Considering the obvious physical nature associated with football, we go into each week of the NFL season knowing full well that players are putting their bodies on the line every time they step onto the field. And while we always hope for the best, unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. As we’ve seen throughout much of the 2015 season, injuries are more than a common occurrence. Ultimately, they’ve managed to take over the game.
Although we wish things were different, Week 16 proved to be more of the same. Whenever a player gets hurt, it should be taken seriously. However, as those of us who follow the sport know all too well, some injuries tend to affect teams more than others. With another week of the season officially in the books, here’s a look at the five injuries from Week 16 that will, more than likely, have the greatest ramifications.
1. Ted Ginn, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers
Injury: Calf injury
In the end, Week 16 proved to be a costly one for the Carolina Panthers. Not only did Cam Newton and company fall to the Atlanta Falcons 20-13, losing their first game of the 2015 season, but wide receiver Ted Ginn was forced to leave the game in the first half after suffering a calf injury. While the severity of the injury is yet to be determined, with the postseason just around the corner, it’s clear that the Panthers can ill afford to lose a player of Ginn’s talent.
2. B.J. Raji, defensive tackle, Green Bay Packers
Diagnosis: In NFL’s concussion protocol
Not only were the Green Bay Packers thoroughly beaten by the Arizona Cardinals 38-8 in their Week 16 clash, but they also sustained a loss to a key member of their defense when starting nose tackle B.J. Raji was injured on the final play of the first quarter. After the injury was determined to be a concussion, Raji was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. Unfortunately for the Packers, they will be without the Pro Bowler until he clears the NFL’s concussion protocol.
3. Matt Forte, running back, Chicago Bears
Injury: Back injury
Despite defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 26-21, the Chicago Bears were forced to endure a period of time in the second half without running back Matt Forte, who was sidelined with a back injury. While the former Pro Bowl isn’t too concerned about the injury, his status for the team’s Week 17 game against the Detroit Lions remains questionable.
4. Sebastian Vollmer, tackle, New England Patriots
Injury: Ankle sprain
Diagnosis: Waiting for results from MRI
The injuries continue to mount for the New England Patriots. This time, it was starting left tackle Sebastian Vollmer who had to be carted off the field after suffering a sprained ankle during the Pats’ 26-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets. When you consider that Vollmer is New England’s third left tackle to get hurt this season, you quickly realize that this setback couldn’t have come at a worse time for the defending Super Bowl champs.
5. Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Injury: Sprained AC joint in right shoulder
The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Miami Dolphins 18-12 this past Sunday, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive in the process. However, it didn’t come without a cost. For the fourth consecutive week, QB Matt Hasselbeck left a game after sustaining an injury. In this particular incident, No. 8 suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Unfortunately for the Colts, Hasselbeck has stated that he is not “super optimistic” that he will be able to play against the Tennessee Titans in the team’s final regular-season game.