September is here and the DL is gone. That doesn't mean injuries don't affect the game. Far from it. Instead, they make an even bigger impact. While "season ending" can mean something that would normally be two to four weeks, it's the fatigue that becomes as much an enemy as the opposing team.
Some players have made it through the heat of August unscathed. Some are seeing that the work they did in Arizona or Florida is paying off now. All that time in the cage and the weight room is keeping some players off the bench and out of the training room.
What bothers me at this time of year is the suggestion that injuries show some lack of character.
David Wright, for instance, never stopped wanting to be on the field. A hamstring strain is a problem of physicality, not one of ethics. No player wants to be told his season is done or even that he's going to miss a start.
Despite all the hours of work by players, athletic trainers and doctors, injuries are on track to be up yet again this year. What teams are doing—or not doing—is not working, and each and every team is going to have to look for ways to reduce injuries or else they can keep burning hundreds of millions of dollars each season.
I have ideas. For now, let's get to the injuries...