That belief was likely misguided. Nobody could have predicted Peterson would miss almost the entire season, but he was a 31-year-old back with nearly 2,400 carries on his tires with a history of injury issues. Even ignoring the child abuse case that cost him his 2014 season, Peterson has made it through only two 16-game seasons in the past five years. He was always likely to miss a few games, which erodes the logic of the trade a bit. The offensive line rotation included five veterans who have required a trip to injured reserve over the past two seasons, and that doesn’t include Kalil (whose play has deteriorated while limping through injuries) and fill-in Jake Long (whose career was decimated by injuries and who suffered an Achilles injury after four games).
Research I’ve done suggests that injuries are mostly random, especially for younger players. Health one year shouldn’t make us just assume health the next. But based on this, if anything, it’s a surprise the Vikings haven’t been hit by an injury to Bradford himself. Despite the offensive line woes, their quarterback is on pace for his first injury-free season since his 2012 campaign with the Rams, having missed 27 of the next 48 games in the three ensuing years.
ESPN Bengals reporter Katherine Terrell dropped a reference to the movie “The Replacements” this week. She also did a great job of breaking down which Bengals will step into greater roles.
Terrell’s advice is to pick up rookie receiver Tyler Boyd. Although Boyd and veteran Brandon LaFell should both see an increase in targets — and Terrell stressed that fantasy owners should be “cautious about starting anyone in a Bengals offense that couldn’t move the ball in the second half against the Bills last week” — she said Boyd is the one with an opportunity to break out.
“This will be the Bengals’ chance to see what they have in their second-round draft pick,” Terrell wrote of Boyd, who has been used primarily in the slot as the No. 3 receiver for most of this season, but caught his first touchdown of the season last week and saw his most targets (8) and receptions (6) since Week 2.
With A.J. Green out, Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd has an opportunity to break out.
Terrell also pointed out that LaFell’s receptions have dropped considerably since tight end Tyler Eifert returned from injury last month.