A rare recent sight: Felix on the field.
Tackle football is a physical, often violent sport. At the midway mark of the 2011 NFL season, some well-known stars such as Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles and Kenny Britt have suffered season-ending injuries, sending their teams spiraling downward.
Perhaps even more bedeviling for their real-life coaches and teams and for their millions of frustrated fantasy owners are the many other star players who, while not losing the entire 2011 season to injury, can’t seem to stay on the field.
Turn the page for the 2011 midseason All-Brittle team--injury-prone players to unload now before the rest of the their seasons go up in smoke.
While Matthew Stafford is often cited as a young, injury-prone QB, Bradford also is showing early signs of being unduly breakable.
At Oklahoma, he set the NCAA record for TD passes by a freshman and won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. Bradford’s brilliant college career was cut short by a shoulder injury in his 2009 junior year, first suffered in the season opener against BYU and later aggravated against Texas.
Bradford never played again for the Sooners, opting instead to enter the 2010 NFL draft, where the Rams made him the first overall selection.
Bradford made it through his NFL rookie season unscathed and threw for over 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, in 2011 he has fallen victim to the dreaded high ankle sprain on his left ankle, which has cost him two games and could affect him for the rest of the season.
DeMarco Murray: No injury bug yet.
Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones is an electrifying RB. Except that the electricity is subject to frequent power outages due to an assortment of injuries.
2008: Jones’ rookie season was shortened, first by a strained hamstring and then later by a left toe ligament injury, suffered during rehab of the hamstring problem. He ended up missing the last 10 games that year.
2009: Jones missed two games with hamstring and knee injuries.
2011: Like Sam Bradford, Jones has suffered a high left ankle sprain and hasn’t played since October 16. Meanwhile, say hello to DeMarco Murray.
One thing after another.
But Mathews keeps getting hurt, which actually is nothing new. As a collegian at Fresno State, he missed games in his sophomore (knee) and junior (concussion) years.
As a Chargers rookie in 2010, he missed four games due to ankle and other injuries.
In 2011, he’s been hampered by an assortment of calf, thumb and groin ailments.
Fluky, or brittle?
The Cowboys are saddled not only with the injury-prone Felix Jones at RB, but they also have a pair of tremendously talented but oft-injured WRs in Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
Austin missed two games earlier this season with a left hamstring injury. On Sunday, he hurt his right hamstring and had to leave the Cowboys game against Seattle. These recurring problems may hamper Austin’s game-breaking ability throughout the second half of the 2011 season.
Bryant’s breakout 2010 rookie campaign was abruptly ended by a broken ankle. In 2011, he's battled a deep thigh bruise incurred in September. All of his fantasy owners are crossing their fingers, hoping he stays in one piece for the rest of the season.
The Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez is one of the league’s most dynamic young TEs. In just a season and a half, he’s become one of Tom Brady’s go-to targets, with over 75 receptions and 11 TDs, and he has the speed and athleticism to get behind any secondary.
That is, when he’s healthy.
Hernandez tailed off markedly late in his rookie 2010 season and missed the final two games due to a hip injury that required offseason surgery.
So far in 2011, he’s been hampered by a September MCL knee sprain that has cost him two games and slowed him through four others. Will his body be able to recover and withstand the pounding of the NFL game? As with the other members of the All-Brittle team, time will tell.