The First NFL Matchup Was More About Who Wasn't There
The two teams that played in the first matchup of the 2015 NFL season are still battling some huge losses to start the year.
The NFL kicked off its 2015 season Thursday, and no teams were happier about that than those in the opening night matchup, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
By now, you're probably aware that Tom Brady is cleared to play, but both teams are still battling huge losses to start the season.
Brady received snaps from undrafted free agent David Andrews, because center Bryan Stork is out with a concussion. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was also sidelined with a broken fibula.
Both offenses were decimated by suspensions as well. Breakout wide receiver Martavis Bryant will miss four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
And each team's starting running back sat out after getting arrested in the same traffic stop. Former Steeler LeGarette Blount and Leveon Bell were traveling together when they were busted with marijuana in August.
The Patriots were without receiver Brandon LaFell due to a foot injury and lost their two best defensive players, Vince Wilfork and Darrelle Revis, in free agency.
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Steelers lost two kickers in the preseason and their last resort, Josh Scobee, missed his first two field goal attempts.
It wasn't just Pittsburgh and New England that had rough off seasons, though. It seemed like the injury bug hit just about everyone in the NFL
There were the normal injuries, like Arian Foster who tore his groin in the Texans' first padded practice.
And the Green Bay Packers lost top wide receiver Jordy Nelson for the whole year with torn ACL. Ditto for the Panthers and Kelvin Benjamin.
Then there were the bizarre ones. Jets starting QB Geno Smith will miss significant time after he suffered a broken jaw when he was sucker punched by a teammate.
And Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blew off his right index finger in a July 4th fireworks accident. Fans and coaches are certainly relieved the brutal off season is finally over.
This video includes images from Getty Images.
Aaron Rodgers says he wants to play for the New York Jets
Aaron Rodgers appears ready to leave Green Bay for New York. The quarterback says he's interested in playing for the Jets next season.
Minnesota Vikings' K.J. Osborn helps save man from burning car
Osborn posted a photo on Twitter with three other people who helped him pull the driver from the wreckage.
NFL reinstates Jaguars' Calvin Ridley after gambling suspension
The star wide receiver was suspended for the entire 2022 season for violating the league's gambling policy by placing bets on NFL games.
Missouri to restrict gender-affirming care for minors
The rule will require an 18-month waiting period, 15 hour-long therapy sessions and treatment of any mental illnesses before providing trans care.
Saudi Arabia frees American imprisoned over critical tweets
The Florida man, who made comments criticizing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was arrested in 2021 when he arrived in Saudi Arabia to visit family.
New law puts Wyoming at forefront of abortion pill bans
Before a law signed Friday by Wyoming Republican Gov. Mark Gordon, no state specifically banned abortion pills.