When talking about NFL injuries, most people would probably break them down into two categories: minor and severe. And that’s certainly a very logical way to do it. But I prefer to break NFL injuries down into different categories.
First there are regular NFL injuries that occur on actual football plays during games or practices. The vast majority of injuries fall into this category—even the most gruesome ones. Then you have your stupid NFL injuries, which are completely unnecessary. These are far more rare than regular NFL injuries, but they stand out on account of how idiotic they are.
Today we’re going to focus on the latter category with this list of the stupidest NFL injuries of all time. And while I’m pretty sure we got the most famous ones, if you have any others you’d like to suggest, be all means, please do so in the comments section.
Let’s get started, shall we?
We might as well start off with the most recent stupid NFL injury, right? In week 3 of the 2014 NFL season, Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, which was great.
Then he tore his ACL while performing a very vigorous rendition of Rodgers's famous discount double-check celebration.
On the one hand you feel bad for the guy because it's good that he gets pumped up for big plays.
On the other hand...EPIC FAIL.
9. Stephen Tulloch
At least Stephen Tulloch was celebrating something important, like a sack and an eight-yard loss. In 2010, former Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis injured his hamstring and had to come out of the game after celebrating a pretty routine tackle against the Vikings that allowed a three-yard gain.
Seriously, look at that pose. I ruptured a disc in my back just watching it. Fortunately for Vontae, he didn't miss any games because of it.
8. Vontae Davis
In September of 2002, former Michigan star-turned-John Elway replacement Brian Griese sprained his ankle after his golden retriever tripped him while going down the stairs. Or at least, that was Griese's official story. At Michigan he was known to be a bit of a drinker, even getting arrested one time for smashing the front window of a bar. And earlier in 2002 year Griese tripped and fell on Terrell Davis's driveway, knocking himself unconscious, chipping a tooth, and taking a gash on the forehead that required seven stitches. But that wasn't because he was wasted, he said. It was because the driveway was too steep.
Anyway, as for the supposedly dog-inflicted ankle sprain, it didn't keep Griese out of the Broncos next game. However, he did play like garbage, throwing three picks in a 34-23 loss to the Ravens.
7. Brian Griese
In 2008, Brandon Marshal severed an artery, a vein, and a nerve in his right forearm. How? He told the Denver Post it was horseplay, which was ironic seeing as how he played for the Broncos at the time.
"We woke up early in the morning, probably 7 o'clock, to go jet skiing," Marshall said. "There were probably 10 of us, maybe more. We got to horseplaying and I slipped on a McDonald's bag. I went hand-first into an entertainment system and, in trying to bridge myself, I went through the TV."
Seriously? A pro football player still have an old-fashioned tube TV back in 2008? That's embarrassing.
6. Brandon Marshall
In 2003, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio put a stump of oak and an axe in the team's dressing room as a motivational reminder to "keep choppin' wood."
That little gimmick backfired pretty miserably five weeks into the season when Pro Bowl punter Chris Hanson took a whack at the stump with the axe, missed, and sliced open his right (non-kicking) foot. He would require surgery and miss the rest of the 2003 season.
Of course, while this was by far the worst injury of Hanson's 10-year career, it wasn't quite the stupidest...
5. Chris Hanson
The year prior to the axe incident, during the offseason, Hanson and his wife invited Jaguars kicker Jaret Holmes over to their house for what was supposed to be a relaxing evening of conversation and delicious fondue. Unfortunately, things would go horribly, horribly wrong.
They dropped the fondue pot while trying to move it, splattering molten cheese everywhere. Then Hanson's wife slipped and fell into the pool of molten cheese on the floor.
In the end, Hanson and Holmes both sustained first and second degree burns and recovered fairly quickly. However, Hanson's wife suffered some third degree burns and required skin grafts.
To this day this remains the single most devastating fondue disaster in NFL history.
4. Chris Hanson & Jaret Holmes
Come on, everybody remembers this one, right? In November of 2008, just nine months after catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII and only weeks after signing a new five-year $35 million contract, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg at a New York night club.
The actual shot didn't do much damage, as Burress was released from the hospital the following day. However, the fact that he discharged an illegal firearm in public got him sentenced to two years in prison, of which he served about four months.
3. Plaxico Buress
At no. 2 we have the stupid NFL injury that has come to epitomize stupid NFL injuries while also giving kickers a bad name.
In 2001, Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica tore his ACL while jumping for joy after kicking a field goal. But that doesn't really sound so bad, which is why you need to know the context of that celebration.
You see, Gramatica wasn't celebrating a clutch game-tying field goal, or a clutch game-winning field goal. This was the first quarter, and his kick gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. His celebration was ridiculous under the circumstances. And karma took him to task for it.
2. Bill Gramatica
One person who is very grateful for the Gramatica injury is former Washington QB Gus Frerotte. And the reason Gus Frerotte is grateful is that people seem to have forgotten about his insanely stupid injury.
You see, in 1997, during a close game against the rival New York Giants, Frerotte ran for a one-yard touchdown. However, instead of stopping in the end zone, he spiked the ball, ran all the way to the back wall and...headbutted it.
Frerotte immediately fell backward in obvious pain as the Washington trainers tended to him. He did go back out onto the field for the next possession, but at half time the team sent him to the hospital where it was determined he'd sprained his neck.
Pure genius, huh?