The Most Catastrophic Injuries In Sports History

Any day of a person’s life can potentially end in disaster; countless events could lead to a life-changing injury. This rings even more true in the world of sports. Many types of catastrophic injuries can occur, with examples of some gruesome ones from the past. That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of some of the most catastrophic injuries in sports history that we still remember to this day.

Clint Malarchuk’s Throat

We’ll start with the one that everyone has heard about at some time or another. The Buffalo Sabre’s goalie, Clint Malarchuk, had his neck cut open by the blade of another player’s skate. About a third of his blood spilled out onto the ice. He somehow lived through this ordeal, received 300 stitches, and resumed his career on the ice 11 days later. 

Jeremy Lane’s Arm and ACL

After making an interception in the endzone during Super Bowl XLIX, Julian Edelman brutally tackled the Seahawks Cornerback, Jeremy Lane. This resulted in a compound fracture in his arm and a torn ACL, which removed him from the game very early on. This loss could be one of the reasons why the Seahawks lost that game—but at least he fully recovered and played the whole next season with the team.

Bryan Berard’s Eye

In this devastating injury, Bryan Berard of the Toronto Maple Leafs stood on the receiving end of a follow-through performed by Marian Hossa. The stick hit him directly in the eye, cutting the sclera and resulting in a retinal tear and detachment. Nobody thought he’d be able to play the sport again; but, after seven eye surgeries and a couple of years of recovering, Berard returned to the world of hockey and joined the New York Rangers so that he could be closer to home.

Steve Moore’s Head and Neck

Yet another hockey one for our list of the most catastrophic injuries in sports history, but that’s not exactly shocking. However, this one ended Steve Moore’s career, caused by an utterly uncalled-for event. Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks grabbed Moore by the shirt from behind and punched him in the back of the head. Moore fell face-first into the ice while Bertuzzi jumped on top of him. This resulted in the fracture of three of his neck vertebrae and a grade-three concussion. Nothing can remove the permanent brain damage that Bertuzzi caused, even the lawsuit involved.

Joe Theismann’s Leg

We’ll end our list with another “classic.” Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg crushed by the New York Giants linebacker, Lawrence Taylor. Taylor shattered Theismann’s fibula, and his tibia broke in half, resulting in a compound fracture. One half of his tibia bone protruded through the skin upon breaking. Even though this devastating injury ended his career, it resulted in many changes in the NFL, keeping something like this from happening again.