With Richard Sherman and Deion Branch joining the long, long list of NFL players with season-ending injuries on Thursday night, one is tempted to wonder what an All-IR Team might look like. Could a team made up entirely of the players whose seasons ended early be able to beat any of the remaining teams as they stand in early November 2017?
Obviously, there’s a bit more to that question than that. After all, a huge part of what makes a team thrive is chemistry – that’s the difference between a team and a bunch of individual talent – and by definition we can’t capture that to any degree when arbitrarily mushing together players from across the league based on being victim to what is essentially random chance.
That doesn’t make the exercise any less fun, though, so in the spirit of entertainment and of sadness for NFL fans everywhere who just want to see great players duking it out against each other – which, deep down, is most of us – here is the 2017 All-IR Team, consisting entirely of players who are on injured reserve as of 9 November and expected not to be designated from return (two players can receive such a designation, and unlike in previous seasons they need not be named in advance).