The NFL's war of attrition has already begun.
A host of talented players suffered injuries over the weekend, notably star running backs Saquon Barkley (torn ACL; out for the season) and Christian McCaffrey (high ankle sprain; out multiple weeks).
Neither the New York Giants nor the Carolina Panthers are on the Patriots' 2020 schedule, but the injury bug also bit a pair of clubs slated to play New England in the near future: the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.
Here's a rundown of the injuries those teams withstood in Week 2:
Denver Broncos (at Patriots in Week 5)
- QB Drew Lock (severe rotator cuff strain; out 2-6 weeks)
- WR Courtland Sutton (torn knee ligaments; out for season)
This is a tough one-two punch for a rebuilding Denver team. If Lock can't suit up against the Patriots in three weeks, the Broncos will have to turn to backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who is 1-7 in eight career starts with a 79.6 career passer rating.
Sutton was expected to be Lock's top target, as well, and his absence leaves rookies Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler and third-year wideout DaeSean Hamilton to shoulder the receiving load.
The Patriots should be heavy favorites in Week 5 if Lock joins Sutton on the sideline.
San Francisco 49ers (at Patriots in Week 7)
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain; timetable TBD)
- DE Nick Bosa ("most likely" a torn ACL)
- RB Raheem Mostert (potential sprained MCL)
- DT Solomon Thomas (knee injury; status unclear)
The Niners' win over the Jets came at a high price, as Bosa likely is done for the year. San Francisco visits New England in over a month, so there's a good chance Garoppolo is back under center for his return to Foxboro, but that's no guarantee.
It's also possible Mostert and Thomas could miss significant time, as the defending NFC champions are looking a lot more beatable after their 1-1 start.
The Patriots are also 1-1 after losing to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and are expected to have a down year following Tom Brady's offseason departure.
Injuries are the consistent wild card of every NFL season, though, and that's already proving true in 2020.