The world of sports is filled with top-notch athletes from around the globe. Some may be hailed as the “goat”, and some may be benchwarmers. But one thing is for sure; if you make it to a professional league, you are a pretty good athlete.
But even good players get injured, often in ways you would not expect. On and off the field, some athletes find themselves suffering injuries that can harm their careers and their reputations!
In this article, we will share some of the weirdest sports injuries that top athletes have experienced during their professional careers. Some are ridiculous and could have been avoided while others are just plain hilarious. Keep on reading!
In may 2004, Sammy Sosa had to head to the disabled list after he injured himself sneezing! The sneezes were so violent and powerful that he injured his lower back, spraining ligaments. He had to miss baseball for a few weeks to recover.
NBA superstar, Blake Griffin broke his hand after punching team employee and friend Matias Testi. An altercation between Griffin and the (then) assistant equipment manager occurred outside a Toronto restaurant and resulted in the punch that broke several bones in Griffin’s hand and caused lacerations to Testi’s face. In addition to taking time to heal from his injuries, Griffin received a 4-game suspension.
Anyone who has been to Detroit knows how good their pizza is. Anyone familiar with the Detroit Lions football team knows they have some pretty bad luck.
In 2013, Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson was driving home when tried to adjust one of two boxes of pizza so they would not fall off the seat of his car. He crashed his car in the process and suffered a broken forearm. The arm was broken in two places and required surgery to fix.
Geno Smith needed to undergo a surgery after he was “sucker-punched” by fellow New York Jets teammate IK Enemkpali. The fight allegedly involved a few hundred dollars Smith owed Enemkpali after failing to make an appearance at his football camp.
Rather than discuss the matter like grown-ups, things got heated and Enemkpali blind-sided smith with a sucker punch that broke the quarterback’s jaw. Geno was out for 6-10 weeks to recover from his injury and the surgery he needed to fix it.
Dog is man’s best friend, or is it? Darren Barnard the English footballer might not be sure. Barnard had to miss 5 months of the 1999 season after he slipped on a puddle of puppy pee. He suffered a torn knee ligament because of this “accident” in his kitchen.
Dubbed as the “Wile E. Coyote” of Major League Baseball, Kevin Mitchell has had some of the weirdest injuries throughout his career which disrupted his playing time.
For example, he once strained his rib muscles from vomiting. He also required dental work after chipping his teeth on a microwave doughnut during spring training. In another incident during a game he asked for eyewash and someone had put rubbing alcohol in the bottle causing him to burn his eyes.
Mitchell also once got hit in the head with a pitch while up at bat. The pitch itself didn’t injure him though. It knocked the helmet right off his head and he fell to the ground. Unfortunately, he fell directly onto his helmet and suffered a neck injury.
Trevor Bauer was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians when he hurt his throwing hand trying to fix one of his many drones. Bauer needed several stitches on his right pinky to repair the damage and had to miss two games while he healed.
Ryan Lochte, famed Olympic swimmer suffered a pretty bad injury but it was not in the pool.
After a literal run-in with an excited teenage fan the athlete suffered and sprained ACL and a torn MCL on his left knee. The super-fan allegedly spotted Lochte, and ran towards him causing the two to crash into each other and topple over. Lochte hit his knee on the curb forcing him to take a break from training and competing while he recovered.
No one likes taking out the garbage but for Bob Stanley it was downright dangerous. Stanley played for the Red Sox for his entire career but missed two months after he suffered injuries to his pitching hand.
How? Stanley fell down his basement stairs while taking out the garbage which resulted in damage to several tendons in his hand.
Steve Sparks was a minor league knuckleball pitcher at spring training camp trying to get plucked to the big-league Milwaukee Brewers team when he tried to impress them with his physical prowess.
During a motivational program he tried to show off by tearing apart a phone book. Instead of shredding the book as planned, he dislocated his shoulder! Needless to say, Sparks did not get a spot on the roster that year. He did, however, make it the following season.
Red Sox pitcher Dustin Hermanson should have stuck to baseball where he was safer! Hermanson slipped on his wet kitchen floor while doing the dishes. He banged his elbow on one of his cabinets and cut himself. Unfortunately, that small cut led to a pretty serious staph infection that sidelined Hermanson for several weeks.
Hunter Pence was an outfielder for the Astros when he suffered a freak accident in his home. Pence smashed right through a sliding glass door that led to his apartment patio. It is not entirely clear how that happened but he suffered lacerations that required stiches at the emergency room. Pence was out about a week and was relieved his injuries were not more severe.
Glenn Healy, an NHL commentator, suffered one of the leagues weirdest injuries. The former goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs liked to play the bagpipes. While he was trying to cut off one of the bags, he slipped and jammed the knife directly into his left thumb. The injury required 10 stiches. Luckily, the bagpipe injury occurred in the off season and did not impact his (hockey) playing time.
“Keep chopping wood.” Yep, that was what punter Chris Hanson did when he accidentally gashed his right foot with an axe.
Allegedly, during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Jack Del Rio placed a stump of tree and an axe in their locker room to add motivation and imagery to his theme. The players all began taking swings at the stump and Hanson’s turn came. Hanson ended up with serious injuries to his (non-kicking) foot that left him sidelined for the rest of that football season.
Joel “Zoom Zoom” Zumaya, the former pitcher for the Detroit Tigers suffered several injuries during his career including having a box fall on him while helping his father move his belongings during the California wildfires. That injury sidelined him for several months.
His most controversial injury, however, he claims, was the result of playing too much Guitar Hero. Zumaya said it was an addiction to the video game that caused a wrist injury that plagued him during some critical playoff games.
MLB player Milton Bradley always had a problem with his anger management, which is why he blew up against umpire Mike Winters during a game. His manager tried to prevent him from getting into it but not before Bradley tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Bradley missed the rest of the season.
Be careful of pancakes? Dustin Penner, forward for the LA Kings suffered serious back spasms during a pancake breakfast at his home. Penner said he leaned over to dip some pancakes in syrup when his back seized up and he could not stand. He missed at least one game because of the injury.
Clint Barmes, former Colorado Rockies shortstop, was carrying a hefty package of deer meat he received from a teammate when he fell and suffered a broken collarbone. Barmes required surgery to repair the break which included the insertion of a titanium plate and screws.
At the time of the injury, several people speculated that it was actually from an ATV accident, which Barmes and others vehemently denied. Barmes himself, initially blamed the fall on a bag of groceries not a package of deer meat. The reason? He did not want the player who gave him the deer meat to get the blame.
In 1940 the NFL had one of the weirdest sports injuries ever. It happened during a coin toss and resulted in a career ending injury.
After nine successful seasons playing professional football, Turk Edwards went out to the middle of the field for the coin toss in a game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants. After the toss, he pivoted to return to his teammates on the sidelines and his cleat got stuck in the turf. This move tore his already damaged knee ligaments so badly that it ended his career as a professional football player. He went on to coach for several years before retiring in 1948.
Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, Orlando Brown was temporarily blinded during a game-but not by a player. Brown was hit by a penalty flag tossed by a referee.
Those flags are weighted with BBs and this particular one bypassed Brown’s face guard landing directly in his eye. Brown was furious and tackled the ref landing him a suspension for assault. Once the league realized that Brown was blinded by the flag, they lifted the suspension. Brown sued the NFL for the incident and received a settlement estimated at somewhere between $15 and $20 million.