Monday, September 28, 2009

The next one

Before he was a disgraced, semi-bust, Eric Lindros was "The Next One". His scoring prowess and skills were nearly unprecedented. He had size, stick skills, a pounding physical game, and was quick to boot. He was Todd Bertuzzi without the criminal record and a hell of a lot more skills.

And then concussions happened.

Lindros went from being the most promising player in the NHL to an injury-riddled fallen star. It got so bad that his own team disgraced him on the local news by making a spectacle of the removal of his captain's "C" from his jersey. It did not go well.

I bring this up, of course, because of the Tebow injury. I've mentioned before that, because of Tebow's style of play (head down, aggressive, pounding) I was surprised that Tebow had made it as long in his career has he had without being seriously injured. It's kind of shocking that the hit the finally knocked him out would be so, well, pedestrian--quarterbacks get hit hard in the pocket like this often. After the hit he endured against Tennessee's Eric Berry, it seemed like Tebow was indestructible.

But the real tragedy here, is that it's likely that Tim Tebow will return far too early from his injury. The above hit on Eric Lindros--the one that sent him career into a tailspin of constant injuries--kept him out for 18 games (or approximately 3 weeks, best case scenario). As EDSBS pointed out, this is a brain injury and is much different than any other kind of injury. This cannot be rushed.

Worse still are the prospects for Tebow's NFL future. He was, at one time, a quarterback that people thought had no NFL future because of the way he played, but with the emergence of the wildcat and Tebow's progressing throwing skills, many changed their tune about Tebow's pro prospects. Those hopes look to be all but dashed now. With the exponential damage and ease of incurring concussions, this is a big hit for Tebow's future. Best case scenario, Tebow sits out a few weeks and is able to heal properly (unlikely, given both the pressures of college football and Tebow's own attitude) and this becomes a random event that doesn't hinder his professional career, and more importantly, ability to function as a human being.

Then again, Eric Lindros was once The Next One.


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