Rookies with Injury Concerns: Quarterback

Kyle Trimble

Quarterback, the most important position in all of sports, has several elite prospects vying to be the answer for several NFL teams looking to find their next great signal-caller. Every year, a highly drafted quarterback is selected and elevates their team back to relevancy and beyond. Or they struggle amidst the chaos as they try to avoid the bust label.

One reason a quarterback may become a bust is due to injury. Some are unlucky and see their career end prematurely while others come in with some injury baggage and can never stay healthy. Knowing a prospect’s injury history can help mitigate the selection of a player who may not be able to stay healthy.

This in turn can affect your fantasy teams. While the landing spot is crucial, knowing who to target or avoid altogether in your draft can help you avoid potential land mines. Today we look at some of the top 2024 quarterback prospects giving you the scoop on injury concerns moving forward.

Caleb Williams, USC

2021 OklahomaRight hand contusion, vs Baylor, missed zero games.

2022 USCLeft hamstring strain, vs Utah, missed 0 games.

2023Right fifth-digit injury, vs Arizona, missed 0 games.

Analysis

The likely consensus number-one pick in the NFL draft has few injury concerns as he waits to be selected by the Chicago Bears. While there are several injuries noted above, the biggest concern would be the hamstring injury from 2022. As a NFL quarterback, they are afforded many protections which means he is at a lesser risk to suffer another hamstring strain unless he is flushed out of the pocket often.

As the top-rated quarterback in the DLF QB rookie rankings and tenth overall, there should be no second-guessing if you have the opportunity to select Williams. The only concern may be if the Bears can protect their investment with a strong offensive line and playmakers.

Michael Penix, Washington

2018 Indiana Right ACL Tear, vs Penn State, missed four games.

2019Undisclosed injury, vs. Eastern Illinois, missed two games.

Lower Leg Injury, vs Maryland, missed one game.

Right SC Joint Separation requiring surgery, vs Northwestern, missed four games.

2020Right ACL Tear, vs Maryland, missed 2 games.

2021Left AC Sprain, vs Penn State, missed 7 games.

2024 WashingtonRight Ankle Sprain, vs Michigan in CFB Championship.

Analysis

Penix may be the biggest question mark injury-wise heading into the NFL draft. Two ACL tears, two shoulder injuries, and several lower body injuries comprise his injury history that we know of.

Despite all these injuries, he has still proven to be an elite talent. Just imagine what he could have been had he not suffered all these injuries. However, it’s been several years since his last ACL tear which indicates he is outside of the two-year re-injury window. His shoulder sprains are something to note along with his lower body injuries that have cost him considerable time.

Durability is the biggest concern and where he ends up may ultimately determine if these injury issues continue or if he can succeed at the next level. Penix is a high-risk, high-reward player.

As the sixth-ranked quarterback DLF QB rookie rankings and 33rd overall, he may make or break your team. If you have a solid team besides your quarterback, he’d be worth selecting behind your starter. He is not someone I would chase up the board or bank on winning your championship alone. He is a huge risk that is still worth selecting, but I’d hesitate to put a lot of resources into acquiring him.

Bo Nix, Oregon

High School

2017Left ankle fracture, missed portion of senior season.

College

2021 AuburnRight ankle fracture, vs Mississippi State, missed three games.

2022 OregonRight ankle/foot sprain, vs Washington, missed zero games.

Analysis

The biggest injuries for Nix are ankle fractures but fractures are generally not an issue long-term for any position. Even the right ankle/foot sprain is of little concern and should have no impact on his performance in the NFL.

As the fifth-ranked quarterback in the DLF rookie QB rankings and 32nd overall, Nix is a safe pick from an injury perspective. His career outlook may depend more on where he gets drafted but should he get an opportunity, he could make some noise.

Jayden Daniels, LSU

2022Ankle sprain, vs Texas A&M, missed zero games.

2023Concussion, vs Alabama, missed zero games.

Analysis

This is about as clean of an injury history as a quarterback is going to get. Injuries happen, but these are fairly run-of-the-mill issues for any player, much less a Heisman-winning quarterback.

There are zero concerns regarding Daniels from an injury perspective. As the second-ranked quarterback in the DLF rookie QB rankings and 14th overall, his success will depend on where he ends up getting drafted. If his offensive line can keep him clean in the pocket, then Daniels can be a superstar at the next level.

Follow me on X at @kyletrimble88 for injury content.

kyle trimble