If Steve Irwin were still alive today, he would have two words to describe injury information in the NFL these days: elusive creature. I don’t know if this starts and ends with the Saints, or if it is a league-wide phenomenon, but this season, I’ve noticed that injuries have been going unreported for way longer than they should be.
It began after the Saints’ Week One win over the Bucs. During that game, Marques Colston sustained an injury to his thumb which required surgery. Normally, a club would release that type of information after the game or maybe early the next morning. But in Colston’s case, it took until Wednesday of the following week for an announcement to be made.
Saints fans were blindsided, having no idea that Colston had even sustained a serious injury.
The same thing happened today with Charles Grant. Here I was early this morning, eating a bowl of Cheerios and minding my own business. I log on to nola.com to see what’s going on in the city, and all of a sudden I’m smacked in the mouth with the news that Charles Grant is done for the year.
Where was this information a week ago? Why must the coaches hold out on us fans? When the game is over, and there are no significant injuries, we like to know that there are no significant injuries. We don’t like being surprised with season-ending injury news. It doesn’t sit well with morning Cheerios.
Anyway, delayed injury news is not the purpose of this post. Injuries in general are what concerns me. This has been the hardest hit Saints squad in terms of injuries that I can remember.
It seems like every week there is a new Saint going down. And they aren’t Cie-Grant-type scrub players. They’re key contributors.
First it was Hollis Thomas in training camp. Then in Week One it was Colston and Scott Fujita. Then later on came Antwan Lake, Sedrick Ellis, Tracy Porter and Aaron Glenn. After that, Jeremy Shockey and Reggie Bush. Now it’s Charles Grant.
And that doesn’t even take into account Deuce McAllister and Mike McKenzie missing time early in the year because of their own injuries.
Granted, some of these players have returned to play. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that most of them missed considerable time in important games when the Saints could’ve used them.
Injuries are not an excuse, I know. Everyone has them, therefore no one should complain about them. So, in that vein, let me say that the Saints have done a remarkably good job in getting to a .500 record after sustaining such a vicious bite from the injury bug.
I still maintain that they should be at worst 6-2, but that’s another story for another day.
The reality of it is that New Orleans is 4-4 and heading into the second half of the season where hopefully they can put their injury woes behind them.
If they can’t, it’ll be another wasted year for the Black-and-Gold. But if the Saints can avoid injury, they’ve got a shot to get in the thick of things. With a stable full of healthy horses, there’s no telling how far they can run.