The rash of injuries to high-profile players overshadowed last weekend's NFL action.
To see Reggie Wayne tearfully coming to grips with a torn knee ligament that ended his season was sad for more than just Colts fans. Wayne is among the most respected players in the sport.
Knowing that Brian Cushing, the heart of the Houston defense, was gone for the second straight year with a knee injury was hard to fathom. Nobody plays harder or with more vigor.
And Sam Bradford, finally beginning to look as though he could become a franchise quarterback, having his season end with a torn ACL was gut-wrenching.
"It's the luck of the draw if you get hurt badly," says Bill Polian, who built the Bills and Colts into Super Bowl teams. "All during our time with the Colts and Bills we did extensive studies.
"You study injuries over a long period of time, you find the process is always the same: Injuries ramp up until Week 9 or Week 10 and tend to level off. Why? I don't know. It's the history of it."
It's also something teams must prepare for, and not only on the field. Yes, it's crucial to build depth, although that's becoming near impossible at some positions, notably quarterback, where the drop-off from starter to backup is often immeasurable.
It's also important to build in safeguards under the salary cap to account for injuries. Of course, when there is an epidemic at a specific position, even that extra spending room doesn't help much.
"You find it very difficult and rare, maybe once every four or five years, that you get a complete 53-man team," says Polian, who would set aside from $3 million to $5 million under the cap while with the Colts to account for injuries. "It's almost impossible to do on an ongoing basis.
"Eventually, the salary cap forces you to discard players. When you are in a position when you do not have that kind of (deep) roster, if you have catastrophic injuries to key players, you won't recover."
So which injuries thus far this season have had or will have the most impact?
Bradford would be at the top because he seemed to be making strides. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 draft will be replaced by journeyman Kellen Clemens.
Jay Cutler would be next most meaningful, and his absence comes when the Bears have Green Bay, Detroit and Baltimore ahead after their bye.
A rookie also would make the list, Buffalo's EJ Manuel. The Bills appear to be building something solid in upstate New York, but judging how good they can be is impossible until Manuel recovers from his knee injury.
Throw in Robert Griffin III's slow recovery from his offseason knee surgery, which held back the Redskins in a weak division.
MOST DAMAGING: Cutler, because the Bears aren't contenders without him, as enigmatic as he might be.