Ten who played hurt in Super Bowls

Posted Jan. 20, 2010 @ 10:06 a.m.
Posted By Bob McGinn

Fourth in a series of 10 Super Bowl top-10 lists excerpted from "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book" by Bob McGinn.

1. Dwight White, DE, Steelers, IX: Battling pneumonia, White spent most of the week before the Super Bowl in the hospital, lost 20 pounds, and never practiced. He played the entire game and then went back to the hospital, where he stayed for 10 more days.

2. Terrell Owens, WR, Eagles, XXXIX: Owens wasn't cleared to play until Sunday morning, yet he played 63 of 72 snaps just six and a half weeks after surgery on his right leg.

3. Jack Youngblood, DE, Rams, XIV: Suffered a hairline fracture of his left fibula in divisional playoffs, but started in the NFC title game and Super Bowl.

4. John Schmitt, C, Jets, III: Played with pneumonia, was on the verge of total exhaustion by the fourth quarter, and vomited in the middle of the team prayer after the game.

5. Charles Haley, DE, Cowboys, XXVII and XXX: Played Super Bowl XXVII with a ruptured lubar disc, requiring surgery later, and by XXX was reduced to a part-time role due to additional back problems.

6. Walt Garrison, RB, Cowboys, V: Suffered ankle and knee injuries in the NFC title game but went the distance two weeks later in the Super Bowl.

7. Tom Keating, DT, Raiders, II: Ruled out with an Achilles tendon injury, but played anyway. Keating limped around effectively enough to register two sacks and eight tackles.

8. Doug Williams, QB, Redskins, XXII: Hyperextended his post-operative knee late in the first quarter and had to sit out two plays. He came back and finished the game, though he was unable to attend the postgame party after the knee stiffened.

9. Kurt Warner, QB, Rams, XXXIV: Suffered separated rib cartilage in the first half. At halftime, offensive coordinator Mike Martz told backup Paul Justin to get ready to play the second half, but Warner returned and led the Rams to victory.

10. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers, XL and XLIII: Sprained a shoulder in practice on Friday and played in Super Bowl XL with a shot of painkiller. Two weeks before XLIII, he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL). After undergoing treatment, he played in the Super Bowl and made two catches.


Bob McGinn, the author of "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book," has covered the Green Bay Packers and the NFL for 30 years, including the last 19 for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has been Pro Football Weekly's correspondent in Green Bay since the early 1980s. McGinn spent 4½ years interviewing more than 150 head coaches, assistant coaches, players, general managers, scouts and owners, as well as studying tapes of every game, in preparation for writing his book. His objective was to break down why each game was won. "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book," published by MVP Books, is available at mvpbooks.com, Amazon.com and book stores across the country. It contains more than 25 top-10 lists, a comprehensive statistical summary of each game and a list of Super Bowl records.