NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: because handing out awards at the halfway point in the season seemed like the right thing to do.
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Once America's favorite
villain went down in Week 1 -- along with the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes -- it set the tone for a season chock full of injuries. While it's true that every year there are a myriad of injuries which affect every single team in the league, this season has been especially brutal ... and contained arguably more big-names than ever.
Just as injuries are the nature of the sport, it's also the nature of the sport that the quarterback position gets all the attention. I'm guessing if you asked a fan -- off the top of his head -- to name one position which was the most afflicted via injury this season, he'd say QB. Before compiling a list, I know I would have, especially after this past week, when Kyle Orton, Dan Orlovsky, and Matt Schaub fell victim.
What we're gonna do is check the actual impact injuries have had on each position, weighing stars more than simply starters, and starters a ton more than backups.
Most Afflicted Position Nominees:
Quarterback - We've got a wide variety of afflicted here. You could break them down into categories. The stars ... Tom Brady and Tony Romo, while Peyton Manning entered the season hobbled. The next tier, which has seen Carson Palmer and Matt Hasselbeck disappear. The up-and-comers lost Orton and Schaub last weekend, and -- what the hell, I'm feeling generous -- I'll even throw Orlovsky in there. Damon Huard, Brian Griese, Brad Johnson, and Jon Kitna are carrying the past-his-prime torch -- and you know Jeff George wishes he had a piece of that. Finally, there is Brodie Croyle. Put him wherever you want. I don't know what to do with him, so that means I'm on the same page as Herm Edwards.
Running Back - Joseph Addai, Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Willie Parker, Laurence Maroney, Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Willis McGahee ... shall I go on? Ok, you asked for it ... Warrick Dunn, Michael Pittman, Sammy Morris, Ahman Green, Rashard Mendenhall, Justin Fargas ... ok, you get the point. It's actually weird to see so many injuries (I didn't list even close to the entire list of guys who have missed time) in the backfield in the day and age of split carries or even three-headed monsters. This is really a sign of how much beating the offensive players receive throughout the season in the modern NFL. For proof, just keep reading.
Wide Receiver - You could almost give an entire award to the Seahawks receiving corps on their own. There's a nice anatomical variety in this unit as well. You've got the crushed face of Anquan Boldin, the sports hernia of Kevin Curtis, the tweaked thumb of Marques Colston, and a well-rounded mixture of hammies, calves, and fingers.
Tight End - Quantity-wise, these boys couldn't keep up. Of course, of the premier tight ends in football -- no Vernon, that most certainly does not include you -- not many have been spared. Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Shockey, and Tony Scheffler have all missed time. Antonio Gates was hobbled early in the season, but he's fine now. Even the next tier had casualties, as Randy McMichael, Bubba Franks, L.J. Smith, and Leonard Pope are among those who have suffered the wrath of Mike Ditka's angry ghost.
Cornerback - Star power here as well as a large quantity, with Nathan Vasher, Chris McAlister, Champ Bailey, Terrance Newman, Charles Tillman, Samari Rolle, Shawn Springs, Tracy Porter, and Marlin Jackson among the wounded. This position has been absolutely decimated this season. I would know, because I find myself saying, "well, he's facing a really banged up secondary" every week when discussing who to start in fantasy football. Speaking of which ...
Safety - There was a dude at a Halloween party last weekend dressed as Bob Sanders ... and I said, "I'm gonna go hurt him." I just walked up and softly patted him on the shoulder. My non-Colts fan friends loved it, but we do have to give these guys some props. Big names here have gone down for significant time, such as Sanders, Rodney Harrison, former Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson, and Roy Williams ... and it makes sense. Typically you get a guy about my size who is strong enough to inflict pain on a play-by-play basis, when he's giving about 40-50 pounds. That has to wear on them, and they deserve the utmost respect. I take back my joke of inebriation, Bob. I hope you forgive and forget.
And the winner of THE AFFLICTED is ...
Running Back. There are just too many going down, so they walk right by the attention craving QBs. To me, the signal-callers are actually third behind corners.
Honorable mention: Every other position in the league. It's been rough year.
NFL FanHouse Midseason Midtacular: Think QBs Own the Market on Injuries? Please ... originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 06 Nov 2008 12:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.