Injury list makes for increasingly sobering reading for NFL fans

Injuries are robbing the NFL of some of its best players.

Trainers tend to Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne after he injured his knee last week. AJ Mast / AP Photo
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Each Tuesday morning, I open the sports section of my local newspaper with a sense of dread. A round-up of NFL developments from the latest games invariably is dominated by injury updates.

This previous week was typically disheartening.

Sam Bradford, the St Louis Rams quarterback, is out for the season (knee). Same with Brian Cushing, the Houston Texans linebacker (leg). Needing at least a month to mend are the Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (groin), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (shoulder) and Lance Briggs, the Chicago Bears linebacker, (shoulder). Nick Foles, Philadelphia’s quarterback, was concussed. Jermichael Finley, the Green Bay Packers tight end, wound up in intensive care for treatment of his neck. Worst of all came a reminder that no player is indestructible. Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts had answered the bell in 189 straight games, the most among active players.

It was a remarkable streak for a wide receiver, forever vulnerable to body blows. If he could dodge incapacitating injury through this season, the record would be his.

Wayne had reached for a rare underthrown pass on Sunday from Andrew Luck and, even after avoiding contact, collapsed. He was able to walk, if gingerly, to the locker room. Yet the post-game diagnosis was crushing: torn ACL, right knee. Done for the season.

Tracking injuries is compulsory for us NFL followers. Still, sometimes I wish the Tuesday sports section was left out of my paper.