Last year’s Never Sunny segments were a somewhat pessimistic look forward beyond the season based off game day performances or lack thereof. This year will be no different.
In the third quarter of last Sunday’s outing against the Bears, the Bengals’ second-year WILL linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, received a low spear-tackle after picking off a poorly thrown ball by Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. The hit was brutal, and when a player of Burfict’s demonstrated toughness stayed down, especially after making an adrenaline-loaded interception, the collective mental leap that many took was that he had been lost for the season. Thankfully, that hysteria was abated as the injury was quickly reported as, “only a bruise,” and Burfict was back in the game before too long.
However in those few minutes, the reality that floated benignly by is worth examining.
Given the loss of Emmanuel Lamur during final preseason game and the acceptance of only five total linebackers top final and still current roster, a season ending injury to any linebacker, let alone last year’s team leader in tackles, would be catastrophic to a team that ran more than 50% of its defensive snaps last year from the nickel.