The preseason is about survival. In the second week of the preseason, plenty of best-laid plans were torn up because of injuries.
The Miami Dolphins lost starting tight end Dustin Keller, who might have led the team in catches had he stayed healthy, to a gruesome knee injury. The Washington Redskins lost backup quarterback Kirk Cousins to a mid-foot sprain Monday night, while Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell suffered a foot injury of his own. The Steelers hoped Bell would start in Week 1, but those plans could change now.
Guys like Victor Cruz, DeAndre Hopkins, EJ Manuel, Quinton Coples, Blaine Gabbert, Champ Bailey and Wes Welker all suffered injuries of varying severity over the weekend. Some of those players will be ready for Week 1, but it's impossible to know. That's because teams can be even more vague or overly optimistic about injuries during the preseason than the rest of the year.
We only have one more significant week of the preseason to go. It's a necessary evil, but we are so ready for the real stuff to begin.
Here's what else we learned during Week 2 of the preseason:
1. Michael Vick put together his second consecutive flawless preseason game, clearly outplaying Nick Foles. Vick's strong performances have paid off, as coach Chip Kelly announced Tuesday that the veteran quarterback will start the Eagles' season opener against the Washington Redskins.
2. What is old and yet young is new again in Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert is your new Jaguars starting quarterback after a nice outing Friday. A thumb injury will keep Gabbert out of practice, but he's expected to be ready for Week 1.
4. EJ Manuel's knee injury will delay an official winner in the Buffalo Bills' quarterback battle for a few weeks. But Manuel's performance against the Minnesota Vikings, along with Kevin Kolb's predictable struggles, should do the trick.
1. In just a handful of carries, Eddie Lacy looked like the best Green Bay Packers running back in years. He's earned a huge role to start the season, probably as the team's starter. Lacy's teammate, Johnathan Franklin, meanwhile, has struggled to make an impact.
1. The San Francisco 49ers dumped A.J. Jenkins in a surprising trade to the Kansas City Chiefs for Jon Baldwin. Of the two wide receivers, Baldwin has a better chance to make an impact because the 49ers are so desperate for help. But teams only give up on first-round draft picks for a reason: Both guys have uphill climbs to relevance.
We recapped the second week of the preseason and previewed the AFC South on Monday's Around The League Podcast. It's the best 35 minutes you'll spend all week -- unless you spend any time with your family. Or watching football.