Plaxico Burress had to be carted off the field on Thursday and according to multiple reports, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL.com’s Albert Breer, he suffered a torn rotator cuff.
It’s an injury that could end his season, and perhaps even his career.
Burress joined the Steelers late last season and ended up catching three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
He probably wasn’t going to be anything more than the fourth or fifth receiver and he may not have even been a lock to make the final 53-man roster. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and third-round draft pick Markus Wheaton are definitely on the roster, and you have to assume Jerricho Cotchery is on there as well. That would have left Burress and sixth-round draft pick Justin Brown fighting for the remaining spot (I’m assuming the Steelers will keep five receivers).
Given that Burress is 35 and has been a shell of his former self for the past two years it’s quite possible his NFL career is over.
And what a strange, bizarre career it’s been.
The No. 8 overall pick by the Steelers in 2000, he’s been through just about every high and low a player can experience in the NFL.
– His rookie season, which turned out to be a bitter disappointment, came to a premature end due to injury, but not before he made one of the NFL’s greatest all-time bloopers when he spiked a live ball during a game in Jacksonville. Shockingly, video of this does not exist ANYWHERE on the Internet, a fact that absolutely baffles me. The Internet has everything that every person on the planet could possibly ask for except for that video. Cat videos. Pornography. Recipes. Pornography. Dating. How-to-manuals. More pornography. But not Plaxico Burress spiking a live ball. That, apparently, is too ridiculous for the Internet.
– He has 553 receptions, 8,499 receiving yards, and 64 touchdowns, which are pretty impressive numbers for a career. That includes four different 1,000 yard seasons.
– He caught the game-winning touchdown in one of the best Super Bowls of all time as a member of the New York Giants.
– He missed two full seasons because he was in jail for violating New York’s gun laws, an experience that resulted in him shooting himself in the leg.
Just as a reminder as to what he was like during his prime years with the Steelers, here are the highlights of his record-setting day back in 2002 against the Atlanta Falcons when he caught eight passes for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
That first touchdown was an incredible grab off of a deflection, and pay special attention to the 1:40 mark when he again appeared to spike a live ball only to get away with it because the officials stopped the play because he “gave himself up.”
Also pay special attention to the fact it was Tommy Maddox throwing to him … and actually looking pretty decent.