Big Time NFL Players Returning in Week 5
There were eleven players that were forced to serve a four-game suspension to begin this season and now that it's officially week five, here's who those players were and the for the bigger names, what their return means impact wise.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS:
Mark Ingram, Running Back-
Ingram was suspended over the summer due to the violation of the league's performance-enhancing substance policy.
With his return, we'll again see an offense that features "Boom and Zoom" with their dual Pro Bowl running backs ready to roll. It'll be interesting to see how much Ingram is involved this week, Willie Snead had a couple big seasons for this team before he was suspended last off-season and couldn't get out of the Sean Payton dog house. I don't think that'll be the case here but I do think Alvin Kamara will out touch and out snap Ingram moving forward. The team has been so successful with Kamara on the field and we're continuing to see a special talent that Kamara truly is, I think Payton realizes that. Ingram will be involved in the offense for sure but I think it'll be more Kamara playing the lead role this season as we move forward.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:
Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver-
Edelman was suspended over the summer due to the violation of the league's performance-enhancing substance policy.
Don't forget, Julian Edelman hasn't played in a game since the Super Bowl win they had against the Atlanta Falcons during the 2016-2017 season. He missed all of last season with a torn ACL that he sustained during the summer of 2017. That's a long time to have not played football but he's been with Tom Brady for a while and I'm anticipating him jumping right back into this offense and ready to make an impact. This Pats offense has been struggling at the wide receiver position as they've shuffled several guys in and out over the first couple weeks. Now with Edelman back in the mix, I'm expecting he'll have an immediate positive impact for TB12.
Vontaze Burfict, Linebacker-
Burfict was suspended over the summer due to the violation of the league's performance-enhancing substance policy.
This is a big upgrade at the linebacker spot for Cincinnati, we know the impact that Burfict can have on a game and he can be a nightmare for opposing offenses. His teammates gave him high praise by saying that it's like, "having a coach on the field." The Bengals could use some help on defense, especially on third downs as they're currently allowing 57.4% of those third downs to be converted. He sustained an injury in training camp so we'll have to wait and see what kind of shape this big bad linebacker will be coming back.
Jimmy Smith, Cornerback
Smith was suspended over the summer due to the violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
Jimmy Smith has proven to be a very good defensive back in his years in the NFL and he's walking back into a defense that's currently ranked fourth in the league. There's every chance that he'll be eased back into the lineup for a unit that is playing at an already high level but don't think he won't play a big role when the Ravens face some of the elite quarterbacks of the league. The rest of the way Baltimore will face the likes of Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, Cam Newton, and Ben Roethlisberger. One of the biggest things Smith brings to this offense is his ability to cover and in turn that allows the other defensive backs to take more chances and uncover their inner ball-hawking abilities.
David Irving, Defensive Tackle-
Irving was suspended over the summer due to the violation of the league's performance-enhancing substance policy.
We're not exactly sure where David Irving is in terms of his conditioning as he missed time during offseason program due to personal issues but when everything's right this guy is a handful for offensive lineman. He's been back around the team the past three weeks which is good and I'm sure he's kept himself in shape but playing shape and just being in shape are two very different things. The Cowboys are hoping he'll be ready sooner rather than later as they're dealing with some injuries along the defensive line.
Others who are also returning this week:
- Robert Turbin, Indianapolis Colts, Running Back
- Corey Liuget, Los Angeles Chargers, Defensive Tackle
- Kentrell Brothers, Minnesota Vikings, Linebacker
- Josh Mauro, New York Giants, Defensive End
- Rashard Robinson, New York Jets, Cornerback
-Daryl Worley, Oakland Raiders, Cornerback