Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby 74_75_78_79_ » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:33 am

RichardBak wrote:Bobby Layne's leg injury in the second-from-last game of the 1957 regular season. His cleats caught in the mud and the bones in his lower right leg snapped when he was tackled. Tobin Rote, of course, went on to guide the Lions to their last title. Rote's success set in motion Layne's trade to Pittsburgh 2 games deep into the '58 season. Layne was slow to recuperate from the injury, which affected his mobility and his placekicking, and HC George Wilson (never a big fan of Layne's antics) decided to hold on to the younger, healthier Rote. Years later, Wilson admitted he'd made a mistake and should've traded Rote. Those Lions teams of the early 1960s were competitive, finishing second to Green Bay 3 straight years. Yale Lary and Joe Schmidt insisted they could've won another title or two if Layne had been QB instead of guys like Ninowski, Plum, and Morrall. Instead it's been 63 long years...and counting.


Bobby Layne playing for Detroit in the early-'60s makes things heavily interesting! Especially '62! Lions likely-enough beat Giants in that regular season game against them, maybe Lions & GB play a tie-breaker game end of season! Guess we'll never know.
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby RichardBak » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:17 pm

Yeah, it's fun to speculate on those '62 Lions---and beyond. Don Shula left as defensive coordinator after the season to become Colts HC. Schmidt said the winning formula would've been to promote Shula to Detroit HC and move Wilson to GM, where he was more comfortable and valuable. Instead we got Russ Thomas and Andy Anderson running the front office after William Clay Ford bought the team in '63. It's always seemed fitting that Ford bought the team on the day JFK was assassinated. A dark day indeed---for America and Lions fans. Tick, tick...another season passes w/o a championship (or hell, even a playoff appearance, much less a win).
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:20 pm

In 1988, the Patriots finished 9-7. They could have made the playoffs if they won @Denver in Week 16, but they lost 21-10. They didn't have too much consistency in the passing game (Doug Flutie started nine games and threw for 1,150 yards, 8 TD's, and 10 picks), but rookie RB John Stephens ran for 1,168 yards and made the Pro Bowl (one of three Pro Bowlers on the team along with OLB Andre Tippett and ILB Johnny Rembert). Also, the defense still had most of the starters intact from the 1985 SB Team (a unit that allowed the fifth-least points in the NFL in 1988).

The next year, some did pick them to be successful (I remember one pre-season magazine picking them to win the East in 1989). However, in a preseason game, CB Ronnie Lippett, OLB Andre Tippett, and DE Garin Veris were lost for the year with injuries. The Pats finished 5-11 that year, and Raymond Berry was replaced by the immortal Rod Rust, which set the team back, and ushered in an era of extreme losing that almost saw the team move to St. Louis (if it wasn't for a man by the name of Robert Kraft).
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby Brian wolf » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:51 am

Injuries to Ottis Anderson and Roy Green for the Cardinals in 1985. The team was explosive offensively in 1984, narrowly missing the division title in a showdown with Washington on the last day of the regular season but were poised to take the next step in the 1985 season. Instead, Anderson and Green suffer injuries that affect the rest of their careers with the Cardinals winning only five games. By 1986, Anderson would be traded, while the franchise would leave St. Louis, following the 1987 strike-shortened season.

Also, Leonard Marshall of the Giants knocking Joe Montana out of the 1990/91 NFC Championship Game. Not only did the 49ers lose their chance at a three-peat but Montana had difficulty coming back for 1991 which opened the door for Steve Young to finally get the starting job. Ironically, Young himself would fail to finish the 1991 season but came back from injuries quicker than Montana, who was traded after the 1992 season ... I know, his elbow made him miss the 1991 season but that hit from Marshall took the wind out of the team until Young had that monstrous 1992 season that ended with a tough defeat to the young Cowboys in early 1993.
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby Brian wolf » Tue Jun 29, 2021 1:01 am

I promise you Richard Bak, I had not read your ironic quote about Ford buying the Lions the same day John Kennedy was killed. I didnt know that fact until I read about in the latest Coffin Corner from a few days ago. We both just had the same thought ... and I speculated on who I believed, killed him.
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby rhickok1109 » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:03 am

Teo wrote:1999 Rams: Trent Green got injured in the preseason and Dick Vermeil says that they will play “good Football” with Kurt Warner. Surely they did!

