Which has been the most devastating injury this season?

(Tony Romo photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)
(Jamaal Charles photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)

Talk of Fame Network

The NFL lives by the credo, “Next Man Up.”

Football is a violent game, and players get hurt. But some are more difficult to replace than others — and there have been a handful of devastating injuries already this season.

You just don’t replace a Tony Romo, as the Cowboys are finding out. He won his first NFL passing title in 2014 for the NFC East-champion Cowboys. Romo had the Cowboys off to a 2-0 start this season before suffering a broken collarbone in the second half of the second game against Philadelphia. The Cowboys haven’t won since, losing four in a row to tumble to the bottom of the division.

Romo’s favorite target is Dez Bryant, who led the NFL with 16 touchdown receptions last season. But he’s been gone since the season opener with a broken foot. Little wonder the Cowboys now rank 20th in passing. Romo and Bryant are both expected back in November.

They head the list of high-profile Pro Bowl players currently sidelined. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles, Houston running back Arian Foster, Baltimore pass rusher Terrell Suggs and Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul have all missed time, and it’s impacting their teams.

Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury in the third week of the season and missed the last four games. The Steelers have gone 2-2 in his absence and find themselves trailing the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North with a 4-3 record. Roethlisberger is set to return this weekend when the Steelers play those Bengals.

Charles, who won AFC rushing titles in 2012 and2013, tore up a knee in the fifth game of the season. He missed Kansas City’s last two games and will be gone for the season. The Chiefs are now 2-5, and their playoff hopes are on life support. Foster suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury last weekend.

Pierre-Paul blew off his thumb in an offseason firecracker incident and has not played yet this season for the Giants. He had 12 ½ sacks a year ago and was franchised by the Giants this offseason. He finally signed his tender this week and reported to the Giants to continue rehabilitation of his hand. There is no timetable for his return.

So which injury has been the most devastating this season? Vote now:

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  1. Rasputin
    October 28, 2015

    Romo, and it’s not really close. QB is the most important position generally speaking anyway, and the NFL’s highest rated passer last year is lost for several weeks. They win both games he played in, and have lost every game so far since. Even if they manage to win some of the games left in this stretch without him the results have proven that the team struggles mightily without him.

  2. Rich Quodomine
    October 28, 2015

    Romo is because neither Brandon Weeden nor Matt Cassel is Frank Reich. In fact, both of them together aren’t Frank Reich, and as Rasputin notes, the QB is the most important position on the field, period. *BUT* I want to make an argument for Terrell Suggs. He isn’t just a great player – and I don’t mean very good, I mean great – he’s the soul of what is no longer an intimidating D. The Ravens hit you in the mouth, hard. They stuffed your run, knocked down your pass and hit your crossing route TE so hard, he felt like finding a new job. Suggs is a tone-setter. Absent him, teams double Dumervil and let the chips fall where they may. Particularly with Ngata gone and the Linebacker corps nowhere near where it was, Suggs’ absence is huge, if all positions were equal across the board, i.e. a QB = a DE = a LT = an RB.

    • October 29, 2015

      I’ll take Romo, too, but you’re right: Ravens haven’t been the same without Suggs. Leader on and off the field, and when he left so did their chances of becoming a playoff team.

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