Major injuries, suspensions and absences that will impact the league

Over the course of an NFL season, every team loses key players to injury or other causes. But you don’t want to start the season without a key player.

That’s the reality of some teams struggling with absences, injuries or suspensions. Here’s a list of some of the key players who will miss at least Week 1 and in many cases games after the opener:

top holdouts

Kansas City Chiefs DL Chris Jones: It’s rare for players to sit out when they sit out. But Jones is sticking to his claim of being one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history. He has stated that he is willing to sit out until week 8 despite being fined around eight figures.


New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara: Kamara was handed a relatively light three-game ban due to a battery charge from a fight in Las Vegas in 2022. The Saints have signed Jamaal Williams and signed Kendre Miller so they should be without Kamara, but the offense will get a boost if Kamara is reinstated.

Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams: Williams, a 2022 first-round pick, is by far the biggest name to be banned from the start of this season for violating NFL gambling guidelines. Williams had a very slow start to his career and missing the first six games won’t help.

Dallas Cowboys RB Ronald Jones: Jones was brought in to perhaps add depth behind Tony Pollard, but he was suspended for two games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Jones’ future with the team is uncertain.

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cam Robinson: The Jaguars’ left tackle was suspended for four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. That leaves the already thin Jacksonville line ahead of Trevor Lawrence early in the season.

Kansas City Chiefs DE Charles Omenihu: Omenihu was charged with domestic violence when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Omenihu signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Chiefs but will miss the first six games of the season.


Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce: Kelce is a late addition to the list. He injured his knee in practice on Tuesday and while he reportedly avoided a serious injury, his status for Thursday night’s opener against the Detroit Lions is uncertain. It doesn’t bode well for the Chiefs, who rely on their future Hall of Fame tight end to make up most of their passing offense.

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts RB: The Taylor situation is out of control. Taylor wanted to be paid, the Colts wouldn’t, Taylor requested a trade, the Colts reportedly made unrealistic demands in any trade talks, and Taylor stayed with the Colts. He also remained on the PUP list and there was drama surrounding his injury as well. Taylor underwent ankle surgery after last season and will be out for at least four weeks. Then who knows what will happen?

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: Still working after ACL surgery, Murray has no timeline for his return. The more games the Cardinals lose early in the season, the less reason Murray has to fight back.

Miami Dolphins CB Jalen Ramsey: Ramsey had to have the meniscus in his knee repaired. The Dolphins’ big charge for the offseason will linger at least until December, when Miami hopes he returns for a playoff push.

Miami Dolphins RB Jeff Wilson, Jr.: Wilson surprisingly went to IR due to multiple injuries. He was set to share time and work with Raheem Mostert on the Dolphins Running Back Committee. With Wilson out, the Dolphins are pretty thin in the backcourt.

Buffalo Bill’s OLB By Miller: Miller tore his cruciate ligament last Thanksgiving. It was optimistic that Miller would be ready by week 1, but it has been added to the PUP list and will be out for at least four weeks.

Denver Broncos WR Tim Patrick: Patrick will miss his second straight season due to injury. He tore his Achilles’ heel in training camp, which cuts Denver down at wide receiver.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen: Jensen suffered a knee injury in training camp last year and is still affected, prompting the Bucs to put him on IR. It’s a huge blow to a team in transition following Tom Brady’s retirement.

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