Coming into Week 1, most teams’ optimism hinges on the health of their rosters. A few star players whose status had been murky this week, including Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, and Colts guard Quenton Nelson, are good to go.
Elsewhere, the absence of injured players will temper their teams’ game plans.
Notable injuries in the 1 p.m. Eastern games:
Jets at Carolina Panthers
Jets receiver Jamison Crowder (reserve/Covid-19) will miss Sunday’s season opener, while receiver Keelan Cole (knee) will be a game-time decision. And the Panthers will be without receiver Shi Smith, who missed practice this week with a shoulder injury.
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team placed receiver Curtis Samuel on the injured reserve list earlier this week, so he will miss at least three weeks to nurse a groin injury.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
The Titans will be without kicker Sam Ficken, who is on the injured reserve list with a groin injury.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts’ veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf) will miss Sunday’s opener, along with receiver T.Y. Hilton, who re-aggravated a lingering neck injury during a practice last month. Hilton, the Colts’ top receiver, is expected to miss the start of the regular season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is out for their season opener against the Jaguars. Watson, who has 22 civil suits alleging sexual misconduct filed against him, isn’t expected to suit up for Houston this season. (He has denied the accusations.) Tyrod Taylor will start in his place. Houston will also miss kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn (leg), as well as defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr. (thigh).
The Jaguars will be without cornerback Tre Herndon, who’s out with a knee injury.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills
Bills running back Zack Moss was not on the team’s injury report leading up to Sunday’s game against the Steelers, but he will miss the team’s opener.
Notable injuries in the 4:25 p.m. Eastern games:
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last season, will not play against the Chiefs. Beckham had been a game-time decision but was scratched about an hour before kickoff after taking the field for warm-ups. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu will also miss the game despite being activated from the team’s injured reserve/Covid-19 list on Saturday.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Dolphins receiver Preston Williams, who’s been nursing a foot injury, is reportedly not expected to play against the Patriots.
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints will be without receiver Michael Thomas for the start of the season after he underwent ankle surgery in June. They’ll also miss receiver Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring).
Denver Broncos at New York Giants
Giants tight end Evan Engram (calf) is out.