Several NFL teams are going to get a boost this week as key players return from suspension. New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is one of the biggest names coming off a suspension. New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is another strong player will be returning to his squad in Week 5.
These aren’t the only players, though, who’ll give their teams a boost. That said, I’m going to look at several players who are coming off suspensions and how they’ll impact their respective teams.
Multiple Teams Get Help at Just the Right Time
Patriots WR Julian Edelman — Edelman went for 1,106 receiving yards on 98 catches in 2016, before missing all of 2017 with an ACL injury. He’s presumably healthy at this point and will start immediately.
Saints RB Mark Ingram — Ingram has topped 1,000 rushing yards in two consecutive seasons. This feat was particularly impressive last year, as he shared duties with the electric Alvin Kamara.
Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict — Burfict, who’s recorded three seasons with 100+ tackles, will add some nastiness to a Bengals defense that’s already tough.
Cowboys DT David Irving — The Cowboys have shown flashes of greatness. If Irving can keep his off-field issues to a minimum, Dallas’ defensive unit may be great more often.
Chargers DT Corey Liuget — This 300-pounder will help San Diego plug the middle and make it harder for AFC West rivals to run on them.
Colts RB Robert Turbin — The Colts’ backfield is fair game, as nobody has established themselves as a full-time starter. Turbin, who had seven touchdowns for Indianapolis in 2016, could be in line for some more work this season.
Ravens CB Jimmy Smith — Baltimore is off to a solid 3-1 start. Getting Smith back will only help more, given that he’s one of the league’s best corners.
Raiders CB Daryl Worley — Worley is a solid cover corner who can help this beleaguered Oakland defense.
Free agent OL Vadal Alexander — Former Oakland Raiders guard Vadal Alexander can help provide depth for any team with offensive line issues.
Which Suspended Players Will Have the Biggest Impact
Much of who has the biggest impact will depend upon who can stay on the field and out of trouble. That said, Edelman figures to provide a big boost for New England, which has had some serious offensive struggles up until last week’s 38-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Edelman is a good possession receiver who’s sorely needed on a team without many healthy wideouts.
Ingram is also another player who’ll help his team out immensely. Last year, Ingram and Kamara formed the league’s most powerful running back duo. The Saints need them to repeat their 2017 success in order to win the NFC South.
Burfict is another high impact player who can boost his team. The Bengals have gotten off to a surprising 3-1 start, but they can do even better with Burfict on the field.
Jimmy Smith is yet one more player to watch for as he comes off suspension. Smith is a top cornerback who should make Baltimore’s defense even stronger.