Joe Burrow’s Injury: The NFL Should Be Nervous as the Quarterbacks Are Going Down Thick And Fast

Published 11/18/2023, 7:31 AM EST

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The Cincinnati Bengals were leading in the game against the Baltimore Ravens 10-7, and then disaster struck! Joe Burrow screamed and jogged to the locker room because he had injured his throwing arm. Another week in the NFL, another quarterback down. The Bengals not only lost their lead but lost the entire game in a 34-20 defeat. The Bengals had shelled out $275 million to retain him for five years, and now he’ll be out for a few games.

In fact, this has been the theme of the season so far. Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson, Anthony Richardson, Daniel Jones… all fallen veterans. And these are no running backs or linebackers. They’re quarterbacks. The MVP of their respective teams. Is the NFL doing enough to protect its quarterbacks? If they continue to drop at this alarming rate, the league may soon run out of fans to watch its games as well.

The thought about NFL stadiums with natural grass


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The New York Jets faced an early blow when the 4x NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. And the team is currently struggling with their backup QB, Zach Wilson. Kirk Cousins also encountered a season-ending Achilles injury prompting the Minnesota Vikings to use Josh Dobbs as their starting QB. Anthony Richardson, the overall 4th draft pick met with a season-ending shoulder surgery after just 4 games. The New York Giants were in double trouble when both their starting QB and their backup QB suffered injuries.

While Rodgers’ and Cousins’ injuries were non-contact, the others weren’t. Even for the non-contact injuries, the artificial turf promoted by the NFL has been blamed for the two veteran players’ season-ending injuries. Soon after A-Rod’s injury, the NFLPA’s executive director Lloyd Howell called for all stadiums to stop using artificial turf and move to grass turf.

The NFL does have several rules in place to protect its players. As Rob Maadi, a sports analyst wrote for Yahoo! Sports, “Can’t hit them high. Can’t hit them low. Can’t touch them too late.” Now defenders must stop trying to attack a QB if they are two steps from a quarterback in the pocket who has released the ball. With the “roughness on passer” rule, the league has taken a strong stand to shield its QBs from avoidable injuries. Some of the rules came under attack for being too restrictive, but Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive VP of football operations, defended them saying, “Everyone knows if your quarterback is not healthy, you don’t have a chance to win… We’re not going to back off of protecting the quarterback” But all these rules are clearly not bearing fruit. So, what else can the NFL do?

What are the steps that the NFL can take to ensure QB safety?

Highlighting the importance of the QB in drawing crowds, former coach Steve Mariucci told the NY Times, “We’re all smart enough to know that the marquee quarterbacks are one of the reasons why so many fans are interested in football. If we lose a Brett Favre or a Peyton Manning or an Aaron Rodgers for the season, the league isn’t the same, the interest isn’t the same, and the production and quality of the football isn’t the same.” His words proved prophetical, at least in the case of Rodgers.

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On the technology front, the NFL can leverage the best minds working in the space to develop position-specific safety gear. One step in that direction has already been made when AP previously reported that a company called Vicis has developed the first-ever QB-specific helmet designed to help reduce concussions. “We’ve now analyzed with our engineers and with the Players Association more than a 1,000 concussions on field, we have a pretty good database of how these injuries occur,” league executive Jeff Miller said. “This helmet performs better in laboratory testing than any helmets we have ever seen for those sorts of impacts.”


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Read More: 7x NBA Champ Deduces “Old Man” Aaron Rodgers’ Bizarre ‘Secret’ as the World Braces for Jets’ Comeback

Another bone of contention between the NFLPA and the league has been the artificial turfs. “The NFL has not only refused to mandate this change immediately but they have also refused to commit to mandating a change away from slit film in the future at all.” JC Tretter, a bestselling author on the subject of NFL player safety said. Piecemeal changes won’t result in massive differences on the ground. This season set a record for the most number of rookie QBs starting a game. The count so far is 10. Will the league start taking QB health and safety more seriously now?


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Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of EssentiallySports. 

Watch This Story: Aaron Rodgers Reveals Bold Goal for Timely Comeback From Injury


Written by:

Jakso James


One take at a time

I am a hardcore believer in the ‘Mamba Mentality’, which certainly applies to the NFL. The sport is not just about physical prowess but also demands a powerful mindset. Growing up, I spent time with athletes on the neighborhood soccer field.
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Edited by:

Mallika Singh