Injuries happen every season in the NFL. The following year we see players who were hurt return and bounce back. Here are five players who missed a good portion of the 2017 season and will be returning with high hopes to be key factors for their team’s success.
Edelman, more than Rob Gronkowski, is Tom Brady’s right hand man. The New England Patriots got back to the Super Bowl so why would Edelman be on this list? Take a look at the Monday Night game against the Miami Dolphins. Gronk was suspended and the offense, even with Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, James White, and Dion Lewis, could not move the ball and the offense looked flat all night. Usually when the Patriots offense is stuck, Brady looks to Edelman a few times just to get things flowing again. It is no secret that the Patriots will likely be in the playoffs again this season. We all have seen that Edelman takes his game to another level come postseason time. Having torn his ACL in preseason, he has had, virtually, the entire year to heal.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham Jr. wants to get paid even after coming off a year of distractions and a broken leg. He is probably itching to get back on the field and might not care who the New York Giants quarterback is. It has been reported that Beckham Jr. wants to be paid as not only the top receiver, but as one of the top players in the league. It is money deserved from a talent standpoint. But to show the Giants organization that he has matured, he will have to play extremely good football this season to show the Giants he’s ready to be the game changing franchise player we all know he is capable to be. Remember, OBJ has had at least 90 catches, 1,300 yards, and 10 touchdowns when healthy.
Watson was on fire his rookie year and you could make the argument he was running away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award before an ACL injury in practice ended his season. He had 1,699 passing yards, 19 touchdowns to just eight picks, 103 passer rating, 269 rushing yards, and two touchdowns on the ground. The former Heisman trophy winner was sensational as he excelled doing improv. Watson will look to bounce back as he has a boatload of expectations for the Houston Texans in 2018. It should be interesting to see how he responds with the competition now expecting him to be good and not be overlooked.
It could not have been easy for Wentz to watch the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl without him. Brady took home his MVP award and that should also leave a bad taste with Wentz. In 13 games, he had 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns with seven interceptions, and a passer rating of 101.9. Wentz may or may not be ready for the start of the season, but when he comes back he should come back on fire. He should have motivation to prove he is not a one hit wonder and show he is trying to become an all-time great.
Rodgers will be on a mission this coming season. Every year the Green Bay Packers are a pick to make it to the Super Bowl solely because of Rodgers being on the team. Rodgers missed a significant amount of time due to a hit by Minnesota Vikings‘ linebacker Anthony Barr. Rodgers attempted a comeback late in the season. With the Packers losing to the Carolina Panthers, it ended any hope of them making the playoffs and Rodgers was put on the shelf for the rest of the 2017 season. With the additions the Packers made in the offseason (signing Jimmy Graham and strengthening the defense in the draft), they are showing Rodgers they are all in and making attempts to reach the Super Bowl this year. With the amount of backup passers that were playing last season, it would be great to see the likes of Rodgers back on the field.
2017 was a very high injury plagued year. Seeing these five players get back on the field will not only be great for their respected teams, but also for the entertainment factor for that of the fans.