Major injuries taint Jets-Giants series


Forget the Snoopy Trophy. The most important objective in the annual preseason game between the New York Jets and New York Giants should be staying healthy.

The two teams have suffered major injuries in this game, which is a shame. There's nothing more crushing to a team than losing a star player in a meaningless contest. Consider:

  • 2013: Mark Sanchez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, a play that will live in infamy. It occurred in the fourth quarter, with Sanchez playing behind the backup offensive line. Rex Ryan made a mistake by inserting Sanchez, who didn't expect to play at that point, and it turned into a disaster. Ryan has remained steadfast in his belief that he didn't screw up, although he regrets his reaction -- i.e. standing sideways in his postgame news conference.

  • 2010: Eli Manning suffered a 12-stitch gash on his head after getting hit by Calvin Pace and Jim Leonhard. He didn't miss any time, but the Jets enjoyed reliving the play. A photo of Manning's bloody head was used on the cover of their playbook when they played the Giants (and lost) near the end of the 2011 season.

  • 2008: Giants defensieve end Osi Umenyiora tore cartilage in his knee and needed season-ending surgery.

  • 2003: Jets quarterback Chad Pennington was tackled and landed awkwardly, dislocating his left wrist and breaking bones in his hand -- a gruesome injury that prompted the trainers to place a towel over his hand as he walked off the field. Pennington missed six games, essentially ruining the Jets' season.

  • 1998: The Giants decided to try star cornerback Jason Sehorn on kickoffs. On the opening return, he was tackled by Chris Hayes and blew out his ACL, ending his season.