Training camp time is also when NFL teams start losing players left and right to season ending injuries. Two notable ones after the weekend are Matt Elam, the safety from the Baltimore Ravens, and Travis Long, the linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Elam was supposed to be playing in his third NFL season. He featured in all 32 games for the Ravens since being drafted by them in 2013 in the first round, coming out of Florida. But he tore his biceps, which means surgery, and also not playing again this season. The 23-year old is looking for a second opinion, but within the organization, no one is too optimistic about him playing this season, including head coach John Harbaugh.
I haven’t heard on the MRI yet, but I’m not real optimistic right now. I haven’t heard a final word, but it wasn’t very optimistic talking to the doctors. He was reaching, the receiver ran by him and kind of reached for him and caught him.
Elam didn’t have the best of seasons in 2014, being on the field for fewer than 500 snaps last season because of his blown coverage mistakes and missing too many tackles. Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the seven worst safeties against the pass in football. Now he’ll have to wait another season to show that he’s better than what he’s shown so far. Will Hill will probably get more time on the field due to the injury.
The Eagles suffer a blow as well (although a minor one in the big picture), with Travis Long going down with an ACL injury. He wasn’t a starter and doesn’t even have a single tackle or sack to his name in the NFL. The sad thing about it is it’s happened to him again. He tore his ACL last year in the final preseason game of the 2014 season. Almost 12 months later, before preseason began, he tears the same ACL, once again losing a season, and who knows, maybe a career.