Injured NFL Players Play Critical Role in Success of Teams

It’s midseason in the National Football League, so naturally injuries have started to pile up on some teams as they head into much-needed bye weeks. 

The Giants, at 2-6, after a non-convincing, 15-7 win over Philadelphia on Sunday, have several players on injured reserve. The most prominent names are David Baas and Chris Snee on the offensive line, as well as cornerback Aaron Ross and safety Stevie Brown.

The injuries to Snee and Baas have been particularly impactful for the Giants, as Eli Manning has constantly been pressured and sacked without his offensive line fully intact.

Kevin Wilson, a Ramapo junior and an avid Giants fan, said that these injuries are the main reason for the Giants’ struggles this season.

“They would definitely be doing much better if Eli had some protection. We’re lucky that they are in a weak division and can still make a run at the division title and the playoffs,” Wilson said.

The Jets, currently at 4-4 after getting destroyed by Cincinnati 49-9 on Sunday, have had a little better luck than the Giants on the injury front. Their only noteworthy season-ending injury has been running back Mike Goodson, yet wideout Santonio Holmes has missed the past four games with a hamstring injury and the Jets offense has struggled without him.

Mark Sanchez of the Jets also suffered a season-ending injury early this season after suffering a labral tear in his throwing shoulder. Sanchez’s injury opened the door for Rookie Geno Smith to take over as the Jets number one quarterback.

As for the rest of the NFL, the most significant season-ending injuries so far have been to Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones, Denver Broncos’ left tackle Ryan Clady, New England Patriots’ nose tackle Vince Wilfork, St. Louis Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford, Houston Texans’ linebacker Brian Cushing, and Indianapolis Colts’ wide receiver Reggie Wayne.

These six players were critical to their team’s early successes this year, and the Rams’, Falcons’, and Texans’ playoff hopes are looking slimmer every week due to their star player’s absence.

Furthermore, a number of All-Pro caliber players missed much of the first half of the season due to injury, including Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, and Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will miss at least a month, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is out 6-8 weeks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin is sidelined for about a month.

Hopefully this recent rash of injuries is just a fluke and not a trend, as too many of the NFL’s stars have missed significant time this season.