Are NFL Quarterbacks On The Endangered Species List?
NFL

Are NFL Quarterbacks On The Endangered Species List?

For fans of the New Orleans Saints, a collective sigh of relief came when test results on quarterback Drew Brees‘ shoulder showed that he hadn’t suffered a rotator cuff tear. Instead, he’ll play the waiting game with his shoulder severely bruised. His status for Week Three action is still up in the air, and he’s far from out of the clear for a larger injury. The Dallas Cowboys are now in deep trouble, as Tony Romo joins all-world wide receiver Dez Bryant on the sideline, suffering a broken clavicle in his latest outing.

There’s been talk about Peyton Manning for his his lack of production until five minutes left in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday, but at the rate he’s going, and at age 39, how many more sacks can he take before HE goes down for the count? He’s already playing with a glove on his throwing hand due to no feeling in his throwing fingers. Have I mentioned that former Broncos’ signal caller Jay Cutler will miss a minimum of two weeks with a popped left hammy? A pattern is developing in the NFL, and it’s far too early to have prime time field generals going down at this rate. What is the cause? It certainly can’t be a lack of conditioning. Josh McCown (although far from a star) has already suffered a concussion and the Browns are leaning on Johnny Manziel. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford has busted up ribs, and is questionable as of this writing against the Broncos this coming Sunday.

Is it poor offensive line play? Are quarterbacks taking more hits than at the normal rate? Even rookie phenom Marcus Mariota hasn’t gone unscathed, as he heads into his third week under center with an ankle sprain. Are some of these injuries because quarterbacks are moving around the pocket more? Are defenses getting more fierce and physical, or is it just dumb luck? Sometimes the NFL goes through spurts where a specific position seems to get overwhelmed by injuries more than others during stretches of the season. We’ve seen it with running backs in the past, but they get hit more often than their backfield mates under center. Who else will go down before the final week of the season? Hell, who will go down before the mid-way point of the season? Quarterbacks around the league, who are currently healthy (or as healthy as they can be at this point in the season), have to have noticed their brethren getting banged up more than usual.

Are the athletes that play quarterback not as tough as the previous generations? Are the Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilsons, and Derek Carrs not built to take the same kind of beatings that guys like John Elway, Dan Marino, and the like could take? New England Patriots’ legend Tom Brady is no spring chicken, and I’m positive that after his “deflategate” win, opposing defenders are looking to lay a little extra wood on him when the opportunity presents itself. The oft-injured Sam Bradford is upright…for now. What about Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tannehill, who play in one of the most physical divisions in all of football? How long can they last? I couldn’t discuss quarterback injuries without mentioning Carson Palmer, who appears to be fully healthy for the first time in about half a decade. What will the quality of professional football be if some of these team leaders continue to get laid out, and eliminated from play long-term? Buckle up. It’s going to be an interesting thing to watch going forward.

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