NFL training camps continue to be dangerous, with two wide receivers going down with likely season-ending ACL injuries in practice on Tuesday. Danario Alexander and Arrelious Benn. Both were added to a list of players who have already gone down for the year, a list that includes two of Benn's Eagle teammates.
Let's take a look at Tuesday night's news from around the league, focusing on the two big hits that will cause shakeups for the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles, but also featuring some less scary injuries to stars on the Vikings and Browns -- and a word from Vince Young.
This is just so rough, both for Alexander and the team. The Chargers had expected Alexander to be their No. 2 receiving option behind Malcom Floyd, but the ACL tear suffered in one-on-one drills in Tuesday's practice likely ends that.
But it's maybe more devastating for Alexander, who has had five surgeries on his left knee over the course of his career. The injuries started his sophomore year at Mizzou, kept him from being drafted and kept him off the field for two years in St. Louis. He was eventually cut by the Rams, but finally managed to get healthy last year. His health paid off, as he rose from a midseason signing to a pivotal part of the Chargers offense, with 37 receptions for 658 yards and seven touchdowns.
And now, with the knee that's troubled him his whole career actually healthy to start the season, Alexander has torn his ACL in the other knee and now must begin rehabbing to get healthy there. Brutal news for the 24-year-old.
It will be hard to replace a 6'5, 217-pound target, but, as Bolts from the Blue writes, the Chargers have depth. Vincent Brown could fill in the role, although at just 5'11 he's a completely different receiver. The team also has third-round draft pick Keenan Allen in the fold, as well as proven entities Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem.
It's a bad time to be a Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin, the team's No. 2 option, is already out for the year with an ACL tear. Riley Cooper -- well, he's going to play, but, umm, you know what's up with him.
And now, Benn, who had the opportunity to step up with Maclin down, is gone. That leaves DeSean Jackson, Cooper, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and a bunch of people who have a golden opportunity to stick on an NFL roster. Benn's spot wasn't confirmed, but he had significantly more NFL experience than almost anybody else vying to make cuts.
Benn needed this year, too -- the No. 39 pick in 2010 for Tampa Bay out of Illinois, he hadn't managed to find a foothold in the NFL. He managed 55 catches for 836 yards in his first two NFL seasons, but completely fell out of the Bucs' rotation in 2012, catching just four passes. The team traded him to Philly, but he won't play there this year after the injury.
Including Jason Phillips, the Eagles have now lost three players to ACL tears.
It's not necessarily bad news, but not necessarily good news, either. John Harbaugh says the team will wait a week before figuring out what to do with Ed Dickson's injury. The tear is still not considered major, but the fact that the team is pushing any plans back a week suggests a level of hesitation and worry that wasn't previously there. Harbaugh still expects Dickson to be ready come the start of the regular season.
Ravens tight ends are also pretty star-crossed, with Dennis Pitta already out for the year with a fractured hip. It's especially disconcerting since Joe Flacco has made a habit of tossing to his biggest targets, and did so throughout last year's Super Bowl run. But the team has already brought in Visanthe Shiancoe for depth, and Billy Bajema is a solid blocking-specific end.
The quarterback who went from being the No. 3 overall pick to out of the league in just six years says that he's changed, mentally, and is ready to compete for a backup role.
Young is now on the Green Bay Packers after not playing with an NFL team in 2012. He'll have to earn his place, with Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman on the roster, but he says he can be "the old head in the locker room" instead of the brash youngster who came into the league after a National Championship at Texas. Just two years ago, he made headlines by proclaiming the Eagles a "Dream Team," but now, he'll be quieter.
No, it's never good to hear about a Pro Bowler getting injured, but if there's somebody we might not need to worry about, it's Allen. He already wasn't expected to play in the team's preseason opener Friday, has played in 16 games every season since 2008 and has only missed three games in his nine-year NFL career.
That said, ankles are tricky, and he reportedly limped off the field before missing the last bit of practice to have the ankle wrapped. It's not yet known if he'll need an MRI.
Like many starters around the league, the Browns' rising star won't play in the team's first preseason game. He was kicked in the shin last Thursday, and instead of throwing him out for a series and causing further discomfort, they'll let him rest.
Richardson is pivotal to any hope for the Browns to be successful offensively in Rob Chudzinski's first season as Cleveland's head coach. He dealt with injuries last year and was only able to carry the ball 20 times in five games. Not coincidentally, the Browns won three of those games (they won only five all of last year). He should be their primary option this year, so taking precaution in the games that don't count is wise.