Florham Park, N.J.– It has been almost three years, so considering the incredibly short attention span us Americans (especially sports fans) have I guess that’s long enough to understand how people can forget so much about a player in such a relatively short amount of time. But three years or two days, prison or no prison, it doesn’t matter Plaxico Burress has a long and storied history of not practicing due to injuries. He also has a history of playing through said injuries and showing up on game day.
So when you hear news about Burress tweaking this, or hurting that, it’s best to go with the classic Allen Iverson approach, “Man, we in here talking about practice. I mean listen we’re talking about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game… We’re talking about practice.”
Obviously circumstances have become a bit different for Burress since the last time he faced this particular problem, but that doesn’t mean anyone should expect things to be any different. After all he went to prison, not a magical healing center.
This isn’t to say that concerns about whether or not Burress can hold up for an entire 16 game season aren’t justified, it’s completely understandable why one would worry about that. All I’m saying is get used to hearing about one body part of his or another reportedly being hurt, maybe forcing him to miss practice.
Will he miss some games? Maybe. Maybe not.
But he will have ‘injuries’ throughout the season and he will miss practice. This much I guarantee you. So why not hit snooze on the panic button in regards to any Burress injury news and say wake me when he misses a game that counts?
It’ll certainly make your day less stressful.
Take today for example, during Rex Ryan’s daily press conference he mentioned that Burress had a lower back injury and Jets fans (I know not all, but enough) everywhere started to worry. Even after Ryan said it’s not serious and he expects Burress to play on Saturday.
Then in came Sanchez who was asked if he was concerned about the injury and just smiled and said, “No. He’s fine.” Next it was Burress’ turn. “You’ve got expect these things. It’s not like walking into a 7-Eleven and buying a Slurpee, so it’s a bit more physical than that.” Burress said, “I think I’ll be fine.”
And after all that, you know what? Burress was back practicing with his teammates just a few hours later. As I said, get used to hearing Burress injury news, but also make sure to realize this is simply the standard operating procedure for Plaxico Burress.
Again the reason for concern over Burress missing practice is clear, he’s on a new team, in a new system, with a new quarterback. But to bring it back to Iverson, the thing that made that speech so epic was the way Iverson constantly put it all on the line for his team and carried them. For Iverson to miss a practice was essentially meaningless, watch what he did in the games before and after that press conference. That’s what made it so funny to him and it’s what makes it so funny to me to hear people constantly worrying about Burress missing practice.
Have people completely forgotten about all the practices Burress missed with the Giants because of injuries? Do they not remember him sitting out practice week after week and showing up on Sunday’s only to take the games over?
Burress has never needed practice as much as most players, the fact that he’s 6’5″ 230 pounds and knows how to use his body as a shield as good as anyone probably has something to do with that. Burress knows how to run which routes, he instinctively knows how to jump, extend his body and catch a football. Practice or no practice that much he can do and we’ve seen it play out that way all training camp.
He missed the first few practices because of a ‘sprained’ ankle, but the second his feet touched the field between those white lines and his new quarterback started to air it out to him, he started making plays that got everyone’s attention. Same thing with the game last Sunday, just a few weeks after his first practice with this team and he wasted no time showing just how dangerous he still is.
If you’re concern is simply that he won’t hold up, then there is literally nothing that will change your mind about that except seeing him play the entire season. But if you’re going to get caught up in every report of a possibly injury to Burress then you might as well just check yourself into the looney bin now, because that’s a great way to drive yourself crazy.
As they say not much in life is guaranteed. Life, death and Plaxico Burress missing practice. But as history has often told us game day is what counts with Burress and more often than not you’re going to want him on your team come game day.
So I won’t get too concerned about Burress missing practices, just make sure to wake me when he isn’t out there on game day.
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