It only took one week for an NFL team to lose its starting quarterback due to injury, but no, it's not the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo's ribs took a hit on Sunday, but the Cowboys got some good news when the X-rays came back negative. Instead, the Jaguars will be without Blaine Gabbert due to a Week 1 injury.
That and more in our look back at Monday's NFL headlines.
Rib injuries can be devastating for a quarterback, but based on the initial X-rays it appears Romo and the Cowboys avoided any serious issues. Romo took a hit to the ribs against New York, forcing him to leave the game for one play. Although he appeared to be bothered by his ribs at points during the rest of the game, X-rays came back negative.
That doesn't mean Romo's ribs won't be a non-issue going forward, but he is expected to start on Sunday against Kansas City. As Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys wrote, the Cowboys dodged a bullet:
Good news for the Cowboys, the X-rays came back negative. Romo is just a little sore but will be good to go next week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Stephen Jones told The Fan:
"We feel optimistic with the tests coming back negative,'' Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones tells 105.3 The Fan's Elf and Slater. "He'll be sore but something he'll be able to play with, as it looks right now.''
Gabbert missed the final two preseason games due to a thumb injury, but it isn't the thumb keeping him out of Week 2. Instead, Gabbert will miss the game against Oakland due to a laceration on his throwing hand which required 15 stitches.
According to Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country, the Jaguars ruled Gabbert out because they are concerned about the risk of infection due to the loss of skin on his hand. Chad Henne will fill in for Gabbert, just as he did last season. The good news for Jacksonville is Henne got plenty of reps during the final two weeks of the preseason with Gabbert sitting out.
Shane Vereen was a huge factor in New England's Week 1 win and as it turns out, he did it all with a fractured wrist. He racked up 159 total yards, despite playing through the injury. According to a report, he experienced numbness after the game and an evaluation revealed a fracture in his wrist.
Vereen underwent surgery on Monday and will miss several weeks according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. The injury will force New England to reshuffle its running back group. Pats Pulpit wrote the injury will likely mean Stevan Ridley returns to the rotation:
Stevan Ridley, who was sidelined after a fumble on Sunday, will probably be back in the rotation sooner than expected. The role of third down back though, may be filled by Leon Washington who was resigned by the Patriots and played that position in the preseason.
New England is also likely to be without Gronkowski in Week 2 as the tight end is expected to miss another week. According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, a source said Gronkowski is "unlikely" to play on Thursday against the New York Jets.
Despite not playing, Pats Pulpit called Gronkowski one of the winners of Week 1 with the Patriots offense showing how much it needs him:
The Patriots needed him yesterday. Tom Brady was consistently forced to go to Kenbrell Thompkins (14 targets) because he had no other bigger options (especially when Amendola and Edelman were well covered). Without Gronk, the Patriots tight ends combined for one receptions for five yards.
Injuries are already a major issue in Pittsburgh with the Steelers losing three key contributors for the season in Week 1. The biggest loss will be on the offensive line with Pouncey out for the season due to a serious knee injury. Pouncey tore his ACL and MCL while running back LaRod Stephens-Howling was placed on injured reserve due to a torn ACL.
Linebacker Larry Foote landed on season-ending injured reserve due to a torn bicep. Pittsburgh signed running back Jonathan Dwyer, center Fernando Velasco and kicker Shayne Graham to fill the roster spots. The injuries are a major blow and raise a couple of questions according to Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain.
If anyone's keeping score, that's approximately a bleep ton of injuries for one team, and these are starting-level players. at what point do the Steelers step to the mirror and ask themselves two very difficult questions: 1.) Are we pushing them too hard in practice, and is that residual wear and tear what's causing these injuries? and 2.) Are our players just simply not tough - for all their effort and hard work, are their bodies just not capable of handling the rigors of this game?
Following an up-and-down performance in Week 1, Pryor was named Oakland's starting quarterback going forward, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. While Pryor excelled as a runner, racking up 112 yards on the ground, his passing performance was mixed. Pryor completed 19-of-29 passes for 217 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Despite the two turnovers, Silver and Black Pride said the move to officially name Pryor the starter was an obvious move:
After the performance by Pryor there would have been a riot had Allen not finally backed him as the starter. Luckily, no helmets and shields will have to be handed out now after the mind games have ended. If you took Pryor's own critique of his work into account their may have been a competition still at hand, but thankfully the entire world outside of TP knows how well he performed.