Matthew Stafford is the Detroit Lions franchise, but with questions surrounding his back, they need to be opportunistic and build a future.
Head coach Matt Patricia did not to put Stafford on injured reserve until mid-December likely in the hopes that he would have an opportunity to play again before the season ended. Instead, he never left the sidelines.
Football is a physical sport and injuries are a fact of life in the NFL. Some players have a long career with minimal injuries to show for it, while others can’t lace up their cleats without hurting themselves.
Unfortunately, all DNA is not created equal. Some players seem to have bones of glass while others seem to be made out of concrete. It’s not fair, but it’s life at work. Just like everyone isn’t 6-foot-5 and as powerful as a locomotive or has a rocket-launcher for an arm.
No matter how great a player is, they aren’t invincible. That was evident last Tuesday when Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly announced his retirement. Kuechly is 28 years old.
Think about it, Calvin Johnson was only 30 when he retired after the 2015 season. So were former 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis and former Seahawks Cam Chancellor and Doug Baldwin.
You might point out that perhaps 30 isn’t that young for the NFL, but both Rob Gronkowski and Andrew Luck were 29. Former Titans quarterback Jake Locker was only 26 and 49ers linebacker, Chris Borland, was only 24 when they called it a career.
Injuries and the concerns about life after football have become more prevalent then they use to be. And we can’t blame the players for wanting to avoid the lingering effects of playing the game they love.
Especially the effects of concussions, or brain injuries as the NFL prefers to call them. Yet no matter how you spin it, we have learned that getting ‘dinged’ as commentators use to call it, isn’t a laughing matter. But injuries are causing more players to think carefully about their careers.