Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone finds himself in an uncomfortable position to begin his NFL coaching career, as the first-time NFL head coach will be leaning on undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel to start week one.
The Bills selected E.J. Manuel in the first round of April's draft, but there's no firm timetable on when he'll be able to return from a knee injury. Kevin Kolb was the next in line, but sustained a concussion believed to be potentially career-threatening. Enter Tuel, who joined the Bills as an undrafted free agent.
Tuel played extremely well in the Bills' first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, in which he got extensive playing time. He finished that game with 19-for-23 passing, for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
The New Orleans Saints were hoping to revamp their defense this year under new coordinator Rob Ryan, but that task is going to be considerably more difficult without pass rusher Will Smith. Reports indicate that Smith will miss the entire 2013 season with a knee injury.
Smith ranked second in sacks for the Saints in 2012. The veteran was making a transition to outside linebacker this season in the a new 3-4 defense. Two rookies will be asked to fill the gap, but it remains to be seen how they can fill Smith's shoes as a pass rusher, while the rest of the defense will need to find a veteran leader.
It wasn't all bad injury news on Monday, as the New England Patriots welcomed back Danny Amendola. There has been no official announcement whether the receiver would be ready for Week 1, but the Patriots are in dire need of more offensive weapons while they wait for Rob Gronkowski to return from injury.
Teams around the league begin their cut down to 75 players on Monday, and the Seahawks added to its list by placing promising rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams on injured reserve.
Once believed to be a potential first-round pick, Williams was still available in the fifth due to injury issues. Those concerns were realized, as Danny Kelly of Seattle Seahawks blog Field Gulls said that he "looked stiff" in preseason action, which likely contributed to today's move.
The Pro Bowl fullback has been suspended for three games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Felton has emerged as one of the league's best lead blocking fullbacks, and quietly a large factor in Peterson's 2012 success.
Losing Felton is of great concern to the Vikings, as the team is slated to play two divisional road contests in the first three games. Minnesota could find themselves in an early hole if the offense can't block for Peterson.