September 24, 2021

I have mentioned that I had two tremendous picks in the Fantasy Football Draft four weeks ago.  My first pick was the number one overall pick Christian McCaffrey and my second was Patrick Mahomes.  Both have put up amazing stats for the first two games, despite Mahomes and the Chiefs losing to the Ravens 35-36 on Sunday night.  Both players had suffered injuries last season, with McCaffrey limited to only three games while Mahomes sustained a concussion and torn plantar plate (turf toe) in his left foot during the playoffs.  I was hoping for their sakes they could play the season without injuries, as well as letting me ride their production into the Fantasy Playoffs.  That hope is now questionable as McCaffery suffered a hamstring injury in last night’s game.

The game commentators mentioned how many Panthers were already injured prior to the start of the game.  When I checked online, I found that as of today there were already 16 injured Panthers three weeks into the season.   Of these 4 are on injured reserve, 5 were listed as questionable for Week 4 (including McCaffrey), and 7 were inactive during last night’s Week 3 game.  The panthers are not the only team who appear to be suffering from a rash of injuries.  Every team in the National Football League has been plagued with injuries this 2021 season, and many took place before the season officially started.  Some say it may be because of the pandemic that a lot more injuries happen. 

A similar situation with injuries occurred in Major League Baseball this season, and covid and the response is again blamed.  The 2020 season saw players ramp up during spring training in February or March, then return home for four months as the pandemic interceded, followed by an abbreviated “summer camp” in July and then a 60-game season.  While the winter should have provided a reset, the 12-month rhythms many have lived for more than a decade (physically, mentally, and emotionally) were disrupted.  James Gladstone, head of sports medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Health System said, “The whole last year really threw people off; in part, injuries may be a result of that . . . The psyche of pretty much everyone in the world was affected by this covid pandemic.  It’s hard to directly correlate the two sometimes, but I think there’s some kind of connection.”

Thoughts:  The covid protocols over the last two years have disrupted sports on all levels.  Last year youth traveling teams tried to proceed as if there was no pandemic, only to find themselves struggling with travel restrictions and rising case numbers.  Some high impact college players sat out for a year to avoid any worst-case scenario.  Now that vaccines are available stands are full of screaming unmasked fans, and players at all levels are increasingly facing injuries.  It is interesting how every problem in life now seems to be blamed on covid.  When injuries increase, it is blamed on covid.  When supply chains do not work, it is blamed on covid.  When the takeout food order is messed up, it is blamed on covid.  It may be that “there’s some kind of connection,” but at times the connection seems to come from a loss of effort.  The pandemic is the new reality, but it can only defeat us if we quit adapting.  Or trying.  Follow the science.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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