Gridiron Killing Fields: Injuries have turned 2017 NFL season upside down

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Published on : November 16, 2017

 

 

Football is violent. It’s part of the allure of the game. A fast paced, highly charged game of gladiator chess where the players put their bodies through hell for the enjoyment of us all. It’s inevitable that these athletes will suffer injuries throughout the course of a grueling season. Every year, fans and players alike must deal with these injuries. The pain of injury and the hard work that goes into recovering from those injuries is something that fans can’t even imagine, but that doesn’t mean we don’t suffer too.

 

Some years are worse than others as far as injuries and 2017 has turned out to be one of, if not the most, gruesome for player injuries in the NFL on record. Players have been robbed of the opportunity to pursue their livelihood and fans have been robbed of the big plays and quality football that these players produce. These big injuries have flipped the league on it’s head and some of the most electrifying players in the NFL have been left on the sidelines. They have come early and often and left heads around the league spinning in an attempt to keep up as the body count rises. Let’s look at some of the big injuries this year.

 

The insurmountable losses

 

Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers has once again proved himself to be the most valuable player in the NFL. Yet this year it wasn’t his actions on the field that proved that already accepted fact of life, but his (potentially) season ending collarbone injury. The subtraction of Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers changes the team in a way that can’t even begin to be described. Brett Hundley has shown some growth in his weeks as a starter in place of Rodgers, but unlike the discount double dick, Hundley, cannot single-handily mask the holes in the Packers roster. Because of that, the Packers, who still hold a winning record at this point of the season, are doomed.

 

Deshaun Watson

When the Houston Texans selected former Clemson standout and National Championship winning quarterback, Deshaun Watson, with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, I thought it was a very nice pick for a franchise that has never, in its existence, had a true star under center. Little did I (or anyone else) know that Watson would hit the ground running in such a fashion. Watson appeared in 7 games for the Texans and completed 61.8% of his passes for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He also ran the ball for another 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Texans were finally legit and and had found their QB of the future. Then a torn ACL in practice cut the legs out from under his rookie season and along with losses of JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus, the Texans are looking at another lost season.

 

David Johnson and Carson Palmer

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When David Johnson went down with a broken wrist early in the Arizona Cardinals opening game loss to the Detroit Lions, it was clear that the Cardinals had a long road ahead of them. Johnson is among the best young running backs in football and an invaluable part of the Cardinals offensive attack, but luckily for the Cardinals they still had an offensive mastermind of a coach and an injury to your starting running back can be overcome. When Carson Palmer went down with a broken bone in his non-throwing arm during the 33-0 loss to the LA Rams in London, it was clear that the Cardinals had careened off that long road and gone over a cliff. Without the two best offensive players and the likes of Drew Stanton throwing the ball, it is a sad reality that Bruce Arians final year as head coach of the team will be a wasted one.

 

Ouch, that hurts

 

Odell Beckham Jr
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With Eli Manning still throwing the ball this offense was never going to light the world on fire. Manning is well past his prime and no wide receiver, even one of the same caliber as Beckham was going to change that. But OBJ went down with a season ending ankle injury in week 5 everyone knew the Giants were screwed. The G-Men are now 1-8 and destined for a top pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and perhaps a new head coach. OBJ can’t come back soon enough.

 

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill leaves a whole lot to be desired as the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins but he is still a starting level quarterback and the best one in Miami by a longshot. When he was lost for the season before it even began, the team got desperate and went out and signed Jay Cutler out of the broadcast booth. He has since been about as good as one would expect. Cutler has helped lead the team to a 4-5 record and Dolphins fans are eagerly awaiting any and all news on Ryan Tannehill rehab from ACL surgery.

 

Dalvin Cook and Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford was brought in last year after Teddy Bridgewater’s very serious knee injury, and he has played pretty well. But he hasn’t been able to stay on the field and Case Keenum has performed admirably in his absence. Now, more than a year later, Bridgewater’s return seems somewhat immenent and Bradford’s inability to stay on the field isn’t all that much of a concern. Much more of a concern is the injury to rookie running back, Dalvin Cook. Before he tore his ACL in the game against the Lions he was having a monster year. Luckily the Vikings defense is good enough keep them competing for the NFC North title.

