Sports

Sports Stars Who Suffered Career-Threatening Injuries In Competition

Darren - June 28, 2021
Sports

Sports Stars Who Suffered Career-Threatening Injuries In Competition

Darren - June 28, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Joe Theismann (1985)

The Washington Football Team has had quarterback problems recently but Theismann was a good leader for 12 seasons. The QB was a two-time Pro Bowler and ensured franchise immortality with a Super Bowl win. But his career ended in a miserable fashion. He never played for the Redskins again after he broke his leg in a game against the New York Giants.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson sacked the signal-caller in brutal fashion. As a result, Theismann endured one of the most gruesome breaks on a football field. This injury shocked the nation because it was so nasty. The consequences of the career and life-threatening injury left Theismann with one leg shorter than the other. His health problems prevented him from playing in the NFL again.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

7. Mike Utley (1991)

The human body is incredibly fragile. Utley found this out in the most horrible manner possible. He was playing for the Detroit Lions when the worst possible thing happened to his body. It was his third season with the Lions and he expected to enjoy several more years in the NFL. But nothing in life is guaranteed as Utley discovered after a game against the St. Louis Rams.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Utley damaged several vertebrae in his spine after a tough tackle. Medics stretchered him off the field but he raised his thumb to the crowd to signal that he was ok. However, he wasn’t. Doctors told him that the game had permanent life-threatening consequences on his health. The hit paralyzed him from the chest down and totally altered his future. It was a lesson for every NFL fan.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

6. Christian Eriksen (2021)

Denmark played Finland in their opening game of the European Championships. Many considered the Danes to be dark horses to win the entire competition. Eriksen was their star man after an excellent season with Italian giants Inter Milan. But things took a dark turn when he collapsed to the floor during the game. Nobody touched him and he lay prone. Immediately, Referee Anthony Taylor blew the whistle and called the medics,

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

This instant reaction proved crucial because it allowed the medics to save Eriksen’s life. He suffered a cardiac arrest on the field and almost died. But the quick response of the medics and the referee enabled him to survive. The Danes opted to continue the game but played in a daze and lost. While it was career-threatening Eriksen, he still had his future and his family. In the end, health is the most important thing.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Anderson Silva (2013)

Silva was electrifying in the UFC middleweight division. It appeared as though nobody could touch him, let alone beat him. His-16 fight unbeaten streak was the longest in UFC history and he defended his title a remarkable 10 times. But then he met Chris Weidman. The New Yorker stunned the world because he knocked Silva out. However, the promotion granted the Brazilian a rematch because he felt like he didn’t take the fight seriously.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, Silva lost the rematch in an even more brutal manner. He kicked Weidman’s leg and snapped his own leg in the process. It was one of the most horrifying injuries in the history of the sport because his leg bent at a gruesome angle. Many fans didn’t expect Silva to return after this career-threatening broken leg. But he rehabbed his injury and continued to fight. Ultimately, however, he was never the same again.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Eric LeGrand (2010)

LeGrand had the world at his feet. The Rutgers defensive tackle was a highly-touted prospect and most analysts expected him to make it in the NFL. However, he never even got to the draft because of his health. The young man was essential to Rutger’s success. He had no idea a game against Army would change his life but that’s exactly what happened.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He made the crucial error of putting his head down in a tackle. After he drove headfirst into Malcolm Brown, he crumpled. Medics stretchered him off of the field as he was unable to move or even breathe properly. Soon it became clear that the injury was not only career-threatening but life-threatening as the collision paralyzed him from the neck down. LeGrand’s attitude is amazing and he is able to move his shoulders. Also, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even signed him to a symbolic contract.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Patrick Day (2019)

Day boxed because he loved the sport. It wasn’t that he had a pressing need for money because he had a university degree. However, he chose to compete instead of working in the health and wellness industry. This had tragic consequences because his last fight proved fatal. Day fought Charles Conwell in a title fight in Chicago. He lost the fight by way of knockout in round 10.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But the 27-year-old received major brain trauma from the KO. He slipped into a coma and sadly died from his injuries after four days. This story stunned the boxing world because it was a reminder of how brutal the sport can be. It is not only career-threatening but can clearly end a fighter’s life. Fighters literally risk their lives whenever they step into a ring. However, they still have a hunger to test themselves. In the end, Day went out doing what he loved.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

2. Fabrice Muamba (2012)

In 2012, Tottenham Hotspurs hosted Bolton Wanderers in an F.A. Cup tie. Nobody could have expected the horrible scene that occurred on the night. Bolton midfielder Muamba lost consciousness and collapsed to the field. Immediately, referee Howard Webb beckoned medics to attend him. It was clear that something was seriously wrong with his health because he lay prone on the field.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

Medics from both teams attempted to resuscitate the 23-year-old. A cardiologist named Dr. Andrew Deaner made his credentials known to stewards and assisted them in their efforts. Finally, an ambulance removed the player and took him to the hospital. Miraculously, after two hours, Muamba’s heart began to beat again by itself. The injury was career-threatening and he never played soccer again but he returned to the stadium to show his appreciation to the fans.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Alex Smith (2018)

Smith joined the Washington Redskins on a massive contract. However, it all went wrong for the quarterback when he suffered a gruesome career-threatening leg break against the Houston Texans.  A collision with JJ Watt shattered the tibia and fibula in his right leg. Unfortunately, things became worse for Smith because a flesh-eating bacteria infected the wound. Suddenly, the injury was not only career-threatening but his life was at risk.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Surgeons seriously considered amputating his leg because it was so serious. Finally, after 17 surgeries, Smith recovered from this shocking ordeal. He still wore a leg brace because he lost a lot of tissue during the surgeries. Eventually, doctors removed the brace and he somehow returned to practice. Incredibly, he played for Washington during the 2020 NFL season despite the career-threatening injury. Needless to say, he won the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

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