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AFC North gets brutalized by injuries in Week 1

The rest of the AFC North seemed to have suffered some major injuries to start the season.

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals started the season off with a loss to the Cleveland Browns, but if you want to look on the bright side, they managed to avoid any major player suffering an injury.

The same can’t be said for the rest of the division, who all seemed to have major players leave their Week 1 game.

Cleveland Browns

Jack Conklin, offensive tackle: Bengals fans saw this one happen. One of those unfortunate instances of a defensive end getting pushed down trying to go on the outside of a tackle to the quarterback. Only to get pushed into the opposing tackle's knee. We don’t know exactly how severe the injury is, but he was carted off and quickly ruled out.

This forced rookie offensive tackle Dawand Jones into action at right tackle and looked serviceable in the terrible conditions. How quickly Jones can adapt to the speed of the NFL and the talent of the pass rushers may determine how well this team performs week-to-week.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson, wide receiver: While many fans around the league have been gushing about quarterback Kenny Pickett’s and George Pickens’ development and connection going into Year 2. Johnson led the team in targets (147), yards (882), catches (86) and tied with running back Najee Harris with 45 first downs. Johnson left Week 1’s game with a hamstring injury.

Pickens was already projected to have a much bigger role, but now it is a matter of who is going to step up behind him. Allen Robinson caught six passes and looked good, but will this offense lack something without Johnson?

To compound that, tight end Pat Freiermuth also left the game with a chest injury. He was listed as questionable to return, but that is worth monitoring as well.

Cam Heyward, defensive lineman: The 34-year-old lineman has been dominant in the middle of Pittsburgh’s defense for just about as long as he’s been in the league. He exited Sunday’s game with a groin injury, and his absence was notable, with the 49ers rushing for 190 yards on the day. It would be a huge blow to their defense if he is unable to suit up for any amount of time.

Baltimore Ravens

J.K. Dobbins, running back: You just have to feel from this guy from the standpoint that he just wants to play football and help his team. However, his injury luck couldn’t be any worse. Dobbins tore his Achilles in the Week 1 victory and is out for the rest of the year. He had 10 total touches for 37 yards and a touchdown. The team will likely lean on Justice Hill and Gus Edwards for the rest of the year.

Marcus Williams, safety: A pectoral injury forced Williams out of the game, and he was ruled out. This is Williams’ second season with the Ravens after being a standout with the New Orleans Saints. This team has really tried to improve its secondary the past few years, and when he has been able to play next to Kyle Hamilton, these two have been a pretty good pair.

The early fear seems to be for a torn pec, but tests will have to confirm that.

Ronnie Stanley, offensive tackle: Stanley is the Ravens' left tackle, and he went down with a knee injury before being declared out. The team is focused more on having quarterback Lamar Jackson sit back and pass, so protecting his blind side will be a bigger deal than ever. The team will have an MRI to check how major the injury is, but this could be a big loss in the meantime.

Tyler Linderbaum, center: Speaking of offensive lineman possibly missing extended time, Linderbaum suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Baltimore’s win and is also scheduled for an MRI. It would be an understatement how costly losing two of your foundation pieces on the offensive line would be at this point in the season. Linderbaum is coming off an impressive rookie season, and Jackson may start feeling a bit more pressure if neither of these two is able to go.

The Ravens will have a lengthy injury report for Week 2 when they travel to Cincinnati.