It has been well documented this season the amount of injuries the New England Patriots have suffered on both sides of the football. The big story all season has been Rob Gronkowski and his journey back from injury, but while he was working to get back on the field, the Patriots were getting hit with more injuries on defense and to some big players in Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Aqib Talib. Talib should be back within a few weeks, but Wilfork and Mayo are both done for the season.
The Patriots and their fans may feel that they cannot catch a break on the injury front this year, but this year more than ever, many teams have some big names going down. Yesterday alone, we saw key players like Jake Cutler, Brian Cushing, Sam Bradford, Reggie Wayne and Doug Martin go down with injuries. Cutler is the only one who is week to week and expected to make a return soon which is huge for the Chicago Bears who have been playing well all year. The other four, however, are done for the season.
This brings into question the league’s future and the changes the NFL wants to make. A very big topic of conversation has been making the regular season 18 games instead of 16, but is that the best idea with the amount of injuries that we see every year? Obviously this is a change that is about money and getting the most out of the product of the NFL, but if the stars of the game are getting hurt, maybe more games is the wrong direction for this league.
This is a problem that the league will have to seriously consider. There are injuries to players every year, but it may get a lot of attention this season considering the names that are lost for the season. Also, with players like Cushing, this is not the first time they have suffered a season-ending injury. The league has implemented all kinds of rules to help protect the game. Maybe the concussion numbers are down, but ironically the number of knee injuries seems to go up every year. The NFL needs to look into how to keep their players on the field before they try to add more games.