by Anthony Bertacchi, KHTK Sacramento

On Thursday, Sept. 10, the NFL regular season kicks off. Fans will soon have their weekly dose of NFL back for the next five or so months. It’s almost here but, in the meantime we have to settle for preseason games and scrimmages that, literally, mean nothing. Quick, name me a memorable TD in last year’s preseason, I dare you. Honestly, the only thing that matters right now is avoiding that catastrophic injury to your favorite player. Niles Paul is out for the year with a dislocated ankle. Louis Delmas tore his ACL earlier today and is out for the year and Arian Foster suffered a groin injury and will miss significant time. For the next three weeks all you hope to do is avoid that update at the bottom of the screen saying Player X is having season ending surgery.

So, with that being said, here’s a list of some of the most notable and worst injuries in the history of the NFL in the preseason.

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5) Trent Green

Poor Trent Green. Things were lining up perfectly for him. Heading into the 1999 season Green was slated as the starter for the Rams. After coming off an underwhelming 6-10 season in 1998, the Rams went into free agency swinging. The Rams acquired Green on a 4-year $17.5 million contract. They drafted Torry Holt with the sixth overall pick and traded for All-Pro running back Marshall Faulk.

Unfortunately for Green he suffered a season ending knee injury in the third preseason game after a hit from safety Rodney Harrison. Even worse for Green was that the quarterback who backed him up, Kurt Warner, led the team to the Super Bowl and a historic offensive team nicknamed the “Greatest Show on Turf.” At least he got a ring.

4) Ki-Jana Carter

Ki-Jana Carter was one of those can’t miss running backs that we hear about every year. In 1994 Carter led the Penn State Nittany Lions to a 12-0 season, rushing for 1539 yards and 23 touchdowns. This led the Cincinnati Bengals to trade up and draft Carter with the first overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft.

Everything looked optimistic for the Bengals until Carter tore his ACL on the third carry of his first preseason game. Carter was never the same after that and had only 1144 yards for the rest of his career.

3)  Jamal Lewis

This nominee makes the list because, not only was it hard for the team to recover, it helped with the ushering in of sports reality TV. In 2000 the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl and were considered one of the elite defenses in the history of the NFL but they had an explosive rookie in Jamal Lewis who led the team with 1,364 yards rushing.

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Because Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens were coming off of a Super Bowl championship they were made the inaugural team selected for a new TV show on HBO called “Hard Knocks.” Hard Knocks gave fans a way to watch their teams on a different level and having the defending champions made perfect sense.

However, during training camp Lewis went down with a torn ACL and sprained MCL, ending his season. Because of it’s flashy nature the injury was highlighted on the first episode and HBO and the show still exists to this day.

2) Michael Vick

For me, this is the injury that sticks in my head the most when someone says preseason injuries. Heading into the 2003 season Michael Vick was one of the most electrifying players in the history of the NFL. In his second season Vick, a quarterback, had 777 yards rushing and nearly 3,000 yards passing, leading the Falcons to a win against the Green Bay Packers in the opening round of the playoffs. The Falcons lost the next week to the Eagles, but the future looked bright.

On Aug. 12, 2013 Vick even appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 2004. While he may not have been the best player in the game, he was the most fun to watch and play with. Ask anybody about the best Madden player and most will say it’s playing with Vick and bootlegging a run for a touchdown. It was almost automatic. Then, on Aug. 16, 2003 Vick broke his leg in the second preseason game, ending his season. Any hope the Falcons had on improving on the previous season’s success were over.

1) Darryl Stingley

While injuries like Vick and Lewis are remembered for ending a season Stingley’s injury is the NFL equivalent to the “Red Asphalt” video they show you in high school about teenage driving. In a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders Stingley was running through the middle of the field when defensive back Jack Tatum collided with him, compressing Stingley’s spinal cord and making him a quadriplegic.

The hit wasn’t an illegal hit at the time and even Stingley himself described it as a “freak accident”. While the relationship between Stingley and Tatum was understandably shaky after the hit, the coach of the opposing team, John Madden, accompanied Stingley to the hospital and became good friends with him after the hit. The same was true for Raider offensive guard Gene Upshaw.

The hit remains one of the most infamous hits in the history of the NFL and a constant reminder of how vicious the game can be.

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Good luck to your favorite team these next three weeks. Hopefully it’s not as bad as these five above.