In the NFL this season, players are staying down in seemingly unprecedented numbers. No team is completely immune. At the quarterback position especially, all teams are vulnerable.
* The Monday night game was a bit of a clunker with the injury-riddled New York Giants outlasting the injury-riddled St. Louis Rams 28-16 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Both teams were severely limited by injuries to key players on both sides of the ball and conservative play-calling was the order of the day. Giants wide receiver Domenik Hickson did make a spectacular juggling touchdown catch with 0:21 left in the first half to ensure highlight shows had at least one play to show their viewers. In keeping with the injury theme of this article, Hickson barely played in the second half after injuring his calf.
* The Philadelphia Eagles are a top 5 team in the NFC. Their QB depth chart boasts two of the most electrifying athletes ever to play the position. On Sunday night, both watched as little known Mike Kafka made his NFL debut, playing most of the second half against Atlanta. Vince Young was on the sideline in civvies nursing a hamstring injury and Michael Vick had suffered a concussion running into his own lineman. Kafka played admirably, but the Eagles ultimately lost a game they were leading in. The extent of Vick's injury is unknown, but if it's long term, Philadelphia fans won't be dreaming of a Super Bowl. In fact, they won't be sleeping much at all.
* Quarterback Tony Romo also was forced to leave the game Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys until he made a heroic return to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He may also be out long term, though, with cracked ribs and what was later discovered as a punctured lung. The Cowboys may be scrambling now to sign some QB depth as Jon Kitna was the only other QB they had on the active roster Sunday.
* Even the elite teams aren't safe from potential disaster. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger both had scares Sunday when they took hits to their legs. Brady narrowly escaped without injury and Big Ben was able to play the rest of the game (albeit with a very sore right knee), but millions of hearts skipped millions of beats in New England and Pittsburgh.
* After a horrible Week 1 loss to Chicago, the Atlanta Falcons, and especially QB Matt Ryan, bounced back against the aforementioned Eagles Sunday night. The Falcons needed to prove themselves against a top NFC opponent and they did. Ryan took a nasty pounding in the win though and needs to be protected better against Tampa Bay next week. He did show tremendous toughness, however, and won a game when he wasn't at his best. This does bode well for Atlanta.
* Along with Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and especially Chicago's Jay Cutler need protection too. An awkward hit to any one of them would completely change the NFC power structure. Only Green Bay seems to have the total team package needed to withstand a quarterback injury, but even then, losing Rodgers would be devastating to the defending champs. Just ask anyone in Indianapolis.
* Over the past few seasons, the NFL has become increasingly a pass-first league. Quarterbacks are throwing for more yards than ever and defenses are scrambling to adjust. This game-inside-the-game makes the NFL as exciting as ever and the athleticism of the players has never been more evident. Quarterbacks still rule the roost, though, and a good one can make a team an instant contender. The trade-off is that the team's fortunes, even the very best teams, are dependent on the health of the one man who is in the most danger.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com