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The Student News Website of Susquehannock High School,   Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.

SHS Courier

The Student News Website of Susquehannock High School,   Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.

SHS Courier

Injuries Doom the AFC North

Pickett goes down after failing to attempt a QB sneak, Photograph via @steelersdepot on X ( Formerly Twitter )
Pickett goes down after failing to attempt a QB sneak, Photograph via @steelersdepot on X ( Formerly Twitter )

The NFL has been fighting a lot of long-term and season-ending injuries lately, and it all started with Jets Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers tore his Achilles within the first few minutes of the week one game against the Buffalo Bills.

Following Rodgers’s injury, there is no other division in the National Football League that has been fighting the “injury bug” more than the AFC North.

Even though the AFC North is arguably one of the most competitive divisions in the AFC, all four teams have key players dealing with injuries. 

Aaron Rodgers gets help from the Jets medical staff. Photograph via @bleacherreport on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, tight end Pat Freiermuth was ruled out on Oct. 21 with a hamstring injury. However, Freiermuth did return against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 12 and had a career game with 120 receiving yards. 

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was ruled out during week eight with a hamstring injury. Luckily, Fitzpatrick returned in the week 13 contest against the Cardinals.  

Inside linebacker Cole Holcomb suffered a season-ending knee injury in the game against the Titans in week nine. Holcomb was ruled out for the season and is expected to make a full recovery. This is going to create a very big void in the run-stopping portion of the defense. 

In addition, second-string inside linebacker Kwon Alexander was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. Alexander’s injury was sustained against the Packers in week 10.

Alexander was the sidekick to Holcomb, so having both starting inside linebackers out for the year is going to immensely hurt the team.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett suffered a high ankle sprain during his week 13 match against the Arizona Cardinals and is expected to be out for two to four weeks. For the time being, the Steelers have to start Mitch Trubisky as their

Pickett goes down after failing to attempt a QB sneak. Photograph by @steelersdepot via X ( Formerly Twitter )

 quarterback.  In the same week, third-string inside linebacker Elandon Roberts also suffered a groin injury. Roberts has been deemed questionable for their week 14 game against the New England Patriots. Finishing off, offensive guard Isaac Seumalo sustained a shoulder injury toward the end of the game against the Cardinals. With Pickett’s absence expect the offense to become more lackluster. Trubisky is not the ideal backup quarterback but hopes are still high.


For the Baltimore Ravens, running back J.K Dobbins was ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles during their week one game against the Texans. The Ravens have been pleased with the performance of backup running back Gus Edwards. While Edwards has been solid, rookie running back Keaton Mitchell has been seeing more play time than Edwards these past few weeks.

Tight end Mark Andrews suffered a serious left ankle injury early in week 11 in the game against the Bengals, resulting in him ending his season. With their number one receiving target done for, expect rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers to get more balls thrown his way.

Andrews walks to the Ravens locker room with the help of the team medical staff.
Photograph by @TheRavensWire via X ( Formerly Twitter )

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey sustained an ankle injury during the week 12 game against the Browns. Humphrey has been ruled day to day, meaning he is taking practice one day at a time. Humphrey has been cleared to play the Los Angeles Rams in week 14.

Moving on to the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Deshaun Watson had an injury to his rotator cuff during week three; although, he did return to the field after week six. On Nov. 12, Watson decided to get surgery on his rotator cuff due to lurking medical problems. His procedure will keep Watson sidelined for the rest of the season. Quarterback Dorian-Thompson-Robinson has been named the starter, but he did go down with a head injury. This resulted in veteran Quarterback Joe Flacco Starting and since then Flacco has been named the starter for the rest of the 2023 season.

Nick Chubb rides the cart back to the locker room. Photograph via @ESPN on X (Twitter)

Running back Nick Chubb sustained a torn ACL during the week two contest against the Steelers. This injury that Chubb has will end his season. On the bright side, Chubb underwent a successful surgery on his ACL and should be back next season. However, given the history of the injury, Chubb probably won’t return as the same player.

Lastly, in the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Joe Burrow was ruled out for the season with

Joe Burrow walks to the Blue medical tent. Photograph by @ESPN via X (Twitter)

a torn ligament in his wrist. Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have been allegedly hiding his injury. According to Sports Illustrated, Burrow was seen with a compression sleeve on his right hand while walking off of the Bengals’s flight to Baltimore. Jake Browning was named the starter, and Browning has been exceptional in leading the Bengals to wins over the Jaguars and the Colts. Later on in a practice session, Browning suffered a forearm injury, which now leaves quarterback A. J. McCarron to start.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins suffered a hamstring injury on Nov. 8 during practice.
However, Higgins is set to return to action in the Bengals week 13 game against Jacksonville.

These rapidly abundant injuries have been raising some concerns regarding the turf on most NFL fields which has been discussed to be the ultimate cause of these injuries. 

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About the Contributor
Jimmy Swonger
Jimmy Swonger, Reporter
Jimmy Swonger is a junior reporter whose goal is to some day become a news and/or sports broadcaster. Swonger's charismatic personality makes him highly liked by other staff members. Jimmy enjoys talking about sports and pop culture. The anonymous quotation “If mistakes weren't part of life, erasers wouldn't exist” gives him the right mindset to seize the day. 

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