Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Should Chris Clemons Sue The Washington Redskins?

Although the national media focused on the injury to RGIII following the Seahawks victory over the Redskins on Sunday it was not the only significant injury sustained during the game.  Seahawks defensive lineman Chris Clemons suffered a torn ACL and meniscus which will cause him to miss the remainder of the playoffs.  Clemons led the team with 11 1/2 sacks and anchors the defensive line so the loss is far from trivial.  Rookie Bruce Irvin will try to fill his shoes, but the Seahawks are now very thin at the position.  How could this injury been avoided?

By all accounts the turf at Fed Ex Field was in horrible condition.  It's the same field Adrian Peterson shredded his knee on last year so there's a bad history associated with the playing surface.  Redskins owner Dan Snyder is responsible for the maintenance and the up keep of the facility so there's no excuse or explanation as to why the field wasn't up to NFL standards.  It seems odd that a billionaire would decide to cut corners and act in a miserly fashion when it comes to player safety.

If I was Chris Clemons I would sue the Washington Redskins organization.  The average career for an NFL player is 3 1/2 years and the contracts aren't guaranteed.  If a player suffers a serious injury the economic ramifications can be dramatic.  What if Chris Clemons doesn't recover from knee ligament damage?  What if he gets an infection during surgery?  What if the Seahawks decide he is no longer the player he was and cuts him?  Shouldn't someone take responsibility?

There's no way to determine the full impact of this injury.  It may cost the Seahawks a Super Bowl.  It may cost Chris Clemons longevity in his career.  It may cost Chris Clemons in excess of $15,000,000.  Whatever the case may be someone should be held accountable for this travesty.  It is up to the owners to provide a satisfactory work environment for the players and that starts with the surface they play on.  Dan Snyder should replace the grass at Fed Ex Field before someone else gets hurt.  If Chris Clemons can't return to form Snyder should compensate him for the damage his negligence has caused.  It's not like he can't afford it right?

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