 

Zach Miller
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The Chicago Bears passing game has been desperate for competent pass catchers all season. The Mike Glennon experiment failed miserably and now they have rookie Mitchel Trubisky throwing the ball. One of Trubisky’s only decent targets was tight end Zach Miller but then a gruesome injury ended his season and almost caused him to lose his leg entirely. The Bears offense is now all but doomed this season but the real tragedy is that Miller’s career may well be over. We wish him a speedy recovery.

 

Well, that’s unfortunate

 

Dont’a Hightower and Julian Edelmen

It’s the Patriots. They’ll survive.

 

Joe Thomas
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The Browns were never going to do anything this season and at this point they are in the running for an 0-16 record, but you never want to see a future hall of fame player go down with a serious injury. Especailly when he’s been so loyal to that city and been such an iron man. Prior to this tricep injury, Thomas had played a NFL-record 10,363 consecutive snaps, while playing through torn ligaments for a time and starting 167 straight games. Good on the Browns for giving him an extension even after the injury and making him the highest paid offensive linemen in the league.

 

Eric Berry

Eric Berry is, and should be, a fan favorite around the NFL. Even with Raiders fans. You can’t help but love this guy’s story and his courage as he beat cancer and came back to the NFL to regain his spot among the best safeties in pro football. That made it even more of a bummer when he ruptured his achilles tendon in week 1. He’s just 28-years-old so there’s no reason he can’t make a full recovery, but the Chiefs defense sure has missed him while he’s been gone.

 

It’s a long season, and we are only at week 11. There’s no telling how many more injuries will come before the Super Bowl. No doubt there will be some, but there has certainly already been enough to hold us all over until next here. Here’s to hoping that all of our favorite teams can make it through the rest of the year unscathed.

 

 


Oh no, not again: NFL edition

Written by :
Published on : August 8, 2017

 

The NFL is a wild and entertaining league with tons of new and exciting storylines to follow but then there are these other headlines. The ones you see year after year. It’s like a broken record. You think “oh no, here we go again”. We aren’t even into preseason games yet and already some familiar news items have surfaced. Let’s dive right into it.

 

More off-field trouble for the Dallas Cowboys. Running back, Ezekiel Elliott, got into a fight outside a Dallas bar. This after pervious issues with failed drug tests and claims of domestic abuse. But these are the players that Jerry Jones likes to draft. Fans in Texas are used to their stars having run-ins with the law. It feels like the players act like the old movie cowboys and treat the world like the wild west. Shoot first, ask questions later and hire a great lawyer.

 

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When the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, the hope was that the franchise could turn over a new leaf. Start fresh. Shed that rotten luck that always hamstringed a talented roster. Well, I hate to report but the injury bug still haunts the Chargers. They’ve already lost rookie guard Forrest Lamp to an ACL tear and their top draft pick, Mike Williams, is currently out of all training camp action with a back injury. Not a great start for the bolts.

 

Speaking of ACL tears. Miami Dolphins QB, Ryan Tannehill, got hurt again. He re-injured the same knee that held him out parts of last year. He likely needs season ending surgery to repair it. And in a hilarious turn of events, Jay Cutler, has been signed out of retirement/broadcast booth on a 1 year/$10 million deal. He will become the starter with Matt Moore serving as backup. Miami must now consider the future of the quarterback position. Even if Tannehill comes back healthy, can the organization trust him? Next year’s draft will tell us how much faith they still have.

 

Rumors are that the Dolphins considered Tim Tebow for the job as fill-in QB. That’s nuts and officially proves that NFL owners are black balling Colin Kaepernick. That can be the only logical reason. Why else would one look to a minor league baseball player and an announcer before a guy who played in a Super Bowl? I hope Kap gets a shot somewhere. He is too talented and only 29-years-old. Racist ass league. SMH.

 

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As we inch closer and closer to real football, the news cycle will continue to spit whatever they can. Maybe a hyper interesting piece about an aging star going vegan or something else really cool and important. The hope is, among all that noise, some real developments will emerge. But for now, let’s feast on the old faithfuls. Who wants to guess when the next Cincinnati Bengal going to be arrested?

 

Rinse and repeat.

 

 


What to do with Tony Romo?

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Published on : February 14, 2017

 

 

What will happen with veteran quarterback Tony Romo? Rookie Dak Prescott kicked ass all last year and soundly won the job in Dallas. Even when Tony was healthy, it was clear that Jason Garrett and company were going to ride the hot hand and stay with Dak. As management plans out the next season, this question begs to be answered. What do you do with a guy like Tony?

