Over the weekend it was reported that Redskins Safety Su’a Cravens was mulling retirement, which came as a shock as the recently turned 22-year-old was expected to have a big role alongside newly acquired Safety DJ Swearinger for the upcoming campaign. Cravens has dealt with his fair share of injuries in his lone NFL season, but when he was on the field, he usually produced. He’s had concussions, hip problems, and an arm injury that kept him out for a few games towards the end of the 2016 season. That’s a lot of injuries for someone to have to deal with in one season. Along with the knee and groin injuries that he suffered while he was at USC, he’s had a history of injuries, but he was still able to produce at a very high level. Just imagine the damage that man could do if he was at as close to 100% as possible? And to start of year 2 with another injury that will cause him to have to rehab from yet another surgery, the human body can only take so much wear and tear before things start to go south. Stuff like that can start to take a toll on a person. All the time their trying to avoid injury, even though you can’t play like that and expect to be at the highest level. It’s two things that have to be right for you to play at the highest level, which is to have your body and conditioning right, plus have the right mindset going into the game.
USC announced Saturday that Cravens had suffered a sprain but that he would undergo further tests upon the team’s return to Los Angeles. Asked after the game if he was initially fearful that the injury was serious, Cravens said, “Yeah. I don’t like getting hurt.” -Gary Klein via Los Angeles Times
There have also been reports that he might be dealing with some personal issues not related to football. If those reports are true, then that’s a totally different topic, which should not be taken lightly by anybody involved. Off the field issues should be taken the same way as any injury that these athletes endure. Mental health is probably the most important aspect to the human life, and he should be given as much time needed if they Washington Redskins truly care about him and his well-being. The fact that some not only Redskins “fans” or just NFL “fans” in general are criticizing this man for having retirement considerations are just a pure disgusting. At the end of the day, it’s Su’a Cravens’ life, not ours. When his career is set and done, he’ll be the one having to deal with all the ache and pain that these injuries have cost him. When Seattle Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas III broke his leg last season in a SNF game versus the Panthers, he said that same night that he was considering retirement, but yet and still nobody to my knowledge was calling him “soft” or any other names that was being thrown Su’a’s way. People really need to give themselves a reality check and come down to earth that he is still a human being, and that he has a life outside of football. Teammate Chris Thompson said it best in his interview on ESPN 980, “If he needs some space, give it to him. Football is family, and he’s a brother”.
As a Redskins fan myself, I just want to see him at his best, on or off the field. If him at his best is him not being an NFL player anymore, I’ll respect his decision more than ever. Yes, seeing that headline was hard to see, because he’s one of my favorite players on the team, but I want nothing but the best for not only him, but every athlete in the world. Whatever he decides to do, I’ll respect the hell out of that man for the things he’s done for this organization. As for everyone else kicking this man while he could be down, you should truly be ashamed of yourself for this dispicable act of selfishness.