Lower NFL Hits Take Out Knees

If it seems like a consequence of the NFL’s crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits that we are seeing more serious knee and leg injuries, that is no coincidence.

So says at least one former NFL player. He prefers to remain anonymous but said, “They are encouraging players to go low to avoid suspensions and fines. They are teaching players to wrap the legs and roll, and we are going to see a raft of ligament tears and foot and ankle problems.”

I suppose those are preferable to serious head injuries, but the size and speed of today’s players makes some level of injury unavoidable.

In just one week, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford, Colts receiver Reggie Wayne and Texans linebacker Brian Cushing were all lost for the season, and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and Bucs running back Doug Marin all suffered injuries that will take them off the field for a period of time.

A huge part of NFL success is keeping your best players on the field, and that requires an element of old fashioned good luck.

* The Minnesota Vikings signing of former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman indicates a level of desperation as well as obvious discontent with Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.

Freeman was so bad in his debut against the Giants last Monday night that speculation began to circulate that the decision to play Freeman was forced by upper management, who are shelling out $2 million for 10 games for Freeman.

I, however, will not complain about any strategy that leads to a Giants win!

* The University of Hawaii football team departs on a 10-day, two-game road trip this week to play Utah State and Navy, the only time a college team will remain on the road between games this year.

The Rainbow Warriors take on a tour of the nation’s capital prior to the Navy game to add some history and culture to the trip. Maybe they can teach Congress the rudiments of the no-huddle so our legislators can move more quickly.

This will be the first time Hawaii will visit Annapolis to play Navy, and it will be the first of two teams they’ll face who run the triple option, the other being Army in the regular season finale.

* After Shane Victorino’s heroics in Game 6 of the ALCS, you wonder what the Maui native will conjure up in the World Series.

While Victorino will have ample opportunity for the Red Sox, former Rainbow and Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong will need a perfect storm to get onto the field.

Still, pretty amazing for a player who was in the minors less than three months ago!

Both St. Louis and Boston are baseball-crazy towns where ticket scalpers will have a field day.

There’s something about an October classic with all those heavy sweatshirts and jackets in the stands.

This one feels like it could easily go seven games – though it could also be over by the time you read this.