 

The one thing we know for sure is that Tony Romo will be leaving the Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure the faithful would love to see him stay on as a backup but Romo is owed way too much money for that type of role. Plus, Tony sees himself as a starter. Those factors say he is going to a new team. His injury history suggests no one is trading for him but you never know. The best guess is that the Jerry Jones will cut the former face of the franchise. This will allow Tony Romo to sign with any team. Let’s check out some of his options.

 

 

San Francisco 49ers

Just hear me out. The 49ers will have zero QB’s under contract once Kap leaves. New GM, new coach, new start. They will need someone who can play day one and bring some leadership to the huddle. Someone to run the offense through. San Fran will no doubt draft a quarterback but throwing that kid right into the fire may not be the best move for development. So bringing in a Tony Romo type on a 3-year deal makes a lot of sense. But most importantly, it would really piss off Cowboy fans. For that alone, this should happen.

 

Chicago Bears

The Bears need a real answer under center. I don’t think anyone in Chicago wants another year of Brian Hoyer or *shutters* Jay Cutler. The team has some weapons on offense and their defense is improving. They are consistent quarterback play away from being competitive. The biggest selling point here is young running back Jordan Howard. He had a stellar rookie campaign and looks to be a complete back. Tony Romo could do much worse than handing off to Howard and playing with that D at Solider Field. Cleveland anyone?

 

 

Miami Dolphins

If the Dolphins ever want to challenge Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC East than they need an upgrade at signal caller. It may be time to pull the plug on the Ryan Tannehill experiment and find someone who can win right now. This type of splashy move could help bring the organization over the hump. Their roster is loaded on both sides of the ball but they need someone to galvanize the unit as a whole. Plus Miami never gets cold. Sounds like Tony Romo could be taking his talents to South Beach.

 

There you have it. Tony Romo is FOR SURE going to one of those three. Or maybe to the Broncos, Texans, Bills, Jets or even back to the Cowboys on a way smaller deal. Or somewhere else. But it’s for sure one of those. I mean all we know is he isn’t going to the Patriots. They already have a guy. I hear he’s good.

 

Anthony’s song.

 

 


Champ and Chump Week 7

Written by :
Published on : October 30, 2015

 

A great time to be alive my friends, a great time to be alive. A little something for everybody to enjoy sports-wise right now as we have the World Series going on, the NFL season is almost at its halfway point, college football is in high gear, hockey has been great thus far and now the NBA is underway. Hell, for guys like Antoine Poutine and me, the English Premier League is off to a very interesting start. This week, we honor a couple slingers of the football, say goodbye to a legend with the futbol and we keep on wishing that Greg Hardy would just go away.

The Champ and Chump of the Week ladies and gentleman…

 

Champ: Kirk Cousins

33-40, 317 yards, 4 TD’s (1 rushing) – Game winning TD pass with 24 seconds left

Cousins rushes for a TD in the second quarter of their wins over the Bucs.

 

The Washington Redskins trailed by 24 points in the 2nd quarter on Sunday, and the sports writers at the Washington Post were all but set to send in their articles for Monday morning’s print. A quarterback controversy was back, would RGIII get another shot? Is Colt McCoy going to be the signal caller next week? Staring a 2-5 start in the face, Cousins came out in the second half and took over, helping the ‘Skins outscore the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-6 for the rest of game. Now, at 3-4 and just a game out of first place in the NFC East, anything is possible. While I don’t see the Redskins winning the division, a big swing of momentum like this has been known to get a team on a roll, and make things more interesting than they otherwise would have been.

 

Honorable Mention:

Ryan Tannehill- Finished 18-19 for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns in a blowout win against the Houston Texans. Also, Tannehill broke the NFL record for consecutive completions going back to last week, with 25 straight.

Abby Wambach- After an incredible career, Abby announced her retirement from the US women’s team. The all time leading goals scorer in international competitions (male or female), went out on top after capturing the World Cup championship this past summer.

Montréal Canadiens- Started the season 9-0 while leading the NHL in goals scored and fewest goals against. Very impressive start as they look to bring Lord Stanley back for Canada for the first time since 1993.

 

 

Chump: The U

Lost 58-0 at home to Clemson this past Saturday.

They couldn’t have guessed just how bad this game would go.

