The NFL attempts to limit offseason injuries by restricting contact during OTA practice, but a few teams have still been stung by major injuries recently. A few players will be out until at least training camp after undergoing surgery on Tuesday.
The New York Giants may be without Jason Pierre-Paul until the start of the regular season after the Pro Bowl defensive end underwent back surgery on Tuesday morning. Pierre-Paul is coming off a down season, but is still arguably the Giants' best defensive player. His procedure on Tuesday was deemed "successful," but he's still facing a recovery process that could take up to three months. Pierre-Paul said he played through some back issues last season. He went through treatment this offseason in hopes of curing the problem, but the surgery was done so he could return to full health. The fact the 24-year-old Pierre-Paul needed surgery was "stunningly bad news," according to Ed Valentine of Big Blue View, but if he returns to Pro Bowl form, the layoff will clearly have been worth it.
Pierre-Paul wasn't the only pass-rusher to go under the knife on Tuesday as Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin had surgery on his groin. Babin is currently penciled in to start at LEO for the Jaguars, an important position in Gus Bradley's defense. The good news for the Jaguars is while Babin will miss the rest of offseason workouts, he should be healthy in time for the start of training camp. His absence could also provide an opportunity for a few young players on the roster, as Adam Stites of Big Cat Country wrote:
Although Babin is expected to return in time for training camp, this gives more of an opportunity for second-year defensive end Andre Branch to step into the role.
Other competitors for time at the LEO position include undrafted rookies J.D. Griggs and Paul Hazel, a pair of undersized ends that will look to specialize in getting to the passer.
Like Babin, Cleveland running back Trent Richardson is likely out until August as the Browns are taking a cautious approach with their soon-to-be second-year pro. Richardson suffered a lower leg injury during an OTA practice and according to reports, Cleveland plans to rest Richardson in fear the injury could develop into a stress fracture. Injuries plagued Richardson during his rookie season and this is less than an ideal start to his sophomore campaign. Zach J. Miller of Dawgs By Nature is among the concerned as Richardson's injury history keeps getting longer.
New Orleans cornerback Keenan Lewis was hospitalized with stomach pains on Monday night and missed Tuesday's OTA practice, but the issue isn't expected to keep him out for long. Lewis was released on Tuesday after being kept overnight for observation and Saints coach Sean Payton said Lewis could return to practice as early as Wednesday.
- Philadlephia's DeSean Jackson is back to running with the fist team after being demoted earlier in OTAs.
- The Detroit Lions signed offensive lineman Jake Scott on Tuesday.