The first Sunday in the NFL season has come and gone, so I figured we’d end it on…well, not exactly positive, I suppose. Let’s say an educational note.
There were a few more serious injuries Sunday, most notability Terrell Suggs who will miss the season with a torn Achilles and Andre Ellington who, although they haven’t officially announced yet as I write this, seems to have torn something in his knee and will likely miss some time. Fortunately, these guys should be find next season after giving themselves some time to heal, but players aren’t always that lucky. Here’s a few guys that didn’t have the same luck after going down with injury:
Bo Jackson—Bo Knows Football and Baseball, but he knew more than his fair share of injury too. A rare hip injury brought an end to the career of the “best pure athlete in America” after only four years.
Sterling Sharpe—The Hall of Famer was permantly sidelined in 1994 by a neck injury. Can you imagine what he could have accomplished with a few more seasons?
Dante Culpepper—After breaking out in 2004, a 2005 knee injury set Culpepper’s career into a downward spiral. He managed to get out there for 24 games over the last four years of his career, but he was just never the same.
Joe Theismann—In probably the most infamous play in NFL history, Theismann’s leg snapped at the hands of Lawrence Taylor. He never took the field again.
Michael Irvin—One of the most dominant receivers in the Dallas Cowboys’ history ended his career in the worst way possible—hitting his head on the field attempting to avoid being nailed by the encroaching defender.
Mike Utley—Arguably one of the worst injuries in NFL history. The Detroit Lions’ lineman was only three years into his career when he paralyzed from the chest on down. Utley gave an extremely brave thumbs up to the crowd as he was carted away.
Terrell Davis—Davis boasted two straight Super Bowls, a 33-6 record, and a MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same season. Unfortunately, his career was injured by a similar knee injury to that which Adrian Peterson suffered. If only he played about a decade later.
Mack Strong—Strong had a very unlikely career to being with coming in as an undrafted free agent and earning two Pro Bowl appearances with the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, all that came to an end when a herniated disk was revealed in 2007. Playing football is not worth the risk or paralysis.
Kevin Everett—After being picked up by the Buffalo Bills, Everett hurt his neck during the first game of his NFL career.
Gale Sayers—The youngest inductee to the NFL Hall of Fame, an insane running back, and the rookie single-season touchdown record holder (22) had his career basically cut off in 1970 with a left knee injury. Easily one of the best to every touch the field.