 

As embarrassing as that score reads, I am not making the Hurricanes my chump so much for that particular game. Instead, it is for the sad state in which the program currently sits. Similar to what I said about Texas a couple weeks ago (though they beat rival Oklahoma the next week), this team is so far from its glory days that I don’t even know where they should start. I suppose you could say they have started with the firing of Al Golden, but when you’re a program facing NCAA sanctions, how much growth can any coach get from his guys. With postseason bans on the horizon, recruiting is going to take a big blow. Who wants to go to a school that has nothing to play for? Then the following year or two, because no real talent went there, they are so behind the 8-ball, talent wise, that when the post-season sanctions come off they don’t have a chance to match the skill level required to compete for championships. I always think parody is great for sports, but having the usual powerhouses relevant is just as important. A very interesting year it will be as USC, Miami, and potentially Texas all could be seeking new head coaches for next season.

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Ryan Mallett- After missing the team flight this past weekend to Miami, Mallett had to book his own flight. He also slept in and missed a practice during training camp. Today, Mallett finds himself without a team as the Texans cut him saying it’s time to move on.

Greg Hardy- A guy who could be in my “chump” category every week. It’s debatable whether this guy should even be allowed to play pro football, of course leave it to Jerry Jones to give him a chance. His sideline antics after the Cowboy’s special teams gave up a game-winning kick return was the icing on the cake to finally put Hardy on this list. Although calling him a chump is actually being kind.

Florida State- Who would have thought just a week after the Miracle in Ann Arbor we would have another ranked football team fall on a crazy, game-ending play? Kick Six Part 2. Florida State’s kicker Roberto Aguayo, possibly the nation’s top kicker, is about to attempt a field goal with 6 seconds left in a tied ball game and it’s blocked! Georgia Tech scoops up the ball and runs it for the touchdown to end the game.

 

 


Eli Manning Can’t Be Serious

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Published on : August 19, 2015

 

 

 

With the recent rash of NFL QBs inking lucrative contract extensions, it looks like Eli Manning is next up to the plate.

 

First it was Ben Roethlisberger, who got the ball rolling with his whopper of a contract that will earn him $60.75 million over the first 3 years. Then it was Cam Newton, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, and most recently, Phillip Rivers. All of these guys are pretty talented and deserve to make their money, but some of them have accomplished more than the others. Big Ben and Russell have both taken their team to the mountain top, while Cam, Tannehill and Rivers certainly have not, which is fine. There’s a difference between paying for a known commodity and investing in your future. Get your money guys.

 

What they’ve done is inflate the market and that has two-time Super Bowl Champion, Eli Manning, seeing dollar signs big time. To the point that he reportedly now wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL.

 

 

That’s right, Peyton’s little, interception happy brother, Eli, wants to be paid more than Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the game.

 

When’s the last time you heard someone arguing that Eli Manning is the best QB in the game? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. That’s what I thought. Never. You know why? Because he isn’t even close.

 

Eli’s face when he’s thinking about all that money.

 

He must be crazy to think that the New York Giants and Tom Coughlin are going to break the bank on a 35 year old (when his current contract ends) QB. One who routinely places in the top 10 in interceptions thrown. Sure, he has won 2 Super Bowls, and both of the wins were only possible due to late comebacks orchestrated by him (and helped mightily by some amazing catches), but let’s get serious. He is in the twilight of his career and almost certainly will begin to decline very soon.

 

If Giants fans are getting nervous about this prospect and are looking for someone to blame, then they should look across the country at the man they traded away for their starting QB, Phillip Rivers. Last week he inked a huge extension that guaranteed $65 million. That’s for a a guy with a 4-5 playoff record who has never played in a Super Bowl. That’s just about as crazy as Eli wanting to be the highest paid player in the game, but after Rivers screwed the market, you can’t really blame the guy.

 

That face.

 

I’ve heard the argument that with the salary cap increasing every year, contracts like Rivers’ and (potentially) Mannings’ aren’t that crazy, but I just don’t buy that. The fact is, Aaron Rodgers is the standard among quarterbacks, and no one who is that much worse than him should be making more than his $22 million per year, even if that contract is 2 1/2 years old.

 

Sorry Eli, but you just don’t deserve it. I know about the wins, the championships, the pro bowls. But I also know about the interceptions and that you haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011. Sure, you can play out your last year and get that one year, $24 million franchise tag payday, but after that you can be sure that the Giants will not be making you the highest paid player in the game. And if they do, fans in New York should get out the torches and pitchforks, because their team will have just sacrificed their salary cap, and future, for a much-too-close-to-40 years old quarterback who has proven he can’t carry the team anymore.

 

 


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