Each year countless players suffer all types of injuries in the NFL. Of course, some injuries aren’t as serious as others, but there are always more than enough serious injuries that players suffer. After all, football is an inherently dangerous sport with a relatively high risk of NFL injuries.
Year after year, a major key to any team’s success is to remain healthy. Injuries aren’t always preventable, but it’s safe to say that both teams and players try their hardest to avoid them for many reasons. Regardless of these efforts, the inevitable strikes, as always.
Whether it’s because of the effects they may have on their favorite team, or they are concerned for the player and his future, or even it’s just because of the fantasy football implications, football injuries send shockwaves through the teams, coaches, players, and fans whenever they occur.
With the NFL coming to the final leg of the season, teams are learning whether injuries have broken their season goals, or whether their season has been lucky enough to rest on the healthy shoulders of their players. So, as health and durability are proving to be a force in team success late in the season, let’s look at the top 5 injuries so far this season:
Rob Gronkowski’s Ruptured Disk
Gronk is virtually a monster as an athletic 6-foot-6, 270-pound tight end who can not only block as well as any tight end in the league but also run sharp routes and catch like a receiver. Of course, just because Gronk is a nightmare for defensives to defend does not mean he is invincible.
Gronk is no stranger to serious injury as he has suffered injuries to both his arm and knee already in his first 6 years. Despite recovering well from his past injuries, Gronk will need to recover from yet another major injury as he suffered a ruptured disk in his back during week 11. As part of the foundation for their offensive success, Gronk’s injury will surely have ripple effects in the Patriots remaining games.
Gronk wasn’t the only player to suffer a season-ending surgery to repair a back injury, as one of the NFL’s premier defenders also underwent back surgery earlier this season. JJ Watt, who suffered a back injury earlier this year will not return until the 2017 season.
Earl Thomas’ Fractured Tibia
Earl Thomas is a crucial member of one of the NFL’s most feared defenses. The safety for the Seattle Seahawks is usually the one delivering crushing blows to other players throughout the league, but during week 13 he was carted off the field with a broken tibia.
While his injury will cause him to miss the rest of the season, the Seahawks have announced that they expect him to make a full recovery and continue playing safety for them in 2017. While lower leg injuries can certainly be difficult to overcome and recover from, Earl Thomas certainly has a proven track-record when it comes to his toughness.
Adrian Peterson’s Torn Meniscus
Even if you are not a devoted Viking’s fan or NFL fan in general, the chances are relatively high that you know who Adrian Peterson is. The Viking’s franchise running back is not only a future hall-of-famer, but he also is still considered to be one of the top runners in the league at this point.
Unfortunately, Adrian Peterson tore his meniscus very early in the season. While Adrian Peterson has already proven how effectively he can play after returning from injury, the medical staff decided to take the safest route in his recovery and give him a season to strengthen his knee after recovering as he approaches the latter ages of the normal career of an NFL running back.
Of course, if his past is any indication of what will happen when he returns, then Peterson will certainly add to his legacy in 2017, as he rushed for over 2,000 yards in a single season following an ACL injury that caused him to miss the season before.
Adrian Peterson is not alone in the category of running backs who lost their season due to meniscus tears. The Bronco’s primary running back, CJ Anderson, has also been a spectator for the past few weeks as he also tore his meniscus.
Teddy Bridgewater’s Dislocated Knee and Torn ACL
If there was an award for the most gruesome injury of the year, then Teddy Bridgewater would definitely walk away with that award. During a non-contact practice just days before the regular season, Teddy Bridgewater suffered an injury that resulted in a dislocated knee and a torn ACL. The Viking’s quarterback has been out since and is expected to miss many more months as his knee recovers.
As any football fan knows, the ACL injury plagues many players every year as it is one of the more common severe injuries in the NFL. The ACL injury alone can cause a player to miss up to 9 months of action, but an injury like Bridgewater’s can take up 2 years and even end a career. While Bridgewater is certainly lucky and relieved that his career will not come to an end, his injury is definitely still one of the most intense injuries suffered by an NFL player in recent years.
Eddie Lacy’s Ankle Injury
While Eddie Lacy’s ankle injury certainly was not as severe or as gruesome as some of the other injuries on this list, it should certainly serve as a reminder of how important it is for players to fully recover from their injuries before getting back to action.
Eddie Lacy underwent surgery on his ankle ending his season toward the end of October this season. The significance of his injury is that it rooted from a much less severe sprained ankle. While the sprained injury early in the season seemed much less severe than his latter situation where he needed surgery, the decision was made that he could still play on it even though it was not quite 100%. Of course, you cannot always predict these things and it occasionally leads to something more successful, but this situation resulted in a season-ending surgery to repair his sprained ankle. Since, the Green Bay Packers have struggled to find a competent and long-lasting replacement for Lacy at running back, which may prove to place them in a position short of the playoffs.
At the end of the day, no one wants to see an athlete on TV get injured even if it doesn’t seem as serious as some of the other injuries that have occurred. Especially all of us at BICRAD! As the league makes it way towards safer practices for the players, football will never see perfect health from the players. So, always hope for the best health for all of the players risking their health for a game many of us love to play and watch.