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The Year of Injury in the NFL

Ryan Krouse, '19, Editor

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Football is a rough sport, this is common knowledge. Players are going to get injured and that is just a cost that comes along with playing the game. It is extremely unfortunate when these injuries occur to a particular team’s top player but that is sometimes how it goes. This past NFL season in particular has made the headlines for the amount of season-ending injuries to star players around the league. In Philadelphia, fans are all too familiar with this theme as the Eagles lost quarterback, and MVP frontrunner, Carson Wentz for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL in week 14. While it was the most significant, this was not the only injury to sideline an impactful Eagles player for the rest of the season. Running back and special teams star Darren Sproles suffered a torn ACL and broken arm in week 3 against the New York Giants. Starting linebacker Jordan Hicks tore his Achilles tendon in week 7, ending his season. Veteran left tackle Jason Peters also left that week 7 matchup with the Washington Red- skins because of a torn ACL and MCL. All these injuries have definitely weakened this Eagles team not only in level of com-
petition but in the extremely valuable asset of bench depth. However, they have been able to overcome many of these losses to secure the first overall seed in the NFC playoff bracket.

Other teams have not been able to recover from such injuries. Besides Carson Wentz, one of the most notable injuries in the NFL this season was the broken collarbone of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Considered one of, if not the best, quarterback in the league, Rodgers consistently led the Packers to playoff appearances and kept them in Super Bowl contention. His injury forced backup Brett Hundley into the starting role and the packers went 3-4 before Rodgers returned in a loss to the Carolina Panthers, eliminating the Packers from playoff contention. If he did not go down, the NFC playoff picture would likely look different from how it is now. The New York Giants lost receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to fractured ankle which required surgery in order to repair. After losing Beckham, who was the focal point of their offense, the Giants sputtered to a 3-13 record after a year which they had made the playoffs. The Houston Texans were another team that were crippled by significant season ending injuries. They lost their rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson  to a torn ACL and Pro Bowl defensive end JJ Watt to a tibial plateau fracture. Wat- son was in contention to league the lead in passing touchdowns at the time of his injury and backup TJ Yates led the Texans to one more win the rest of the season after becoming the starter. Injuries of this caliber and frequency are not common occurrences every season. No one wishes to see any player get injured regardless of their talent level, however, the fact that some have ruined a team’s entire season resonate profoundly with the entire fanbase.

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The Year of Injury in the NFL