The San Francisco 49ers dealt with a whole bunch of injuries last season, finishing No. 26 in the NFL in adjusted games lost. The team lost Colin Kaepernick, Antoine Bethea, Carlos Hyde, and Reggie Bush for extended periods, and even dealt with notable injuries to guys like Anquan Boldin, Alex Boone, Garrett Celek, and others.
As the 49ers get ready for the 2016 season, plenty of their opponents will be welcoming back key players as well. Only a handful of teams had injuries quite to the extent of the 49ers, but most teams lost at least one key player. I thought we'd take a look at each 49ers opponent, and which player(s) they are expecting back in 2016.
- Tyrann Mathieu, FS - He tore his ACL late last year, and his status for Week 1 is in question. He expects to be back fairly early this season, but he has said if he is not at 100 percent he will not force the issue.
- Chris Johnson, RB - Got off to a strong start last season, but a broken leg cost him the final month and a half. David Johnson showed some things, and I believe will be Arizona's starter this fall.
- Corey Peters, NT - Tore his Achilles last summer after signing a three-year contract with Arizona. He would be a stout addition to their defensive line if he is good to go this fall.
- The Cardinals finished 14th in adjusted games lost.
Los Angeles Rams
- Alec Ogletree, MLB - Suffered a broken leg that cost him 12 games last season. He had 100+ tackles each of his first two seasons.
- T.J. McDonald, SS - Suffered a shoulder injury that led to surgery and cost him the final four games. He will move back into the starting lineup, although he is also facing a potential suspension following a May DUI.
- Rodger Saffold, OL - Had shoulder surgery, which cost him 11 games. He returns as a potential left guard
- The Rams finished 24th in adjusted games lost.
- Thomas Rawls, RB - He took over for Marshawn Lynch after the latter suffered an abdomen injury. He looked really solid in place of Lynch, but then broke his ankle and missed the final five games.
- Jimmy Graham, TE - Tore his right patellar tendon in Week 12, and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve. There is optimism coming out of Seattle, but there is still the chance he opens training camp on the PUP list.
- In spite of those big name injuries, the Seahawks were a fairly healthy team. They finished third in adjusted games lost, with only the Bengals and Falcons suffering fewer games lost to injury.
- Tevin Coleman, RB - Rib injuries cost him the starting job to Devonta Freeman. He returned in a backup role, and then suffered a concussion that cost him the final two weeks. I am curious to see how the Falcons work him in alongside Freeman.
- The Falcons finished second in adjusted games lost stat. The only team with fewer games lost to injury was the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR - He missed the season with a knee injury. Considering the Panthers made it to the Super Bowl without him, they are really intriguing with him back for Cam Newton.
- The Panthers finished fourth in adjusted games lost.
New Orleans Saints
- Mark Ingram, RB - Suffered a torn rotator cuff that cost him the final four games of the season. He 769 yards on 166 carries prior to the injury.
- Keenan Lewis, CB - Dealt with knee, hip, and sports hernia injuries. Spent final six games on injured reserve, and was out or questionable in five other games. Competing for a starting role.
- P.J. Williams, CB - Suffered torn hamstring that put him on injured reserve for the entire season. The 2015 third round pick will compete for a starting role.
- The Saints ranked eighth in adjusted games lost.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Demar Dotson, RT - Missed first eight games of the season with MCL sprain, and it sounds like he expects the knee to be back to 100 percent by training camp.
- Vincent Jackson, WR - A knee injury cost him three games in the middle of the season, and then put him on injured reserve in Week 15. All indications are that he is good to go.
- Akeem Spence, DT - Back surgery led to him opening the season on the PUP list. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 14, and that cost him the rest of the season.
- The Bucs ranked 22nd in adjusted games lost.
- Kevin White, WR - Spent the season on the PUP list due to a stress fracture
- Alshon Jeffery, WR - Dealt with calf and hamstring problems most of the season, playing in only nine games.
- The Bears ranked 28th in adjusted games lost.
- Tony Romo, QB - Missed 12 games due to a collarbone injury (and aggravation of the injury). He has not played a full 16 game season since 2012.
- Dez Bryant, WR - Broke his foot in Week 1, and has gone through multiple surgeries. Played in nine games last season.
- Orlando Scandrick, CB - Tore his ACL and MCL in training camp last year. He is expected to be ready early in training camp.
- The Cowboys ranked fifth in adjusted games lost.
- Aaron Williams, S - Suffered a neck injury that cost him the final 11 weeks. The Bills GM said in January he is 100 percent healthy.
- Kyle Williams, DL - Suffered PCL injury, and meniscus surgery cost him the final 10 games of the season.
- The Bills ranked 25th in adjusted games lost
- Cameron Wake, DE - Suffered torn Achilles that cost him the final nine games.
- Ja'Wuan James, OT - A toe injury cost the right tackle the final nine games of the season. The team drafted Laremy Tunsil, but is currently planning on having Tunsil play right guard.
- The Dolphins ranked 15th in adjusted games lost
New England Patriots
- Dion Lewis, RB - Suffered torn ACL in early November. He is expected to be ready Week 1.
- LeGarrette Blount, RB - A hip injury cost him the final five games of the season, but he did not need offseason surgery.
- Julian Edelman, WR - A foot surgery cost him the final seven games of the regular season, but he played in the playoffs. He had an in-season surgery, and then a second surgery after the season. There is "optimism" he will be ready for training camp.
- Rob Gronkowski, TE - Dealt with knee and back issues. He only missed one game, but injuries are still par for the course with Gronk.
- Danny Amendola, WR - Was on the injury report the final eight weeks with a knee injury. He played through it and only missed two games, but injuries are always an issue with Amendola.
- Dont'a Hightower, LB - Missed four games and was listed on the injury report the final seven regular season games with an MCL sprain.
- The Patriots ranked 29th in adjusted games lost.
New York Jets
- Jace Amaro, TE - Suffered a torn labrum and was placed on injured reserve during training camp. They did not add a tight end, which would seem to indicate they are comfortable with Amaro's recovery.
- Devin Smith, WR - Suffered a torn ACL in Week 14. One report in early May said a Week 1 return "might be pushing it."
- The Jets ranked 13th in adjusted games lost