NFL’s Onslaught of Injuries Should Lead to Change

Over the course of the 2017 NFL season, the league has seen its fair share of injuries to superstars.

For instance, this graphic made on Stat Muse shows the extent of the injury bug in the NFL. Many of these players are All-Pro and others are Pro Bowlers.

Here’s another look at some of the big injuries that have occurred during the season so far from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

With all of the talk of the NFL’s ratings going down, it isn’t just due to players protesting against police brutality or the usual starters being bad. No, it is because these starters and stars have gone down at an alarming rate and the backups aren’t good.

Mediocre Backups

Just last week, Houston Texans rookie dynamo Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. He has since had surgery. In seven games, Watson completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 269 yards and two touchdowns.

His injury has been a big blow to the Texans, who now use fallen starter Tom Savage as their QB1. Savage has been absolutely abysmal in the three games that he has appeared in, owning a completion percentage of 45.6 percent, with 281 passing yards and just one touchdowns.

In the case of the Baltimore Ravens, they have been obliterated by injuries. Starting guards Alex Lewis (shoulder) and Marshal Yanda (fractured ankle) have gone down for the year and Baltimore has struggled mightily to replace both players. In their place have been James Hurst in Lewis’ spot and Jermaine Eluemunor and Matt Skura replacing the All-Pro Yanda.

The Ravens have seen heavy pressure placed on their quarterback, Joe Flacco. His lack of speed doesn’t allow him to make plays when the pocket collapses and he has had to run for his life during their absence.

The Green Bay Packers have the biggest injury of them all. Arguably the best player in the NFL, quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings. Before being injured, Rodgers had posted 1385 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions in six games. Since his injury, Brett Hundley has taken his place.

In four games, the second-year quarterback completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 489 yards, just one touchdown and four interceptions. No one expected him to replace Rodgers, but the issue is his lack of production. To make matters even worse, his left tackle, Bryan Bulaga, is now out with a torn ACL.

TNF’s Big Time Injury

On this week’s edition of Thursday Night Football, there was another huge injury that rocked the football world: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tore his Achilles tendon, putting him out for the remainder of the season. What will be the result of his loss of his services?

One thing that I can thing of is that in the next CBA, which is due to expire in 2020, we’ll see less Thursday Night Football games. Sherman and his teammate Doug Baldwin have been vocal critics of Thursday Night Football because of its short turnaround period.

“This [expletive] should be illegal,” Baldwin told the (Tacoma) News Tribune, after the game. “It is not OK. It’s not OK. You can quote me on that.”

Players aren’t the only ones who are critical of Thursday Night Football. Coaches also aren’t big fans of it either. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll voiced his displeasure by explaining how hard it is for players to play on Sunday and then turn around and play on Thursday.

In 2012, Thursday Night Football expanded from a half-season package to a full-season package. Players have criticized the program since its beginning in 2006 and their criticism will continue to get louder with this onslaught of injuries. Something has to give and eventually, it will.

(Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP)

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