Injuries are the price of doing business in the NFL. Every player who signs a contract knows this. However, it’s a real shame to see a player go down during training camp or a preseason game. Let’s look back at some of the notable offseason injuries over the years. – Sid Saraf
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Bubba Smith: 1972
Before he played the part of Hightower in the 'Police Academy' movies, Smith was a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro in the NFL. His career was going swimmingly until the 1972 preseason, when he collided with a steel yardage marker -- the NFL used them at the time -- on the sidelines and suffered a severe knee injury that caused him to miss the season. He was never the same player after that and after stints with the Raiders and Oilers, he retired.
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Darryl Stingley: 1978
The talented Patriots wide receiver took a horrifying hit from Raiders safety Jack Tatum during a preseason game. Stingley suffered a spinal cord injury that ended his career and left him a quadriplegic.
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Ki-Jana Carter: 1995
Oh, what could have been. The Bengals took the Penn State running back with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft and signed him to a record rookie contract. Did he take the league by storm? Unfortunately not. Carter tore up his knee in his first preseason game that year and was gone for the season. More injuries followed in later years and his career is now widely viewed as a disappointment.
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Yatil Green: 1997
Green was expected to make a big impact when the Miami Dolphins spent a first-round pick to make him a new receiving threat for quarterback Dan Marino. What’s more, he was a local kid as he starred at the University of Miami. Green looked primed for success until disaster struck on the first day of training camp. He tore up his knee and missed that season, came back the following season and suffered a repeat injury on that same knee in training camp. Green never recovered and was released by the team in 1999. He retired in 2001.
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Jason Sehorn: 1998
Considered one of the best defensive backs in the game, Sehorn was flying high until he was grounded by a torn ACL and MCL suffered during a preseason game against the New York Jets. Sehorn's career continued after he spent '98 recovering, but he never had the same speed again.
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Jamal Lewis: 2001
The bruising Ravens running back was fresh off a Super Bowl-winning season and was primed for another standout campaign. Sorry, no dice. Lewis tore the ACL and sprained the MCL in his left knee and spent all of 2001 on the mend. All was not lost, though, as Lewis recovered and two years later, rushed for 2,066 yards.
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Derrick Mason: 2003
The wide receiver was playing for the Titans at the time and was doing his part for the community by playing in a charity golf tournament. While teeing off, Mason, club hit the ground behind the ball. Mason's hand twisted and he ended up suffering a broken bone. Don't worry, Mason recovered and ended up starting all 16 games that season, catching 95 balls for 1,303 yards.
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Michael Vick: 2003
Vick was fresh off the first of his four Pro Bowl seasons in the NFL back in 2003, when he fractured a fibula during a preseason game. He missed significant time, but did return in Week 13.
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LeCharles Bentley: 2006
The excitement in Cleveland was short-lived. Bentley was the prize of the 2006 free-agent class and the Browns snatched up the Pro Bowl with a multiyear contract with the expectation that he would anchor the offensive line for years to come. Nope. Bentley tore his patellar tendon in training camp and went downhill from there. After missing all of 2006, a staph infection brought more surgeries and eventually led to Bentley’s release in 2008. He never played a game for the Browns.
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Chad Greenway: 2006
The Vikings selected the linebacker with the No. 17 overall pick in the ’06 draft. However, his NFL career hit a snag right away as Greenway tore his ACL during his first preseason game and missed the entire season. The story has a happy ending as Greenway recovered and has enjoyed a solid career with two Pro Bowl appearances since.
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Laron Landry: 2007
The man with the giant biceps suffered a unique injury while out on a team-building exercise with the Redskins after a spring workout. While paintballing with other players, Landry took a shot to the groin. No permanent damage, but he did have to miss a couple days of workouts while he limped around.
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Steve Smith: 2010
The fiery wide receiver has enjoyed tremendous NFL success, but back in 2010, something strange happened. Smith broke a forearm while playing in a flag football game during the offseason. He missed the beginning of training camp, but recovered in time to play in the regular season. While in the long run it seemed like no harm was done, Smith did have a subpar season in 2010 by his standards.
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Elvis Dumervil: 2010
The Broncos were so enamored with their pass-rushing linebacker that they awarded him a $61.5 million contract in July, 2010. Less than a month later, Dumervil tore a pectoral muscle during a practice and landed on injured reserve. Ouch.
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Jeremy Maclin: 2013
Maclin was all set to star in Chip Kelly's new offense, but he never got the chance in Year 1. He tore his ACL during a training camp workout and was forced to miss the entire 2013 season. He did return the next season, but that would be his last with the Philadelphia Eagles as he left for Kansas City in free agency in 2015.
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Sean Lee: 2014
The linebacker has had problems staying healthy over the years, but this last injury seemed the most cruel. Lee was knocked to the ground by offensive lineman Zack Martin during OTAs and tore the ACL in his left knee. Lee was placed on injured reserve and missed a Cowboys season that saw the team end its streak of playoff futility.
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Sam Bradford: 2014
The quarterback was supposed to helm a St. Louis Rams offense that featured some new weapons to a dark-horse playoff spot. That never came to pass. Bradford tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the entire season. It was the last time he would wear a Rams uniform as he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2015.
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Kiko Alonso: 2014
The linebacker had just wrapped a stellar rookie season for the Bills and had already stepped into a leadership role. While working out in Oregon during the offseason, Alonso suffered a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve. He would never play for Buffalo again as he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in March, 2015.
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Jason Pierre-Paul: 2015
This is a cautionary Fourth of July tale for all. JPP sustained burns to his hands while attempting to ignite fireworks. Pierre-Paul had the $14.8 million franchise tag placed on him earlier this offseason, but he has yet to sign the tender and the Giants have now pulled their $60-million multiyear offer.
Dante Fowler Jr.: 2015
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Dante Fowler Jr. went down in his first team workout of 2015. The third overall pick in the draft will be a huge loss as the Jaguars try to rebuild.
Kelvin Benjamin: 2015
The Panthers' biggest target from a year ago went down with a non-contact knee injury which ended up being a torn ACL. It's a huge loss for the Panthers, who are thin at receiver and will have a tough time making up his 73 catches, 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.