Injuries are always a big story in football – it’s the nature of the game. This year is no exception. Both the college and the pro games have been hit with an amazing number of key injuries that have to be seriously considered in betting decisions. Here’s a look at some of the more important ones:
We can create enough headaches here just by looking at big name quarterbacks:
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma – The injury to Bradford is old news. Why we have to talk about it again, though, is because he may or may not be ready to return this week when his Sooners play a tough opponent – Miami. We have to figure out how healthy he will be, how much he will play, and how effective he will be.This makes an already challenging game more challenging by far.
Robert Griffin, Baylor – This one has to hurt. Coming into the season, Griffin was hyped as a rising star QB for a team that was finally going to make a bowl game. He hadn’t lit the world on fire, but he had been reasonably strong in early action. That all ended, though, when he was lost for the seasonwith a knee problem. Needless to say, Baylor is a very different team without him.
Tim Tebow, Florida – Seeing him lie motionless on the ground for that long was scary. It turns out it was just a concussion, and he could be fine for Saturday. Anyone who has watched sports for even a little while, though, can think of more than a few situations where a concussion that seemed innocent lingers for a long time. Florida isn’t Florida without Tebow – at least not in the short term until they can adjust.
Tate Forcier, Michigan – Forcier is reportedly going to play against Michigan State. This is his first road game, though, so it could be a problem if he isn’t at 100 percent. He went down awkwardly on his shoulder, and was clearly favoring it. He came back to score the winning TD, but he clearly winced when someone slapped his shoulder to congratulate him on the play. Forcier has proven to be crucial to the offensive success of the Wolverines this year, and they certainly can’t stop anyone defensively, so an injury to him would be a serious, serious blow.
Frank Gore, San Francisco – Gore has an injured right ankle – no broken bones, but bad enough to need an MRI. Gore is the best offensive player on this team, and he was off to a good start, so his loss could be a problem. The team did an admirable job of continuing to play well after they lost him, but it could be more of a problem if the injury turns out to be serious. It could very well be serious, too – this is the same ankle that he has had past troubles with.
Albert Haynesworth, Washington – Haynesworth, the $100 million man, was carted off the field with a hip injury in the first half of the Redskins’ loss to the Lions. He returned in the second half, but he clearly wasn’t anywhere near his best. He’s reportedly ready for action again this coming game, but it goes without saying that a big guy like him would be seriously compromised if a key joint like a hip was at less than full mobility.
Chad Pennington, Miami – It seems as if Pennington could be out for the season. That could mean that Pennington could be done for good. The Dolphins have Chad Henne in place to take over. In the long term that seems like a positive move – I am high on Henne given his college career and style of play. There will be a serious period of adjustment, though, and that could impact this team. The good news is that it’s not like Miami was tearing it up with Pennington at the helm, so there isn’t a massive amount of downside.
Leodis McKelvin and Donte Whitner, Buffalo – We’ll group these two together because the issues are the same. They are both pieces of the Buffalo secondary, and both are going to be out of action for a long time. This Buffalo defense won’t be quite the same as the one we have seen up to this point.