After just one week of the NFL season, a few teams are already having to go to Plan B because of injuries.
Panthers linebacker Jon Beason, Chiefs safety Eric Berry and Chargers kicker Nate Keading — all Pro Bowl selections within the past two seasons — are out for the season after being injured Sunday during their teams' opening game.
Beason, a former college standout at Miami, tore his left Achilles' tendon against the Cardinals. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker hadn't missed a game in his first four seasons and signed a $51 million, six-year deal this summer, including a $20 million signing bonus.
"You can pretty much imagine what it's going to be like to lose a leader like Jon," said Carolina outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who missed much of the previous two seasons with a torn knee ligament. " … It's going to be extremely tough for us."
Berry, a Pro Bowl safety last season as a rookie, tore the ACL in his left knee in Kansas City's loss to Buffalo. He was hurt on a block by Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson on the third offensive play of the game.
Kaeding hurt his left knee on the opening kickoff against the Vikings during Percy Harvin's touchdown return and is believed to have torn his ACL. Chargers coach Norv Turner said only that the kicker tore ligaments and would have surgery. The seven-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection entered the season as the most accurate kicker in league history, having made 173 of 200 field goal attempts (86.5 percent).
Cowboys defend Romo
IRVING, Texas — Twice in the final 10 minutes Sunday night, all Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had to do was throw the ball away, or fall down.
Instead, he fumbled 3 yards from the end zone and threw an interception that set up a field goal, leaving the Cowboys with a different kind of stunning finish: a last-minute, 27-24 loss to the Jets that marked the first time in 248 tries that Dallas lost a fourth-quarter lead of at least 14 points, according to STATS LLC.
"I cost us a football game," Romo said.
Cowboys fans and critics took to the Internet and airwaves Monday to agree, dredging up all his past mistakes.
Inside the locker room Monday, the view was different.
Teammates insisted the Cowboys wouldn't have been in position to win had Romo not played so well the first 50 minutes and that there were plenty of other mistakes.
"That is him trying to create his identity and show, 'I am going to be responsible for how far this team goes,' " defensive end Marcus Spears said. "I think that is something he put on his shoulders, and I personally like it. … It will only help him to feel that way."
BEARS: Running back Marion Barber (left calf muscle) is expected to return to practice Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported.
BENGALS: The team did not violate the substitution rule Sunday when it caught Cleveland off guard for a touchdown, the AP reported. Cincinnati quickly snapped the ball to backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who threw a 41-yard pass to rookie A.J. Green with 4:31 left for the winning score in a 27-17 victory while the Browns were just breaking their defensive huddle.
COLTS: Peyton Manning will not return to practice until doctors say he's 100 percent, vice chairman Bill Polian said. Manning is expected to miss at least two months after having surgery Thursday to fuse two bones together in his neck.
49ERS: Former Boise State running back Ian Johnson joined the practice squad. He gained fame by proposing to his girlfriend on national television immediately after his team's Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in January 2007.
GIANTS: Receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) was being evaluated, coach Tom Coughlin said.
RAMS: The team is likely to be without four starters Monday at the Giants, including running back Steven Jackson. He strained his right quadriceps, and coach Steve Spagnuolo characterized Jackson as week-to-week. Quarterback Sam Bradford expects to play despite a bruised right index finger. Cornerback Ron Bartell is likely out for the season with two breaks in his neck. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher (sprained toe) and offensive tackle Jason Smith (sprained left ankle) are also likely out.
RAVENS: Coach John Harbaugh said rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith will miss a few weeks with a high left ankle sprain.
SEAHAWKS: Fullback Michael Robinson and rookie cornerback Byron Maxwell (both second-degree ankle sprains) aren't expected to play this week at Pittsburgh.
STEELERS: Offensive tackle Willie Colon is due to have surgery today on a torn triceps and is likely out for the season, his agent, Joe Linta, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.