NFL rumors: How rash of injuries could impact NFL trade deadline

Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest story to come out of Sunday’s Week 2 NFL action was myriad injuries suffered by multiple teams around the league. We’re talking game changers for contending teams and season-ending injuries to some of the game’s biggest stars.

All of this comes with the 2020 NFL trade deadline about six weeks away. Typically, the financial uncertainty around the NFL due to the COVID-19 pandemic would make said deadline pretty slow in the grand scheme of things. That won’t be the case leading up to Nov. 3.

It’s in this that I look at how the biggest injuries we saw take place this past Sunday could have a major impact on the 2020 NFL trade deadline.

San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa tears ACL

  • Bosa is obviously one of the most impactful defenders in the NFL. He earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2019 and was slated to compete for the top individual honor on that side of the ball this season.
  • San Francisco signed former Pro Bowler Ezekiel Ansah to a one-year, $3 million contract on Monday to replace Bosa. The former Detroit Lions top-five pick has put up 6.5 sacks over the past two seasons. It remains to be seen how much of an impact he will have.
  • All of this comes with fellow Pro Bowl edge rusher Dee Ford sidelined to a neck injury that cost him Sunday’s win over the New York Jets.
  • If San Francisco were to look at exhausting more draft capital in a trade, someone like Washington Football Team veteran Ryan Kerrigan could make some sense. He’s played 31% of the team’s defensive snaps through two games with the likes of Chase Young and Montez Sweat taking on larger roles. Kerrigan is slated to become a free agent following the 2020 season.

Related: Ranking NFL’s top defenses heading into Week 3

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton tears ACL

  • After missing the season opener with a shoulder injury, this Pro Bowl receiver suffered a torn ACL during Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s an absolutely major blow for Vic Fangio’s squad after Sutton tallied 72 receptions for 1,112 yards as a sophmore last season.
  • Denver has another stud young receiver in that of rookie first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, who has put up eight catches for 118 yards in two games. With that said, relying on him to be a No. 1 receiver at this stage in his career is iffy.
  • The Broncos’ situation is complicated in that they are now 0-2 on the season and could be without starting quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) for up to the next six weeks.
  • If the always-aggressive John Elway was to make a trade for a pass catcher, someone like the shifty Curtis Samuel of the Carolina Panthers could make sense in a trade. He’d cause some major mismatches on the field with Jeudy.

New York Giants Pro Bowler Saquon Barkley tears ACL

  • This is about as devastating as it gets for Daniel Jones and the Giants. Losing one of the most-dynamic backs in the NFL to a torn ACL less than two games into the season. Specifically, this will impact Jones as the quarterback looks to take the next step as a sophomore.
  • New York is not going to be contending for much of anything this season. That’s already well known after an 0-2 start to the campaign and with a game coming up against the defending NFC champs.
  • With that said, general manager David Gettleman has to have Jones on his mind. A lack of balance on offense could hinder Jones’ growth under center in Year 2. It’s why New York is kicking the tires on signing former Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman.
  • If the Giants were to look for a short-term replacement without exhausting a lot of draft capital, a dual-threat back like Giovani Bernard of the Cincinnati Bengals might make sense in a trade. I also wouldn’t discount Le’Veon Bell if the Giants are willing to take on his contract.

Related: Odell Beckham Jr. trade scenarios

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has high-ankle sprain

  • High-anke sprains are tricky in that some players can return in the matter of a week or two. The issue here is that McCaffrey, the game’s most-expensive running back, relies on his cutting ability. There’s no reason to believe that head coach Matt Rhule and Co. are going to rush him back.
  • At 0-2 on the season, Carolina’s already on the brink. Its defense has been downright terrible through two weeks. The team might have to make an immediate trade and see if it can get into contention.
  • The above-mentioned Bernard would make some sense in that his dual-threat ability would work wonders in Rhule’s offense. To a lesser extent, Carolina could potentially take a chance with a trade for Patriots running back Sony Michel. He continues to come up small in New England and could use a change of scenery.