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Richard Sherman blames fantasy football for fans’ inability to sympathize over player injuries

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He’s not wrong.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night, the Seattle Seahawks completely dismantled the Indianapolis Colts 46-18, something everyone expected. While the Seahawks were able to walk away with the comfortable victory, they did suffer a major injury in their backfield.

Starting rookie running back Chris Carson went down with a pretty bad leg injury, getting tangled up and twisted in a pile. You can see in the video below, a Colts’ defender falls full weight on Carson’s ankle and then he’s twisted back over his leg. It doesn’t look good.

Initial diagnoses don’t look great as head coach Pete Carroll called it a “significant” ankle injury and the injury itself could require surgery. This is a huge blow for the Seahawks as Carson was just starting to get his footing as the team’s lead back. It’s also a huge blow for fantasy football and fantasy owners as Carson was a waiver wire darling who was expected to take off once he finally got the keys to the Seahawks backfield.

Richard Sherman certainly knows that people are worried about their fantasy teams:

“It’s devastating. This is really devastating. I think a lot of people, a lot of fans out there have looked at players less like people because of fantasy football and things like that. You go and say ‘oh, man this guy got hurt.’ But you aren’t thinking ‘hey man, this guy got hurt, he’s really physically hurt and he is going to take some time to recover and it’s probably going to affect his mental state and now he has a long rigorous rehab.’

You are thinking ‘oh man, he’s messing up my fantasy team.’ They don’t care about how it affects your fantasy team because they are really players — this is real life. This is real life and this is their real job. that is affecting their well-being. Now your fantasy team may not win and hey, guess what? You’ll live the next day. This is their well-being. They may not ever get another shot. They may never get another down, another play.

I think that is why it is so devastating for players.”

Sherman’s not wrong.

With the advent of fantasy football, it’s really easy to forget that these names we put in a lineup are actual people and that football is their job. Injuries could completely change their lives and cause them to lose that job.

He also mentions the mental aspect of an injury which is something I think a lot of people underestimate. It’s not just about the physical rehab that players have to go through, it’s also working around the injury mentally. I’ve torn my MCL before and it’s still taking time for me to fully trust the strength of my knee and to put my faith in it to do exactly what it needs to do and to hold up when I’m playing sports. I’m not at all saying that I’ve experienced the level of injuries or physical toll that NFL players have, just that there is a real mental part of any injury that is really tough to work through.

It’s just something to think about this week as you’re looking over your fantasy roster. Instead of freaking out over your team and how you’ll ever be able to replace Carson or Dalvin Cook or Julio Jones or any number of players who’re banged up this year, take a moment to remember that these are people and that they’re livelihood just got turned on it’s head.