I’ve never been one to freak out before a season starts, screaming about how we’re starting behind due to injuries, but this year is getting to be a little bit ridiculous. Typical for the situation we’re in, but ridiculous. Is it the late start due to the lockout? No two-a-days? Or are we just injury prone? As it stands, this is where we’re at with injuries:
Jonathan Scott – LT
Marcus Gilbert – LT
Ike Taylor – CB
Bryant McFadden – CB
Emmanual Sanders – WR
Baron Batch – RB
AND Limas Sweed……wait….
More after the jump…
Troy is always a concern now, and after that Vick hit last week, I’m just waiting for the Steelers to come out and say that Troy has a hurt knee and and Achilles that is still healing. Our #1 and #2 Corners are on that list as well as our starting and backup LT. That’s some serious territory for injuries to be hanging around. One of them protects against long pass plays, and the other protects our QB. With all the injuries Big Ben has sustained over the years, either the refs need to start protecting him too, or the Steelers need to be prepared with a capable back-up in case Ben suffers another big injury.
Where we stand now, the Steelers are fine. Like I said, I don’t want to freak out about it all before the season even starts. Defensive Backs usually will play with casts on one hand if they have to, so it looks like Ike will play once the season starts, and the Steelers have brought back Trai Essex after Trai came in to camp over weight and out of shape. The Essex move is there to help out these younger guys on the O line who keep sustaining big injuries. If for once in the last decade the Steelers can have an offensive line that isn’t rotating every down of a game, we may actually have some foundation for building a solid wall between the defense and our QB. But that remains to be seen.
My biggest concern is that all of these rule changes, including no two-a-days and shortened camp, are causing sloppy play from the NFL teams as a whole which is in turn creating more injuries than usual. I grew up playing sports and almost the only time anyone got hurt was when someone was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and didn’t know where they were supposed to be. If the players don’t understand the play because of a lack of practice, sending them out there in a preseason game isn’t going to do much good, and is likely going to cause more injuries.
In an attempt to cut down on these injuries, the NFL did what is does best and just pretty much did away with the kickoff. They took away what might be the most exciting part of the game, and nullified it, making it just a formality. Kicking off from the 35 pretty much means always a touchback. Why not just give the ball the team the wins the toss at the 20 yard line and let them go from there?
I understand the intent behind the rule change. It’s the same intent that got James Harrison $100,000 in fines last year. The only question is, do these rule changes help the game more than they hurt it?
That’s something the NFL will have to seriously consider before they strip the game of football down to its skivvies.