Does it seem like there have been an unusually high number of season-ending injuries during the NFL preseason this year? Well, there’s a reason for that. According to one study, serious preseason injuries have been rising steadily for a decade. In 2004 there were 50 “serious” preseason injuries, while in 2012 there were 80. That’s a pretty alarming rise.
The final numbers for 2014 remain to be seen, of course, but there have already been a number of high-profile season-ending injuries, the most recent of which was revealed yesterday, when the St. Louis Rams announced that they would be without their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, for the second season in a row.
Where does Bradford’s injury rank among the rest of the season-ending injuries we’ve seen so far? That is the subject of today’s list. Take a look to read our take.
Team: Baltimore Ravens
Position: defensive end
Injury: torn achilles
In Kapron Lewis-Moore, the Ravens aren’t losing a starter. However, when combined with the loss of fellow DE Brent Urban (torn ACL), they are losing all their depth at the position. In fact, Lewis-Moore was looking like one of the Ravens’ top two backups at defensive end.
What makes this injury really depressing, however, is the fact that it will be Lewis-Moore’s second straight lost season. He missed all of his rookie season, too, after tearing his ACL last summer.
9. Kapron Lewis-Moore
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Position: left tackle
Injury: ruptured patella tendon
Baker only appeared in four games last season due to injury, and he’s never quite been the player his status as the 21st overall pick in the 2008 draft suggested he should be. But the Falcons gave him a new contract in 2013 with $18.25 million in guaranteed money, he has spent three full seasons as the Falcons starting left tackle, and without him (and others) last year the Falcons went on a first-to-worst plunge. So this loss could hurt, especially when paired with season-ending injury of…
8. Sam Baker
Team: Atlanta Falcons
After missing all of last season due to a leg and ankle injury, this former Alabama All-American was looking like a strong candidate to fill the hole on the offensive line after the injury to left tackle Sam Baker. Now Johnson is out, too, which means Matt Ryan is probably going to take a pounding this year.
7. Mike Johnson
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Injury: bruised spine
This one is just depressing. Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman was told by doctors that, unless he wants to wind up paralyzed or dead, his playing days are over.
Holloman suffered a neck injury last year that bruised his spinal cord. He returned for the final two games of the regular season and recorded 11 tackles and two sacks against the Eagles in the season finale, which made him a key player in the Cowboys’ defines this season. However, after experiencing discomfort in his neck during training camp, Holloman had his neck reevaluated. And that’s when he got the terrible news.
6. DeVonte Holloman
Team: Indianapolis Colts
Position: running back
Injury: ruptured achilles
This one just sucks for everybody. Ballard was drafted 170th overall out of Mississippi State in 2012, then he went on to rush for 814 yards as a rookie, which was huge. Unfortunately, Ballard tore his ACL and missed all of 2013, and now he’s torn his achilles. Now we don’t know if he’ll every fulfill his potential.
5. Vick Ballard
Team: Buffalo Bills
Injury: torn ACL
The Bills didn’t expect this 2013 second-round pick to make an immediate impact on defense, but that’s exactly what he did. Last season the former Oregon Duck started all 16 games, recording two sacks, four interceptions, and 87 tackles. So when he went down with an ACL tear in July, it was a big loss. (I mean, Sammy Watkins doesn’t play defense, right?)
4. Kiko Alonso
Team: Green Bay Packers
Position: defensive end/nose tackle
Injury: torn biceps
B.J. Raji had a down year in 2013 compared to 2011, when he made the Rpo Bowl and won the Super Bowl with the Packers. However, last year he was not playing his natural position and, after moving him back to nose tackle this year, the team was counting on him to play an important role on their remade defensive line. Now? Not so much.
But hey, as long as Aaron Rodgers is okay you'll make it through, right Packers fans?
3. B.J. Raji
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Position: defensive tackle
Injury: torn ACL
Former Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett rebounded with a strong season in 2013 after a subpar 2012. However, that’s not the only reason why the Cardinals were devastated about this loss. Dockett is, by all accounts, the heart and soul of the team. They can (theoretically) replace the tackles, but they can’t replace the spirit.
2. Darnell Dockett
Team: St. Louis Rams
Injury: torn ACL
The Rams drafted Sam Bradford with the #1 overall pick in 2010 because they needed a franchise quarterback, and although some have been quick to call him a bust, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, the other QBs available in 2010 were Tim Tebow (#25), Jimmy Clausen (#48), Colt McCoy (#85), Mike Kafka (#122), and a bunch of other guys you’ve never heard of. So the Rams definitely go the best one.
Second, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Bradford had a terrible offensive line and a terrible receiving corps. Last season was the first time he had a respectable team around him, and as a result he threw for 1,687 yards, 14 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions through seven games. Things were definitely looking up.
Then Bradford tore the ACL in his left knee, recovered, looked good in training camp…and tore the ACL in his left knee again.
The Rams 2014 season? It may not be as bad as everyone thinks, but now the already microscopic chance they had of somehow passing San Francisco or Seattle and grabbing a Wild Card spot in the NFC is pretty much gone.
1. Sam Bradford (St. Louis)
football, football injuries, NFL, NFL injuries, Sam Bradford,