Players skipping bowl games has become a controversial topic in recent years, but it has become more and more of a trend. After the devastating injury to Michigan star tight end Jake Butt a few years ago, it is a legitimate concern for players with NFL aspirations.
In a few weeks, West Virginia will be playing in the Camping World Bowl against Syracuse without star quarterback Will Grier. He may not be a future first rounder, but he will be one of the more interesting quarterback prospects in the draft.
While most probably understand where players like Grier are coming from, the decision still drew ire from some.
FOX Sports Doug Gottlieb was among those critical, saying that quarterbacks are at much less injury risk than some other players in these games.
Will Grier sitting out a Bowl Game is comical. Guy can really play, but has there ever even been a QB injured in a bowl game? Stop it already
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) December 12, 2018
If anything, today’s early bowl games have validated the decision that Will Grier and others have made, with injuries to star quarterbacks Mason Fine and Manny Wilkins.
Fine, a prolific thrower for North Texas, was knocked out of the game against Utah State in the late first quarter. The Mean Green wound up getting drubbed 52-13, with four different UNT players throwing passes.
Moments ago, Arizona State’s Manny Wilkins suffered a scary-looking injury as well.
After a throw to the end zone, he was down on the field for a while. He was able to walk off on his own, but it didn’t look good.
— #NobodyDied (@ftbeard_17) December 15, 2018
It is unclear how serious these injuries are, but it is obvious that quarterbacks are at plenty of risk in any game.
Obviously that doesn’t mean no quarterback has anything to gain in a regular bowl game, or that more should sit out. They should be allowed to make the decision that is right for them, without ridicule.