As scary as the thought may seem, every NFL quarterback is just one hit away from a serious injury. It happened to Tom Brady during week one of the 2008 season when he was hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, tearing both his anterior cruciate ligament and his medial collateral ligament.
Brady of course went on to miss the entire year while recovering from the injury, and the Patriots season was drastically changed from that point forward.
Backup quarterback Matt Cassel stepped in for Brady and guided New England to an 11-5 record, however they missed the play-offs for the first time since 2002. Likely had Brady been at the helm the season would have turned out differently.
Cassel parlayed his success that season into a six-year 62.7 million dollar contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, after being designated as the Patriots franchise player and cashing in a $14 million dollar check.
Even though New England would have fared better with Brady, Cassel saved the day and cemented why the backup quarterback position is so critical in today’s NFL.