NFL Week 3 injuries: Rookie QBs Young, Richardson are out

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Saturday, September 23, 2023

In a dazzling display of their offensive depth, the San Francisco 49ers put up 30 points Thursday night against the New York Giants despite playing without wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk, who had 11 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns through two games, didn't play because of a shoulder injury suffered last week against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers didn't miss a beat, as Deebo Samuel filled the void with 129 receiving yards and a touchdown, Brock Purdy passed for 300-plus yards and Christian McCaffrey found the end zone for a 12th consecutive game, tying Jerry Rice's franchise record. The 49ers won 30-12.

It's a rare team, and almost assuredly a very good one, that can overcome the absence of a skill player as talented as Aiyuk. The Giants struggled mightily without running back Saquon Barkley (ankle).

Regarding this weekend's games, two teams will be without their first-round rookie quarterbacks. The Carolina Panthers will not have No. 1 overall pick QB Bryce Young (ankle). Veteran Andy Dalton will replace him. And the Indianapolis Colts will be minus No. 4 selectionAnthony Richardson (concussion). Gardner Minshew is his backup.

Here are more injury updates from our NFL Nation reporters as we head toward the Sunday matchups:

Quick links:

Schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter

Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

Injury: Ankle

The top pick of the 2023 NFL draft will miss one to two weeks with a sprained ankle suffered in the first half of Monday night's 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He will be replaced by veteran Andy Dalton, who signed to a two-year deal during the offseason to mentor Young and be available in situations such as this. He'll face a Seattle Seahawks defense that allowed opposing quarterbacks to average more than a 100 passer rating the first two games, so there should be opportunities for him to be successful.

-- David Newton

Anthony Richardson, QB; Ryan Kelly, C, Indianapolis Colts

Injury: Concussion (both)

Richardson has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, meaning Gardner Minshew will start. The Colts love what they've seen so far from Richardson, but Minshew is viewed as a capable player who has made 24 career starts. This will require the Colts' offense to take a different posture given the dual-threat nature of Richardson's game versus the dropback and quick-throw style employed by Minshew.

Kelly's absence means backup Wesley French should be in line to make his first career start.

-- Stephen Holder

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Baltimore Ravens

Injury: Ankle

With Beckham missing his first game of the season, Rashod Bateman should see increased opportunities. When Beckham was out for the second half last week, Bateman played 22 of the 28 offensive snaps. The increased participation didn't result in production. Bateman wasn't targeted by Lamar Jackson in the second half. But, on Sunday, Bateman is going against a Colts secondary that has given up 35 completions to wide receivers this season (fourth-most in the league).

-- Jamison Hensley

Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Injury: Hamstring

The Packers took an interesting approach with Watson this week. He practiced Wednesday and then took Thursday as a scheduled day off to make sure he didn't have a setback. He then practiced Friday. He was listed as questionable, but there seems to be a better chance this week that he makes his season debut after missing the first two games. At least if the Packers have Watson, they might be without only one of their top-two playmakers considering Aaron Jones (hamstring) seems like a good bet to miss his second straight game.

-- Rob Demovsky

David Montgomery, RB, Detroit Lions

Injury: Thigh

After Montgomery missed a full week of practice, the Lions listed him as doubtful. Montgomery was off to a strong start in his Lions career, with a team-leading 37 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns through two games. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs is in line for a heavier load. "We feel good about the backs we have. Certainly, Gibbs is going to get more of a role and we're going to do what we do," Lions coach Dan Campbell said.

-- Eric Woodyard

Jamaal Williams, RB, New Orleans Saints

Injury: Hamstring

Alvin Kamara is serving the last game of his suspension, which means rookie Kendre Miller, who will be making his debut against the Packers, could get his first start. Expect to see a lot of Miller and Tony Jones Jr., who scored two touchdowns last week coming off the practice squad.

-- Katherine Terrell

Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Injury: Knee

Jones, who had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in the first two weeks, won't play against the Texans. Jones has started both games on the outside opposite Calvin Ridley, and his absence means more work for Tim Jones on the outside and more snaps for Jamal Agnew, who can line up in the slot, outside and in the backfield. Tim Jones has just three catches in 19 career games so expect Zay Jones' targets to be spread out among Ridley, receiver Christian Kirkand tight end Evan Engram.

-- Michael DiRocco

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Tennessee Titans

Injury: Ankle

Hopkins was a full participant in practice Wednesday but was limited Thursday and not spotted during the open portion of practice Friday. Coach Mike Vrabel didn't rule Hopkins out for Sunday's game when he spoke to the media Friday. Hopkins said the ankle responded well after he played on it last week. He will travel with the team to Cleveland and believes he has a chance to be cleared to play.

-- Turron Davenport

Cordarrelle Patterson, Joker, Atlanta Falcons

Injury: Thigh

Patterson, who has been inactive the past two games and is officially questionable for Sunday at Detroit, said Friday that he plans to play and is "very confident" he can. He put in the caveat that he believes he'll play every Sunday. He missed Thursday's practice but said it wasn't a setback -- "just needed to take a rest" because his body doesn't heal in Year 11 like it did early in his career.

-- Michael Rothstein

Jamal Adams, S, Seattle Seahawks

Injury: Quad tendon

The Seahawks listed Adams as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Carolina Panthers, but Pete Carroll continues to give the impression that it'll be another week before he makes his 2023 debut. Carroll said Adams "did really well" in his second week back at practice since tearing a quad tendon in last year's opener. He said Adams is as close as he can get to playing, but the coach seemed to look ahead to him returning in Week 4.

-- Brady Henderson

Tyree Wilson, DE, Las Vegas Raiders

Injury: Illness

The No. 7 overall draft pick was limited in practice Friday, and wearing a mask in the locker room, after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with an illness. It's a small sample size, and perhaps he is being rushed into a bigger role than initially anticipated because of Chandler Jones' absence, but Wilson is off to a slow start with just three tackles and no quarterback hits in 70 defensive snaps. If illness slows him against the Pittsburgh Steelers, expect Malcolm Koonce and/or Isaac Rochell to get additional time. "I still think we're in the phase of working towards where [Tyree] will ultimately be," Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said.

-- Paul Gutierrez