NFL Survival Index: The contenders best positioned to overcome key injuries

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for CBSSports.com
  • University of Florida graduate

The sound of MRI machines buzzing around the NFL was predictable. Teams braced for a rash of injuries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, comparing the lack of offseason preparation to the post-lockout injury outbreak in 2011.

Several superstars who were eyeing massive 2020 seasons were suddenly taking to social media to promise an epic comeback in 2021.

Things have gotten so bad with the New York Jets, who had 17 players on the injury report last week, that the team is looking into the repeated issues, particularly the frequent soft-tissue injuries, according to sources.

But while the Jets are nowhere near contention, others have enough depth to keep their hopes alive. We’re also not including the Los Angeles Chargers here; even though they’re plenty banged up, that seems to be a perennial problem for them. Here are six contenders who are currently facing significant injury issues, along with insights from opposing coaches and execs on how likely they are to weather the storm.

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