QB Injury Shows Need for Depth

Monday's injury to Ben Roethlisberger in a motorcycle accident brought home the need for depth at quarterback for several NFL teams -- as well as the potential to require that players have contingencies written into their contracts.

There has already been discussion among Vikings fans as to what would happen if Brad Johnson went down to injury. With Mike McMahon left as the top reserve quarterback now that Daunte Culpepper is gone, the belief is that the Vikings hopes for 2006 hinge on Johnson staying healthy.

It was that discussion that brought Monday's motorcycle accident involving Ben Roethlisberger into perspective. Roethlisberger was in a horrible accident early Monday in which he broke his jaw and nose and lost many of his teeth when he collided with a car and his face took the brunt of the damage on the windshield of the car.

There have been players that have been forced to sign contracts that don't permit them to do what would be termed dangerous activities like skydiving or riding motorcycles. Kellen Winslow Jr. of the Browns had such language written into his contract, yet still was riding a motorcycle when he crashed and missed all of the 2005 season due to injury.

The Vikings are no strangers to such controversy. When Randy Moss signed his contract extension, a clause was included that prohibited him from playing any organized basketball after suffering an injury in a minor league game that hampered him much of his rookie season.

In the case of the Steelers, it is expected that Roethlisberger will recover in time to play football this season -- his injuries were limited to his face and knees. But it brings back a point that Vikings fans have been wondering about Johnson -- what happens if he can't go? Monday's accident served as a wakeup call to a lot of teams looking to sign their rookies and offer new contracts to veterans. Look for more of them to include language that would prohibit players from doing things like riding motorcycles that could be hazardous to the health of player.


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