It's getting to the point where many Washington Redskins fans are afraid to turn on Training Camp Daily on Comcast or click on JLC's blog. They cringe at the prospect of finding out who got injured today.
The Redskins do seem to have a extraordinary number of injuries. It started on the first day of camp when two defensive ends, Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee, were lost for the year. It continued with Devin Thomas' hamstring, Malcolm Kelly's hamstring, Anthony Montgomery's hand, H. B. Blades' knee, Rian Wallace's hand, and a variety of other nicks. Pile onto those the limited roles that Carlos Rogers, Rocky McIntosh, Chris Samuels and Erasmus James can play due to wounds from last year that still are healing and you have a team that is operating shorthanded.
The injuries to the front-line players make it difficult for the starters to gel as a unit. When the backups are out the remaining players on the unit have to take additional reps and that can lead to fatigue, which can lead to more injuries, which starts the cycle all over again. Or, practice might be cut short, again cutting into preparation time.
As bad as the Redskins' situation seems, they are not alone. There are many other NFL teams being bitten hard by the injury bug. A look in the NFL Notes section of my local paper today reveals the following (after, of course, some 300 words about the Bret Favre soap opera):
- Amani Toomer (left leg swelling) and Steve Smith (general soreness) sat out Giants practice along with Plaxico Burress (ankle).
- Dallas cornerback Terence Newman will miss at least three weeks with a torn groin (ouch!)
- Ravens' starting offensive tackle Adam Terry was carted off the field after apparently aggravating a left ankle problem that was surgically repaired last January. He had flipped from the right side to the left to fill in for Jared Gaither, who is out with a sprained ankle.
- Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda tore his ACL on the first day of practice. He will miss the season.
- Buffalo backup QB J. P. Losman missed practice after jamming his thumb.
- Jacksonville receiver Reggie Williams hurt his knee making a spin move after making a catch and he had to be carted off the field.
- Tennessee defensive lineman Ulrich Winkler will miss the season with a torn ACL.
That's just one day's worth of NFL camp injury news in the local paper. It isn't a thorough study. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the Redskins are somewhat worse off than your average NFL team.
Still, injuries are part of the game, they always have been and, until they come out with The Bionic Football Player, they always will be. The teams that can best deal with them are the ones that will be successful.