By: Devin Glennon
Here we are, late September, the weather is cooling down (or at least supposed to be), midterms for the first semester classes we all know and love are around the corner, it is about time where it becomes socially acceptable to buy excessive amounts of candy again, and we NFL fans are looking at what seems to be another wonderful football season getting into full motion. Heading into a new season, there are always expectations, preseason rankings, and Super Bowl favorites to anticipate who will be hot, and who will not. Fanatics and analysts love to discuss what teams will have a great year, whether they be teams on the come up, or teams already amongst the top tier. However, as week 3 kicked off on Thursday, it is the unfortunate truth that injuries are a part of the game. That being said, these injuries do not only jeopardize the individual player’s season or even career, but they can alter a whole team’s season hopes. Injuries have plagued the league immediately this season, giving many teams that had high expectations real detours to their hopeful road to the playoffs.
For instance, and probably the team this holds true to the most, the Minnesota Vikings. Going into the season, many thought the Vikings would officially take the reigns from the Green Bay Packers as head of the NFC North, being a popular favorite to win the division for the second year in a row. However, the injury bug has been anything but merciful to the Vikes. Late in the preseason, Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota’s golden boy QB who was to lead them to this divisional title, suffered a horrendous, season-ending knee injury, tearing his ACL along with damaging the very structure of his knee, during practice. On top of that deathly blow to the offense, Vikings all-time leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, tore his meniscus in his right knee last Sunday against Green Bay. He underwent successful surgery on Thursday, but will not be expected to return for a number of months. Nevertheless, against all the obstacles the young team have endured, they are still 2-0, with Bridgewater’s replacement, Sam Bradford, looking promising to keep the team together, giving the Purple People Eater fans a glimpse of hope for this season, in the number one spot in the division.
A team that in a similar situation with Minnesota is the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo, the star veteran QB for America’s Team was ruled out for at least the first 4-5 weeks with a back injury in the offseason, had analysts and fanatics doubting the Cowboys making anything out of this year without him. But with no help from them, Dallas came out and beat their divisional rivals, the Washington Redskins, in a shocking upset. The Redskins are, to many people’s surprise, 0-2 now. They had big hype to their name leading up to the season. Anyways, the Cowboys are 1-1 without Romo, and his replacement, Dak Prescott, is leading the offense quite effectively.
Outside of the NFC, and into the perspective of an individual player of the NFL, RGIII, who was acquired by the Browns in the offseason with high hopes of rejuvenating his career, encountered what at this point is an unfortunate norm, suffering another injury week 1. It isn’t really that Cleveland was expecting to be a real playoff threat, but after being placed on IR, the percentage of the public that were hyping up his comeback is shut up pretty quick, and we are left in anticipation to see what is in store for the former Baylor superstar.
Although these injuries do not scratch the surface of all the hurt players in the league, they are prime examples of teams having to adapt with the early injuries that threaten a team or a player’s shot at success. Going into week 3, it will be interesting to observe these teams going forward, and the destiny that is in their path for this season.
(Featured Image: Matthew Deery, Flickr)