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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The “Curse” of Injuries in the 2023-2024 NFL Season

New York Jets star quarterback Aaron Rodgers down on the field in week 1 right after he tore his Achilles.

Looking back, the 2023-2024 NFL has been one of the worst years for injuries in the league to date. Many players have had injuries that have ended their seasons and lots more that have kept them out for the majority of the season.

The most notable injuries this past season have been ones that quarterbacks have suffered. These players have been the most crucial to lose because they are the most important position on the field, they make the plays. Without a reliable quarterback, plays are much harder to make. In the first week of the season, New York Jets starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his achilles tendon on the fourth play of the game. This is not the only quarterback this season that has suffered this injury, Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his achilles tendon as well in week eight. There have been a total of seven season ending quarterback injuries this season so far. That’s over 20% of starting quarterbacks. 

“The Aaron Rodgers injury was devastating to the Jets, Colton Luczak, freshman, said. “If he hadn’t gotten injured then the Jets probably would have had a good chance to make the playoffs.” 

Another big injury this year occured when Los Angeles Chargers starting quarterback Justin Herbert broke his index finger on his throwing hand in week 14. In weeks 10 and 11, two other quarterbacks went down. Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a torn ligament in his throwing hand and Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Deshaun Watson had a surgery to repair a displaced fracture in his right shoulder, ruling him out for the remainder of the season. 

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The two other season ending quarterback injuries this season are the New York Giants starting quarterback Daniel Jones who suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in week 9 and Indianapolis Colts rookie starting quarterback Anthony Richardson who suffered an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder in week 5. This greatly affected the Colts season as they almost made the playoffs off the back of an average season by backup QB Garden Minshew. Who knows what may have happened had Richardson been able to finish out the year. 

Even though quarterbacks have had the most injuries this season, many other players have had season ending injuries too. In week 2 of the season, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome knee injury, it is a six to eight month recovery process. The New England Patriots first round draft pick was cornerback Christian Gonzalez, and in the beginning of the season he was on track to win defensive rookie of the year, until he dislocated his shoulder in week five, consequently ending his season and chances at winning DROTY. Minnesota Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson was having one of his best seasons to date up until he suffered a hamstring injury in week five. He has since returned in the most recent week being week 14. Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelen Phillips tore his achilles tendon just like Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins in week 12.

Coach Stuecheli, P.E. teacher and Cleveland Browns fan said“ Seeing players get injured is normal for Browns fans, we expect it and we say there’s always next year but nothing ever happens.”

One of the main factors contributing to injuries this season are the artificial turf most teams play on now according to ESPN. Since there are lots of fields converting to turf, the number of non contact injuries such as achilles and ACL tears have been up. These are the injuries that Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Jaelen Phillips, and many more have suffered. In total, players out for the season this year due to ACL or an achilles tear will make $312.2 million combined according to ESPN. Almost every one of these tears were non contact and on turf fields. Players have experienced a 28% higher rate of non-contact lower body injuries, a 32% higher rate of non-contact knee injuries, and a 69% higher rate of non-contact foot or ankle injuries on artificial turf. 

Artificial turf is much harder on the body than normal grass, according to the NFL Players Association. The NFL pressured cleat manufacturers to create footwear that will make playing on turf fields more safe and easier on the body. These problems have not been fixed yet, so the NFL Players Association is advocating for all NFL teams to switch their game fields from artificial turf back to grass.

With huge players out for the season, it is definitely taking a toll on fantasy managers teams. Huge star players like Justin Jefferson who is drafted in every fantasy league has been injured for the majority of the season, making many managers’ first picks useless. Many Students at West Po do fantasy football, which unfortunately for some people were prevented from winning their fantasy league due to the injuries.

“The injuries this season affected my fantasy team very badly,” Glenn Lobo, freshman, says. “Nick Chubb, JK Dobbins, Aaron Rodgers, TJ Hockenson at the end of the year all affected my season. I ended up finishing second in my league, but I might have had a better chance of winning it without the injuries.”  


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