Just as there is every year in the NFL, many players will be returning from significant injuries suffered in the previous season. They will try to prove that the injury was just a bump in the road and that they can return to their previous form.

Here are some of the more notable players that will be returning from season-ending injuries sustained last season. To make the list, the player must have been injured before the halfway point of last season and not been active for another game. That’s why players such as Richard Sherman (injured in Week 10) and Sam Bradford (active during the playoffs) are not on the list.


A fractured ankle on October 8 forced Beckham to miss the Giants’ last 11 games. The dynamic 25-year-old receiver has put up a career 16-game average of 107 receptions for 1,506 yards and 13 touchdowns over his first four seasons.

  • Julian Edelman, WR - New England Patriots

One of Tom Brady’s favorite targets since 2012, Edelman wasn’t around for the Hall of Fame quarterback last season after tearing his ACL in the preseason. In 2016, the 32-year-old posted his second 1,000+ yard receiving season as he compiled 98 catches for 1,106 yards.

  • David Johnson, RB - Arizona Cardinals

A dislocated wrist in the season opener sidelined Johnson for the remainder of the year.

In the previous year of 2016, the 26-year-old was a First Team All-Pro as he finished with 1,239 rushing yards, 879 receiving yards (on 80 catches), and 20 total touchdowns.

  • Andrew Luck, QB - Indianapolis Colts

Luck’s surgery on a torn labrum forced him to miss the entirety of the 2017 season. A Pro Bowler in each of his first three seasons from 2012-14, he has thrown 132 touchdown passes in 70 career games.

The former first overall selection will turn 29 on September 12.

  • Jason Peters, OT - Philadelphia Eagles

A torn ACL for Peters in the Eagles’ Week 7 game ended his season early in 2017. All the 36-year offensive lineman has done in his career play in nine Pro Bowls and twice be named to the All-Pro First Team.

Robinson signed a three-year/$42 million deal ($25.2 million guaranteed) this offseason to join the Bears despite tearing his ACL in the Jaguars’ season opener in 2017.

Turning 25 on August 24, he is a few years removed from his Pro Bowl season of 2015 when he accumulated 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns.

  • Ryan Tannehill, QB - Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were forced to coerce Jay Cutler out of retirement last year after Tannehill missed the season due to a torn ACL that occurred in a team practice. Tannehill, who turns 30 on July 27, started 77 games under center for Miami from 2012-16. He has a career 62.7 completion percentage with 106 touchdowns and 66 interceptions.

  • DeShaun Watson, QB - Houston Texans

Alvin Kamara had an incredible rookie season, but Watson was the heavy favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year until he tore his ACL in practice on November 6.

Through the Texans’ first seven games, the 22-year-old threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also ran for an additional 269 yards and two scores.

  • Marshal Yanda, G - Baltimore Ravens

Yanda was named to the Pro Bowl every season from 2011-16 and was a First Team All-Pro in both 2014 & 2015. Unfortunately, the 33-year-old fractured his ankle in Week 2 last year and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.


  • Eric Berry, S - Kansas City Chiefs

Berry tore his Achilles’ tendon in the opening week last season, but this won’t be the first time he has had to overcome adversity. The 29-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014. All he did was win Comeback Player of the Year in 2015 and be named a First Team All-Pro in 2015 & 2016.

  • Dont’a Hightower, LB - New England Patriots

Last offseason, the Patriots retained Hightower with a four-year deal worth $35 million ($19 million guaranteed). He appeared in just five games last year, and his season ended in New England’s seventh game after he tore his pectoral muscle. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2016 when he recorded 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

  • Malik Hooker, S - Indianapolis Colts

Hooker, the 15th overall pick in 2017, sustained a torn ACL in Week 7 last year. It is still unclear if he will be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 season. The 22-year-old intercepted three passes in his first seven career games.

  • Whitney Mercilus, LB - Houston Texans

A torn pectoral muscle ended Mercilus’ season prematurely in Week 5.

Turning 28 on July 21, he tallied 37.5 sacks from 2012-16 including a career-high of 12 in 2015.

  • Jason Verrett, CB - Los Angeles Chargers

A first-round pick by the Chargers in 2014, Verrett has only played in five games in the two seasons since being named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. He suffered a knee injury in the season opener last year, the same knee that ended his season in 2016 due to a torn ACL. He turns 27 on June 18.

  • J.J. Watt, DE - Houston Texans

A three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Watt fractured his tibia in Houston’s fifth game. It was the second straight season that the 29-year-old suffered a season-ending injury early on. The defensive end recorded 69 sacks from 2012-15.