With the latest injury involving Aaron Rodgers, the NFL faces more problems
Another week of football is in the books and plenty of upheaval has happened. The Atlanta Falcons lose to the Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles continue to look good and the last unbeaten team took a loss. But the dominant story here are the injuries.
Everyone has seen the hit quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers took from linebacker Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings. With a broken collarbone, the star quarterback is going to be out for the rest of the season, destroying the playoff chances for the Packers.
It has been one of the many injuries this season. Here are some of the star players that have experienced either a season-ending injury or serious enough injury to miss more than half of the NFL season:
-Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt
-New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
-Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson
-Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen
-Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck
-Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill
-Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook
These are not only big injuries for the teams they play for, but also for the league, capped by the Rodgers injury. These players are out for nearly the entire year, if not the whole season. These are the players in the interviews and press conferences, players on your fantasy teams and in commercials. This is not only taking away from the quality of the NFL games, but also hurting the marketable side of their business.
Over the next few weeks, two things will change in the NFL, with fascinating repercussions for the league.
The playoff race shifts because of these injuries. The quarterbacks are really impactful because of the effect that signal callers have on the game, specifically players like Rodgers and Luck. Both are essential to their teams and the way they play offense. Rodgers makes most of his plays on broken plays and improvisation, while Luck combated the poor Colts defense with high powered offense. Even players like Watt take effect on the playoff race, with his loss badly hampering the defensive pass rush. The Cardinals running game may be bouncing back with Adrian Peterson, but still lost a lot with dual threat back Johnson gone.
And what of the divisions? Now the NFC North is wide open from one injury, with Detroit and Minnesota in position to take the North because of the impact that Rodgers’ absence will have. These are stories to watch not just last weekend, or next weekend, but the rest of the season.
The NFL has always stuck to the mindset that the game, the shield, the brand that is the league has been more important than everything else. They have showed that with their success despite the 3.5 year average career length of the player and the idea of non-guaranteed contracts.
Now the stars are dropping like flies, meaning the theory will be tested. There are plenty of backups forced to step up in the place of starters. Less names people know and more role players. It is also in a year when rookies are stealing the show with their performances. The league will be tested with the big names taking a seat this season and the stand-ins involved in the win or lose games for your favorite team.