By: Steven Tauro
June 18, 2020
As football fans, we all learn to understand the harsh reality of injuries coming with the sport. This article highlights seven players from last season who were sidelined by injury, but will bounce back and have a better season come September.
Odell Beckham Jr. WR Cleveland Browns
After being traded from the New York Giants we haven't seen the same Odell. The flashy, big time playmaker, who can take a 5 yard slant into a touchdown just hasn't had the same opportunity to produce. Some will blame the scenario in Cleveland, with Baker Mayfield being a big part of it, but OBJ has also battled some lingering injuries that have limited his upside. Specifically with the Browns in 2019, the receiver landed on the injury report every single week, which later led to offseason core muscle surgery. Im confident, even with the number of weapons the Browns have, that Odell will soon be back to his old self, being a top 10 receiver in the league for years to come.
Roquan Smith LB Chicago Bears
The former top 10 pick was finally coming into himself last season when the injury bug struck Chicago. Even with the Bears disappointing fans last season, the future looks promising for Roquan Smith, who just eclipsed 100 total tackles before ending up on the Injured Reserve. Having guys like Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn on the defense with him will only allow the linebacker to show how good he truly can be. Roquan will show sideline to sideline dominance and will be one of the top linebackers in the league next season.
Evan Engram TE New York Giants
This one is painful and not just specifically for Giants fans. Evan Engram has shown great potential and promise in such a small sample size, but the question is, will we ever be able to see the young tight end play a full season? Year after year, it's something new as far as injuries. I do believe that in the 2020 season we will see the best and healthiest Engram to date, in a contract year. If not a fair comparison would be Jordan Reed.
Marquise Brown WR Baltimore Ravens
Last season was an injury filled year for Marquise "Hollywood" Brown as he made his debut into the NFL. Some may scrutinize for even having the WR on this list, but this guys is a star in the making. Dealing with a foot injury, that was repaired in the offseason, limited the speed of the receiver. If the Ravens had any doubts about Brown's talent not carrying over this year, then the team would have prioritized the position in Free Agency or the Draft.
Bradley Chubb OLB/DE Denver Broncos
After absolutely dominating his rookie season with 12 sacks, Bradley Chubb suffered an unexpected setback in his sophomore season. Tearing his ACL in the first couple of weeks of the 2019 season, the former top ten pick is looking to bounce back in 2020. The Broncos have spent the offseason revamping offensively and defensively to compete in the AFC, and more specifically their division. As long as they are paired together, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb will be the most dominant set of pass rushers in the league on one team. If 2020 isn't the year that Bradley Chubb leads the NFL in sacks, then it will be coming sooner than you think.
Juju Smith-Shuster WR Pittsburg Steelers
Some will blame the Quarterback play, others will say the WR was a one year wonder. JuJu took the stage his rookie season and absolutely balled out! Before his second season, expectations for Smith-Shuster were at an all time high after having the rookie season he did. With AB and Leveon Bell no longer in Pittsburg, JuJu was now the guy. Early in the season we learned that Big Ben wasn't going to make it and that significantly hurt the receiver. The Steelers wide receiver will bounce back as long as Big Ben can tough out the season.
Jonah Williams LT Cincinatti Bengals
Who? Another sophomore player, who didn't get the chance to shine in 2019, everyone meet Jonah Williams! A top pick in the draft last year, Williams was one of the most coveted tackles from Alabama. The Benagls are basically getting their first look at their tackle this season, since he was injured in last preseason. Coming into the year Jonah will already be expected to protect the blind side of the one and only Joe Burrow, along with improving the play of star RB Joe Mixon. Cincinnati is on the up with this core, but it will take a couple of years to fix that defense.