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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Hitting below the waist

If concussions are considered the elephant in the room when it comes to the NFL, leg injuries would have to be the obnoxious gorilla that just won’t go away.

I’m talking about the injuries that just keep coming back and haunt players. Waking up and getting out of bed now becomes a struggle due to these leg injuries.

Professional football players have been playing for the majority of their life. They eat, sleep and breathe football. This comes from a lifelong quest of trying to gain a professional career.

A player’s childhood dream turns into pop warner football, to high school football and eventually blossoms into a collegiate football career. The quest to the NFL is a long painstaking process that takes a toll on the human body. Football players occasionally sustain career ending injuries, somewhere along their career, that disqualifies them from playing professionally.

Other players take big hits and get their legs “chopped blocked” out from underneath their body, that creates permanent limping and knee buckling motions.

The longer they play football, the player’s chances of re-injuring or taking on new injuries are severely higher.

Being under the big lights, on the big screen, with the big contract, just leads to a more severe downfall. The 2016 season has lost a lot of big name NFL athletes to leg injuries:

  • Adrian Peterson – torn meniscus
  • Danny Woodhead – ACL tear
  • Ameer Abdullah – foot injury
  • Rob Gronkowski – hamstring injury
  • Arian Foster – hamstring injury
  • Jonathan Stewart – ankle injury
  • Teddy Bridgewater – ACL tear
  • Doug Martin – hamstring injury

All of these players have been stricken by the injury bug despite being key contributors to their teams. Not only do their professional teams need these players, but their fantasy owners at home also need them when game day comes around.

From a fan’s perspective, when I got home and checked my fantasy report, I was at a complete loss for words when I realized that I had lost both of my starting running backs from a season-ending injury. My day continued to get worse as I watched my week of fantasy football go down the drain.

It seems as though commissioner Rodger Goodell has attempted to sweep these leg injuries under the AstroTurf and pretend like they never happened. These injuries are not always career ending but a majority of the time players are done for the season and have to hang up their cleats. A player can only take so many injuries in a lifetime. This is forcing some NFL players to retire early from a game they have been playing for years.

If the NFL doesn’t update their policy on hitting below the waist, then they’ll continue to see athletes prematurely end their season or career.

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