The NFL season continues to limp forward with new a new injury designation of COV for a player that has tested positive for COVID-19.
While that added designation is unique this year, the number of injuries in the NFL is a bit alarming. Much of what makes the quantity hard to take is the fact that we seem to be losing high profile players to injury just as fast as those we don’t always know.
Expected Injuries, Playing in the Trenches
The area of the field around the line of scrimmage is considered “the trenches.” This is where the offensive and defensive lines collide on each play, pushing each other around to try and dominate this imaginary line on the field. The largest and toughest players in the NFL find themselves in this area and we do expect to see several injuries to players that have to collide in small spaces on every play.
An Excellent Offensive Line Demolished
The Dallas Cowboys have built a reputation of having one of the best offensive line groups in the NFL. This year, that’s not the case at all. Before week 7, Zack Martin was already spending a lot of time in positions other than right guard, where he’s been a staple, but now he’s out. The sudden retirement of Travis Frederick and injuries to several players in this group have led to a lackluster performance by the Cowboys offense this year.
O Line Injuries the Cause for QB Issues
When an offensive line group isn’t together, can’t do their job, and lacks continuity, the quarterback has to nearly fight for his life. An example of this is the fact that Cowboys starting QB Dak Prescott has already suffered a season-ending leg injury and his replacement, Andy Dalton, was injured with a concussion after a nasty hit during the Week 7 game against the Washington Football Team.
Stars on the Outside Going Down Around the NFL
Wide receivers are often some of the most lauded and celebrated players on the field. These tall, fast, and athletic players run fast and catch the bombs thrown by the quarterback. Two of the biggest names at this position have experienced injuries, creating shortages at this position for their teams. New Orleans Saints’ WR Michael Thomas has been out for a few weeks with injuries and discipline issues and this past Sunday, Cleveland Browns’ WR Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a season-ending injury during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. These are two of the top names at their position in the NFL.
Getting Banged Up is Part of the Game
Many players on the NFL field are used to injuries that keep them out for a small amount of time. Sometimes this can be a quarter of the game, a few plays, or a couple of weeks. Many teams look forward to their bye week, which is a week when that team doesn’t have a game, to get some of their players healthy and back on the field. This is all part of the game and what we’ve come to expect in the NFL.
Injuries Sometimes Lead to Opportunities
Earlier in the season, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor was suffering from cracked ribs. This was painful enough and the doctors were trying to do all they could to help him get on the field and play. Unfortunately, a team doctor accidentally punctured his lung when trying to administer a pain-killing injection. This led to an opportunity to play for Justin Herbert, who has played very well in the absence of Taylor.
The NFL has to be About the “Next Man Up”
If you love collision sports and enjoy what the NFL brings to your television set every week, you know that injuries are part of the game. Every position has to have the mentality of filling in with the next person in line to take over a spot. Sometimes this leads to a significant decline in the quality of play, such as when the backup quarterback arrives in the huddle, but the game will continue to be played.
Injuries Happen and It’s a Violent Sport
Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson once described playing a football season as“being in 16 car crashes, one each week” and that’s certainly how it looks when you watch some of these games. We love to enjoy the NFL games and the violence of the sport, but sometimes we forget how much injuries are part of the game. This year, we are seeing more than in many years, but that’s not going to slow or stop teams from playing their games.