Many teams lost their best player due to injury on Sunday, and while some are out for longer than others, each team who lost a player is now figuring out what to do next. The alarming amount of injuries that occurred on Sunday will only fuel the fire for increased player safety, but the bottom line is injuries will happen in football, and this past Sunday was just an unlucky day for numerous NFL players.
Quarterbacks took a particularly high amount of punishment this week, and the most notable injuries occurred to Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Nick Foles. While Foles was simply replacing the injured Michael Vick this week, Bradford and Cutler are the future for their teams at the quarterback position, meaning the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams are in trouble going forward.
Cutler is expected to miss at least four weeks with a groin injury, but Bradford tore his ACL, meaning he is out for the season and the Rams must find a long-term replacement at the position, which has been rumored to possibly be free agent Tim Tebow.
While Tebow is the hot name for replacing injured quarterbacks, the Rams are currently 3-4, and were barely contending with Bradford as their quarterback. Tebow would do little, if anything to help this team’s playoff hopes, and considering the Rams are still rebuilding, they should sign a quarterback for depth concerns, but immediately begin focusing on next season.
Unfortunately, the injuries to big-names players didn’t stop with quarterbacks as Doug Martin and Arian Foster both exited their respective games on Sunday and didn’t return. Martin’s injury is the one perceived to be worse as the second-year player is rumored to have torn his labrum, meaning he will miss weeks, if not the rest of the season.
Foster went down after carrying the ball just four times with an apparent hamstring injury. While there has been no talk of Foster missing any time, the Houston Texans are approaching their bye week, so expect to see Foster back on the field in Week 9.
The most heartbreaking injury of the week happened to linebacker Brian Cushing of the Texans, who missed all of 2012 with a knee injury and then left the Texans’ game on Sunday with a broken leg and torn LCL, meaning he will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.
Two injuries to big-name players happened on Sunday Night Football as both Reggie Wayne and Champ Bailey left the game with apparent long-term injuries. We already know Wayne tore his ACL and is out for the year, but Bailey, who missed the first five games of the season, left with an injury to the same foot that made him miss time earlier, indicating he will likely be out for at least a few weeks.
The injury to Wayne could hinder the success of the Colts going forward considering they already at a weak receiving corps, and Wayne was the leader of that unit. The Colts, however, are a team concerned with winning now, meaning they should target a wide receiver through a trade prior to the trade deadline.
The most likely trade candidate would be Hakeem Nicks, the fifth-year wide receiver whom the New York Giants are reportedly interested in trading. The Giants are 0-6 heading into their Monday Night Football matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, so with their season clearly over, trading Nicks to the Colts would be a win-win for each team involved.
The most dangerous injury of the week happened to Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, who was taken out of the game with a neck injury after colliding with Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. Reports indicate that Finley spent Sunday night in the hospital, but is rumored to be okay, and should be released relatively soon.
Many teams’ fates changed due to an injury on Sunday, and because so many of the injuries happened to impact performers, expect teams to shuffle players around and add some new names to their roster as the week progresses.