The ACL injury bug has been making its way around college football heavily over this season. The latest victims are Utah State’s starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton and Boise State’s running back Aaron Baltazar. Keeton and Baltazar now join the likes of Georgia players Malcolm Mitchell, Keith Marshall, and Justin Scott-Wesley.
With so many promising players out with season-ending knee injuries, it puts a strain on the possibilities of this season. Prior to the injuries, Keeton was in the running for the Heisman and Baltazar was the second-leading rusher for Boise State with 234 yards. Georgia’s national title hopes are on the line with Mitchell, Marshall, and Scott-Wesley out.
Injuries are of course inevitable in sports, but with such a high number of them this season, it takes away from the excitement. Fans of these teams are distraught and, if they have disappointing seasons, they will be constantly wondering what could have been had these players been healthy.
Not only are these injuries disappointing for fans, but they’re heartbreaking for the players themselves. Take Georgia’s Michael Bennett for example. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear last season and is suffering yet another knee injury from this past weekend in Georgia’s win over Tennessee. Now Bennett will have two seasons in a row down the drain. If Georgia does not win the title this year, it could weigh heavily on him, and if the Bulldogs do win, it could hurt him since he didn’t get a chance to be a part of it.
Like I said before, injuries are no surprise when you’re dealing with contact sports. However, when they are happening to young, budding athletes whose futures in football depend on their four or so years in school, it can be pretty disheartening.