I still think Green was better than Warner.
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby JKelly » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:35 am

7DnBrnc53 wrote:Randall Cunningham's injury in 1991. Before he got hurt, there were people out there who believed that the Eagles were a SB contender.

If they make a run in 1991 with a healthy Randall (I think they get to the NFC Title Game and lose at Washington), there could have been more motivation to go all the way in 1992. And, if that somehow butterflies away Jerome Brown's death (it probably doesn't, but who knows), the Eagles may do it, and Reggie doesn't decide to leave for GB in 1993.

Also, Randall probably doesn't retire for a year and end up in Minnesota, and Rich Kotite stays longer :lol: .



With the defense the Eagles had that year, they win the division and make the SB if Cunningham is healthy. They don't lose to the Cowboys, Cardinals, Saint or Buccaneers. They don't lose 23-0 to Redskins and maybe even sweep them. Only game I don't know if they win is against the 49ers.
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby RyanChristiansen » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:48 pm

Look no further: 1998 was Brad Johnson's fifth year in Minnesota. The Vikings had drafted Johnson 227th overall in the 1992 NFL draft, and after picking up Randy Moss in the 1998 draft, Minnesota had high hopes for the 1998 season. However, during the second game of the season on September 13, 1998, in the Trans World Dome in St. Louis, with 14:50 remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied 31-31, Johnson goes down injured on the play. Backup quarterback Randall Cunningham enters the game and the Vikings win 38-31. You know what happens next. Cunningham finished with a 106.0 QBR on the season with an 8% touchdown percentage.
"Five seconds to go... A field goal could win it. Up in the air! Going deep! Tipped! Caught! Touchdown! The Vikings! They win it! Time has run out!" - Vikings 28, Browns 23, December 14, 1980, Metropolitan Stadium
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:13 am

The Colts get a measure of revenge on the Jets by not only beating them in their first meeting in the new AFC Eastern Division in 1970 but forcing an injury to Namath's wrist which forces him to miss the rest of the season, which will become a nightmare for the Jets, who will also lose Snell and Hudson to injuries, while receiver George Sauer Jr, will retire at seasons end. When he injures his left knee in the following 1971 preseason, Namath misses most of season as well, in which his agility is even further reduced, though he played pretty well for the 1972 season ...
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Re: Injuries that changed the course of a franchise

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:18 pm

Two injuries in the 90's changed the fortunes of the Raiders:

1. Bo's injury in the 1990 AFC Divisional Round: If Bo is healthy for the Buffalo game, I can see it being more competitive, but the Bills probably still win by two scores (however, Bo does well enough on the ground that the Bills are somewhat more humble going into SB XXV, and they beat the Giants).

Now, I heard something once about how Bo wasn't going to play in the NFL much longer anyway, but let's assume that he comes back in 91. The Raiders signed Ronnie Lott in Plan B, but with Bo, I don't think they sign Roger Craig (he was washed-up in 1991, anyway). I see Bo helping them win three more games that year (against the Bills, Chiefs, and maybe @Denver), and they win the AFC West and end up in the SB (they would have had home field), where they lose to the Redskins.

After that, it just depends. If Bo is satisfied with making a SB, he hangs up the Raider helmet. If not, maybe he stays around for one more run in a wide open AFC.

2. Jeff Hostetler's injury in 1995 when the Raiders were 8-2 when Jeff went down in Week 12 against the Cowboys. He missed four out of the last six games, and the Raiders fell out of control to 8-8. That led to a 7-9 season and a 4-12 season, which ushered in the Jon Gruden era (and put them on the path for the Tuck Rule Game).
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