fantasy-relevant since 2019, as he has struggled with injuries in each of the past 4 years. 

Evan Hull (IND) – Knee
Indianapolis Colts’ rookie running back Evan Hull sustained a knee injury involving a meniscal tear that required surgical repair. Hull’s promising start was abruptly halted, leaving the Colts’ running back depth in disarray and placing additional pressure on their offensive unit.

Wide Receivers

WR

NameTeamInjuryDetails
Mike WilliamsLACKnee (ACL)Torn L ACL. Possible MCL, meniscus
Kendrick BourneNAKnee (ACL)Torn right ACL.
Ashton DulinINDKnee (ACL)Torn ACL.
Tim PatrickDENAchillesSeason-ending Achilles tear.
Russell GageTBKneeNon-contact knee injury. ACL?

Mike Williams (LAC) – Knee (ACL)
Mike Williams, a key wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers, tore his left ACL, with possible involvement of the MCL and meniscus. Williams’ injury was a significant blow to the Chargers’ passing attack, as he was one of their primary deep threats and a consistent performer.

Kendrick Bourne (NE) – Knee (ACL)
New England Patriots’ wide receiver Kendrick Bourne suffered a torn right ACL. Bourne, known for his versatility and reliability, left a noticeable void in the Patriots’ receiving corps. His injury forced the Patriots to adjust their offensive schemes and rely on less experienced receivers, which they struggled to do so. 

Ashton Dulin (IND) – Knee (ACL)
Ashton Dulin of the Indianapolis Colts also fell victim to an ACL tear. Dulin’s role as a receiver and special teams contributor was crucial, and his absence disrupted the Colts’ offensive and special teams strategies.

Tim Patrick (DEN) – Achilles
Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Tim Patrick endured a season-ending Achilles tear. Patrick’s injury was particularly disheartening as he had previously missed the entire 2022 season with an ACL tear. His back-to-back season-ending injuries have cast a shadow over his career prospects. Returning to becoming fantasy-relevant is unlikely but let’s hope for the best. 

Russell Gage (TB) – Knee
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Russell Gage suffered a non-contact knee injury, suspected to be an ACL tear. Gage’s injury was a significant setback for the Buccaneers’ offense, which relied on his speed and route-running ability to stretch the field.

Injury Trends and Impact

The 2023 season has been marked by a high number of Achilles and ACL injuries, which have sidelined some of the NFL’s most prominent players. The statistics are telling:

ACL Tears: 5
Achilles Tears: 5
Other Knee Injuries: 2
Shoulder Injuries: 1
Unknown: 1

These injuries not only affect the players’ careers but also have profound impacts on their teams’ performance and strategies. Teams are forced to adapt quickly, often relying on less experienced players to fill the voids left by injured stars. The frequency of these injuries also raises questions about the physical demands placed on players and the effectiveness of current training and conditioning programs.

In conclusion, the 2023 NFL season has been a testament to the unpredictable and often brutal nature of professional football. The players on this list have faced significant challenges and will need extensive rehabilitation to return to the field. Their teams, meanwhile, must navigate the remainder of the season without their key contributors, testing their depth and resilience.

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