While most of us probably saw this coming, word has come out from several sources that former All-Pro safety Bob Sanders is not expected to play again. The 30-year-old veteran was placed on injured reserve by the San Diego Chargers last week thanks to a knee injury and is likely headed for retirement.
Sanders was once one of the most feared players in the NFL and, when healthy, was also one of the league’s top play-makers. Unfortunately for the diminutive safety he just couldn’t actually stay on the field.
Sanders has finished each of the last four seasons on IR, and has played in just nine games over the past three years. The Iowa product has also never played a full 16-game season. He did manage to stay healthy for 15 games in 2007 and all he did was win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Overall in eight possible seasons, Sanders only played in 49 NFL games. That’s just a horrible ratio and it is evidence that Sanders’ body just couldn’t hold up to the rigors of the game.
The 5’8, 205-pound safety played like a heat-seeking missile and he had very little regard for his body. While admirable, that was a recipe for injury. Sanders simply could not continue to play that way and stay healthy. But the thing is, it’s not like he could train himself to play any other way.
Sanders will be remembered as a supremely talented guy who went all-out all the time. It’s sad to see his career end this way but we probably shouldn’t have expected anything else.