Injury Central: Is the NFL to Blame?

The NFL season thus far has been cringing. From elite stars to undrafted free agents, this year has been the worst in recent history for devastating and gruesome injuries. Whether the players are on your fantasy team or football team, everyone has felt the impact.

Sure this is said nearly every year, but this year there have been 196 players put on the injury reserve list or declared out-for-season and the season is not nearly over. Many of these players are among the biggest stars in the NFL. With the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordy Nelson, Arian Foster and Jimmy Graham just to name a few; it appears the football gods are upset and are targeting the stars of the league.

This is a problem that obviously needs to be resolved, as not having these players on the field is detrimental the game as a whole. Every fan wants to see the best players go head to head and this season that has not been the case. This season will be more about who’s healthy, and less about who’s the most talented team.

Everyone has a “Sure-fire” theory to fix the injury problem. “Let’s flag players for hitting high,” the NFL said. Which sounded like a great idea until the reality of that was realized to be putting players at risk of lower body injuries. Or how about the “Tom Brady Rule”? Which flags players for hitting Quarterbacks low? So you can’t hit them high and you can’t hit them low. Where do you hit them? They may as well be wearing those red practice jerseys or flags hanging from their pants.

The way to fix this problem is for the NFL to get out of its own way. Stop making rules to protect the players. These rules are not protecting the players like intended. It’s obvious any player would take a knee or ankle injury over a head or neck. But that’s not the case. Head and neck injuries are not slowing down at a pace that justifies putting players at risk of lower body injuries.

It’s also watering down the game. No fan wants to see 25 flags per game because the NFL is afraid of being sued. The NFL is trying to do the right thing, but the right thing in this case is to back off. Let the players play and the league will be just fine.

Another option would be to do what the league does best, blame the Patriots. Label the whole thing New England Injury-gate and let the media do the rest. There’s nothing the country likes to do more than hate New England. Deflated footballs? Really?


–Michael Hersey