NFL Week 1 is finished, and the injuries are being assessed.
Injuries are part of the game—arguably, the very essence of the game—but the stories they create are as varied as they are frequent.
Well-traveled Browns quarterback Josh McCown suffered a concussion against the Jets, and suddenly young Johnny “Football” Manziel was at the helm. (Not good.)
Panthers leader and All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly went out with a concussion.
Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson went out with a hamstring injury.
Rams defensive end Eugene Sims hurt his knee.
Ravens tough guy linebacker Terrell Suggs is out for the season after tearing his Achilles, proving once again that muscles can’t protect tendons or ligaments.
And then there is Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. The controversial and talented wideout broke his right foot against the Giants Sunday and had surgery to insert a screw to stabilize the broken bone. He will be out anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Two months ago Bryant signed a five-year deal with Dallas worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed.
Nobody will ever feel sorry for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but that’s a tough way to spend your money, even when you’ve got more than God.
But Bryant, 26, is the interesting party here, and his signing of the first huge contract of his career came as one of the first lucky things in his troubled life. Consider this passage from Paul Solotaroff’s article on Bryant in the Sept. 10 issue of Rolling Stone:
“No one ever had it harder than Desmond D. Bryant coming up. His mother, the oldest of eight children by six fathers, was impregnated at 14 by her mother’s boyfriend, MacArthur Hatton, who’d also sired two of Angela’s siblings. Her mom, Virginia, left the house several months later to smoke crack. Angela quit high school, and replaced her mother in Mac’s bed, functioning—at 15—as his spouse. Hatton was in his 40s when Dez was born. No one called the cops on him for statutory rape, which should give some sense of the anarchy in that family.’’
Bryant says 15 people lived in their East Texas duplex. His mom stared selling crack and went to prison for a year and a half, and Bryant moved into a double wide trailer with ten people in it. He was kicked out by his dad’s girlfriend as a junior in high school, and moved into his own girlfriend’s home, where he slept on a couch for a year.
There’s much more, but that broken foot, that contract, that timing—it’s a lot more than a game.