By Evan Bleier / August 25, 2018

NFL Players and Coaches Offer Advice on How Quarterbacks Can Avoid Injuries

Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, and Deshaun Watson may want to take some notes.

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field on November 6, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Last season, star NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, and Andrew Luck all missed significant chunks, or all, of the season due to injuries.

Their injuries were varied (broken collarbone, shoulder problems, torn ACL), but they all had one thing in common: they could have been avoided.

At least that’s what a collection of their co-workers, players and coaches in the NFL, seemed to indicate to Sports Illustrated in a new piece about what pro quarterbacks can do to avoid getting injured.

The piece appears in this month’s edition of the magazine, but here’s a sampling of the nuggets of wisdom that were doled out.

Randy Fichtner, offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers: Get rid of the ball. I can’t remember the last time Ben Roethlisberger [left the pocket and] lost a single yard taking a sack. He’s gonna throw the ball away. That’s being aware.

Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions: There’s a time and a place for extending plays. When there’s a guy [opening up] down the field and you have a chance to make a big play? Hold on to the ball a little bit longer. It’s all in the context of the game. I’m not perfect at it. I’ve had my fair share of dings.

Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants: There are a few times where it kind of pops in your head: Hey, maybe I can make this guy miss. In big games, you’ve got to make a guy miss, you’ve got to get first downs. But the hits aren’t worth it. So a lot of it is sliding as a runner.

Hue Jackson, head coach, Cleveland Browns: You want a guy to understand: We’re really­ trying to get you to throw, as opposed to run. He’s a passer first. In that play [where Griffin was injured] we were losing; we were trying to make some plays downfield to come back. So you drop back and get a chance to escape—but you still must do everything you can to protect yourself.

Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens: If you’re surrounded by four or five guys, get down and protect yourself. But when you have a one-on-one, if you feel like you can make the guy miss, go ahead and try to make him miss. I’ve done it where I’ve tried to just run through everybody, and that didn’t work out. I’ve tried to just get down all the time, and that didn’t work out. . . . The play I got hurt on, in Philly, I was running out of bounds. So I don’t know what else I was supposed to do.

Daily Brief

15 Things to Know Today, from RealClearLife

July 18, 2019