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Top 5 Unusual Football Injuries


Injuries are a big part of the game of football. Rarely does a team escape a contest completely unscathed. And generally the dings, bruises, and sprains associated with the game are the result of the viciousness of the sport.

Sometimes, however, a player gets hurt through some freak action. Sometimes because of his own carelessness or stupidity, which, of course makes it all that much more interesting. Thus we felt compelled to compile this list of the most unusual football injuries the NFL has seen.

5. Wendell Davis, WR Chicago Bears

15 Dec 2001 : Bill Gramatica of the Arizona Cardinals injures himself while celebrating a field goal against the New York Giants during the game at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won 17-13.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Davis is the one guy on our list whose injury actually occurred during a play. While running deep on a pass route at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium in 1993 in a contest between the Eagles and Chicago Bears, Davis blew out both knees at the same time when his cleats got caught in a seam in the Astroturf. The devastating injury forced him to miss the rest of the '93 season and all of 1994. He attempted a comeback with the Indianapolis Colts the following year, but never made it into another NFL contest.

4. Chris Hanson, P Jacksonville Jaguars

In 2003, head coack Jack Del Rio invoked the phrase "Keep Chopping Wood" as a form of motivation to push his team through the season.  As a visual aid he moved a chunk of wood and an axe into the locker room. Near the middle of the season, like many of his teammates, punter Chris Hanson decided to take a swing at the stump with the axe and ended up putting a gash in his non-kicking foot that caused him to miss the rest of the season. He did fully recover, however, and was able to resume his NFL career the following year.

3. Turk Edwards, OT Washington Redskins

We had to go way back into the archives to find this bizarre incident that happened prior to a game in 1940. Out on the field for the coin toss before a contest with the New York Giants, Hall of Famer Turk Edwards spun around to head back to his team's sideline following the traditional ceremony and blew out a knee when his cleats became entangled with the turf. The injury ended not only his season, but his career as well.

2. Bill Gramatica, K Arizona Cardinals

Coming into the NFL in 2001, kicker Bill Gramatica made a habit of celebrating relatively routine field goals in an overly-exuberant style. And it was that practice that ultimately cost him the end of his rookie season and made him the butt of many jokes by late-night comedians.

As was common for Gramatica at the time, he jumped high in the air to mark a successful kick that gave the Arizona Cardinals a 3-0 lead over the New York Giants early in the first half of a regular-season game in December. When he came down, he landed awkwardly and tore the ACL in his knee. He returned to kick a couple more seasons for the Cardinals, and then made token appearances with a couple other clubs over the next few years.

1. Gus Frerrotte, QB Washington Redskins

Although it was no laughing matter for the Washington Redskins at the time, perhaps the funniest and most unusual self-inflicted injury, that belonging to quarterback Gus Frerrotte, was suffered following a touchdown late in the first half of a 1997 contest with the New York Giants.

After running the ball in from one yard out to give Washington the lead, Frerotte continued through the endzone where he spiked the ball and then inexplicably headbutted the padded concrete wall. Looking somewhat dazed and in pain, Frerotte wobbled back to the sideline where he was tended to by team trainers. He managed to go back on the field for the next possession, but had to be taken to a local hospital at halftime where he was diagnosed with a sprained neck.

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