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5 Injuries That Will Drastically Change The Landscape Of 2013 NFL Season

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2013 NFL Season: 5 Injuries That Will Change the Landscape

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s still only preseason in the NFL and yet the amount of player injuries is startling. Maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to the amount of injuries that occur during the offseason and preseason before last year, but it’s something I feel is growing.

Most of the players on the injured list will be able to play at some point during the regular season. Whether they are just being held out the last two weeks of the preseason for precautions like Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel or they’re still healing from 2012 injuries like New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, they will get to step on the field at some point. But the season-ending injuries are starting to pile up as the NFL enters Week 3 of the preseason.

Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress, Chicago Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Arrelious Benn are just a few big name players who have been lost for the entire 2013-2014 season already.

Unfortunately, there is nothing the NFL can do to prevent the injuries that are occurring. From torn ACLs to concussions to sprained ankles, football is a vicious contact sport where every play could easily lead to a serious injury -- something the players risk when they step on the field.

Now check out the five injuries so far this offseason that will change the NFL landscape this season.

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5. Bryan Bulaga

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Bulaga suffered his season-ending ACL injury during a scrimmage in the first week of August. He played in 37 games over the past three seasons and became a staple on the Green Bay front line. Now Aaron Rodgers will have to build chemistry with Bulaga's replacement, which isn't an easy thing to accomplish in a short offseason.

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4. Dustin Keller

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Keller suffered a horrific injury when he was hit low by Houston Texans rookie safety D.J. Swearinger. Keller tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and dislocated his knee on the play. The Miami Dolphins were looking to Keller to lead the young core of tight ends. Keller was only on a one-year deal with the Dolphins, but at this point, it will be a miracle just to see him step on the field again.

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3. Jeremy Maclin

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL during preseason practice and will be sidelined the entire year. Maclin's injury means Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is, yet again, without one of his two starting wide receivers for an entire season. This was also the last year of Maclin's rookie contract, which could make negotiates a little tougher for him. It also would have been fun to see him in Chip Kelly's offense, but it looks like we will have to wait until next year.

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2. Percy Harvin

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Percy Harvin's career has been plagued by injury. It was the main reason the Minnesota Vikings traded him to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. Low-and-behold, the injury bug struck Harvin again, this time in his hip, and it appears his season is over before it began. Oh well, the Seahawks still have Sidney Rice right? Right?

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1. Aaron Hernandez

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Hernandez isn't technically injured, but donning orange and black instead of blue and white will have a major impact on the New England Patriots this season. Not only have they lost Hernandez, but Wes Welker left in free agency and Rob Gronkowski is still TBD. No other team, at this point, has an injury that could compare in magnitude to what the Patriots have lost.