Sunday’s injuries highlight harsh reality of National Football League


Odell Beckham Jr. was just one of many injured on Sunday

Brandon Paz

With any sport there is an inherent risk of injury. Weather a torn ACL on the soccer field or a concussion on the football field, athletes still participate in their sport understanding that every time they step onto the field or court, they are putting their bodies at risk.

This past Sunday was particularly rough around the National Football League. Two of the league’s most prominent stars went down to injury, on top of many more on a specifically violent NFL gameday.

On Sunday Night Football alone between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, five players suffered significant injuries. Concussions were plentiful on the night, a ruptured achilles tendon to Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley saw his calf ricochet in a way only a slingshot can, and a torn pectoral muscle put an end to Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus’ season.

However, the big story of the night came from three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Just over a year removed from two back surgeries that limited Watt to three games in 2016, a tibial plateau fracture has brought his 2017 season to an end before the fifth game could even conclude.

“I can’t sugarcoat it. I’m devastated. All I want to do is be out there on that field for my teammates and this city. I’m sorry,” Watt said in a tweet early Monday morning.

Watt’s injury came after the New York Giants lost four wide receivers earlier on Sunday with their best, Odell Beckham Jr., suffering the worst injury of all. Anytime a player leaves their feet to try and make a play, hearts around the country freeze for this exact reason. On his way back down from trying to catch a high Eli Manning pass, Beckham’s ankle bent the wrong way after getting rolled up on by cornerback Casey Hayward. It would be announced later in the day that Beckham Jr. broke his ankle on the play and is also done for the season.

The passionate Beckham Jr. left the field on the cart crying while Watt limped off the field with the help of the medical staff, fighting back the tears as much as they could.

These two put everything and more into the game of football and to see injuries of this magnitude plague arguably the best players of their respective positions is no easy sight for anyone.

Sunday’s freak accidents highlight the harsh, violent and cold reality of football.

Yes, the sport is ridiculously violent, but on the same token it is also a business. Coaches in this situation will share a message of sorrow for the injured players but will flip the page in the same breath with the one of the oldest clichés in football:

It’s up to the next man up.