Nate Burleson joins all-time embarrassing injury list

September 26, 2013 – 12:53 am by Hickey


The most memorable injuries in sports history are the ones that occurred off the field.

Lions receiver Nate Burleson joined that elite category this week when he broke his arm in a car crash that happened as he reached over to grab a pizza that was falling out of the passenger seat. No word on whether he made the catch, but certainly football is more his life calling than pizza delivery.

Detroit’s top target not named Calvin Johnson will be out until November. But where does his injury rank among the all-time greats sustained in an off-field incident?

You be the judge.

Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress
The Giants wideout shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub. But it wasn’t the injury that kept him off the field — it was the insult. Burress had to go to jail for illegally carrying the firearm. This story is hard to top, though technically the injury itself did not cost him any playing time.


Glenallen Hill

Glenallen Hill
Glenallen Hill is a BAD mofo, as his home run onto the top of a Wrigley Field rooftop once proved. But even the toughest guys have fears. His is spiders, and they once put him on the DL. Sadly, they weren’t even real ones. While he was playing for the Blue Jays, Hill jumped out of bed while having a nightmare about spiders. In his attempt to get away from said spiders, he fell through a glass table.


Joel Zumaya

Joel Zumaya
The Tigers relief pitcher missed three games in the 2006 ALCS due to a wrist injury suffered because he was playing too much Guitar Hero.


Chris Hanson

Chris Hanson
As a symbolic gesture, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio kept an axe and tree stump in Jacksonville’s locker room to encourage his team to “keep chopping the wood.”

Perhaps something simpler would have sufficed. Punter Hanson decided one day to literally chop the wood, and ended up getting a piece of his leg instead. He missed six weeks.


Clint Barmes

Clint Barmes
Todd Helton is being feted this week for his role as the greatest Rockie in history, but he once accidentally contributed to wrecking the career of another. Barmes was a promising Rockies rookie in 2005 until he fell down the stairs carrying a package of deer meat given to him by Helton as a gift. He broke his collar bone and missed the rest of the year.

Though he is still in the bigs, Barmes has only eclipsed his rookie batting average of .289 one time.


Adam Eaton

Adam Eaton
The Padres pitcher stabbed himself with a knife while opening a DVD in 2001, forcing him to miss a start. The sad thing is no one seems to have bothered finding out what movie it was.


Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa
In his final season with the Cubs — one which saw the team with a far more loaded lineup than the ’03 edition that finished five outs from a World Series berth — Sosa missed a month when he threw out his back sneezing.


Kyle Farnsworth

Kyle Farnsworth
Sosa’s sneeze wasn’t even the oddest ailment to strike a Cub in 2004. That award goes to Kyle Farnsworth, who went on the DL after kicking a fan. Not a human fan. An electric fan in the runway between the Cubs dugout and the clubhouse.


Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez
K-Rod ended up on the DL after tearing a thumb ligament on his throwing hand after punching his father-in-law. Everyone knows you should punch your father-in-law with your non-throwing hand. Geez.


Marty Cordova

Marty Cordova
The Orioles outfielder had to miss a game after falling asleep in a tanning bed the previous day.


Jeff Kent

Jeff Kent
The Giants second baseman claimed to break his wrist while washing his truck. As it turns out, it actually happened when he was popping wheelies on his motorcycle, which was prohibited in his contract.


Amar'e Stoudemire fire extinguisher

Amar’e Stoudamire
The Knicks forward punched a glass fire extinguisher case following a playoff loss to the Heat. The extinguisher won.

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  1. 17 Responses to “Nate Burleson joins all-time embarrassing injury list”

  2. What about Brandon Marshall?? Slipping on a hamburger wrapper and putting his hand through his TV….

    By Nick G on Sep 26, 2013

  3. As a Rangers fan this one hurts, but Brian Leetch slipping on the ice and breaking his ankle while getting out of a cab is pretty embarrassing.

    By Kris on Sep 26, 2013

  4. Showing my age on this one.. Back in early-mid 80’s, Terry Harper, OF for the Braves, dislocated his shoulder while waiving in a runner heading to the plate.

    By Heelboy on Sep 27, 2013

  5. Bill “Spaceman” Lee was hit by a Taxi while jogging to the ball park when he played for the Montreal Expos.

    By BJ Cook on Sep 27, 2013

  6. Bill Gramatica blew up his leg celebrating a 43 yard field goal

    By Troy on Sep 27, 2013

  7. No list of embarrassing injuries is complete without Dustin Penner of the LA Kings who threw his back out eating pancakes.

    By Leela on Sep 27, 2013

  8. What about the dumb Redskins guy who hurt his neck when he ran into the wall celebrating

    By K on Sep 27, 2013

  9. how about Mark Ripien of the Redskins celebrating a TD by head butting the endzone wall and giving himself a stinger.

    By Marty on Sep 27, 2013

  10. Kendrys Morales injured himself while celebrating hitting a walk off grand slam.

    By Brian on Sep 27, 2013

  11. I don’t remember his name, but there was the football player who cut his hand on the wire of an underwire bra.

    By Sandy on Sep 27, 2013

  12. That wasn’t Rypien, you tool, it was Gus Frerotte.

    By LAFitz on Sep 27, 2013

  13. Some of you have definitely come up with some good ones that slipped under the radar. A hockey player slipping on ice may take the cake. But remember this list is OFF the field injuries… or else Gus Frerotte would be a no-brainer.

    By Hickey on Sep 28, 2013

  14. Padres third baseman Chris Brown missed a game because he “slept on his eye wrong”.

    By Jack on Sep 28, 2013

  15. Drew Pearson of the Dallas Cowboys. Sprained his ankle during a over zealous spike after a touchdown.

    By Ben Gardner on Sep 28, 2013

  16. Ted Brown of the Minnesota Vikings was playing with his gun and he shot himself. The bullet ricocheted around the room and hit him in the ass.

    By Chris on Sep 28, 2013

  17. I cant remember who it was but there was a hockey player who burned himself while in a tanning bed..therefore missing a few games in the dead of winter with a sunburn

    By warren on Sep 29, 2013

  18. What about Wade Boggs throwing out his back taking cowboy boots off?

    By glen on Sep 29, 2013

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