How much are injured NFL quarterbacks worth? When it comes to the odds, the answer is apparently a whole bunch. Two signal callers left Sunday games with injuries, and the odds on their team’s futures changed almost instantly.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury in the second quarter of the Steelers’ loss to Seattle on Sunday. The quarterback was seen grimacing in pain after what appeared to be a routine throw.
Coach Mike Tomlin delivered the grim news on Monday.
“Ben Roethlisberger had an MRI on his right elbow Sunday evening and it was determined by the Steelers’ medical team that surgery will be required,” Tomlin said in a statement released by the team. “We expect the surgery will be scheduled for this week. He will be placed on our Reserve/Injured List, and is out for the season.”
Almost immediately, Pittsburgh’s odds — not only for its game on Sunday against San Francisco — but also for the Super Bowl and their AFC future odds, changed. The game against the 49ers opened as a pick ’em. After the Roethlisberger news, it went to seven points in San Francisco’s favor.
The Steelers will be steering the ship with backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, and oddsmakers don’t have any faith he can fill in for Roethlisberger. The Steelers were 30-1 to win the Super Bowl at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook heading into Week 2, but are down to 200/1.
With the injured NFL quarterback, Pittsburgh has also dropped in conference championship, and AFC North Division odds. The Steelers were 15/1 to win the AFC title, but now it is 100-1. They are also now third to win the AFC North. When the season began, they were the second pick at +160 to win, behind the Cleveland Browns, who were at +130. Now they have fallen all the way to +1600.
Drew Brees Injury Blows New Orleans Chances
The other injured quarterback was Drew Brees of New Orleans. The Pro Bowl QB was injured early in the first quarter when his thumb banged into the hand of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on a pass intended for Saints tight end, Jared Cook, .
Brees was unable to return to the game, and back-up Teddy Bridgewater took over. The Saints lost to the NFC Champions,
The injury was diagnosed as a sprained ligament in Brees’ thumb. He has apparently had one recommendation of surgery, but coach Sean Payton said he hadn’t decided on what to do yet.
“They’re still in the midst of evaluating it,” Payton said. “He’s had one opinion, (he’s) having a second opinion. As soon as we know something that we can confirm, then we’ll report it. But right now, that’s kind of the stage we’re in.”
If Brees elects to get surgery, he will miss around six weeks. Bridgewater would probably be the starter, but Payton was not speculating on the position.
“I’m not going to kind of go into the hypothetical,” Payton said. “We’ll have a plan either way.”
Sportsbooks have reflected the odds that Brees isn’t coming back anytime soon. The Saints were a pick ’em against Seattle this Sunday, but the odds have dropped to 4.5 in the Seahawks’ favor.
The Saints’ Super Bowl odds dropped from 9/1 to 20/1. Winning the NFC Championship dropped from 4/1 to 10/1. Fortunately, New Orleans plays in the weak NFC South, and only saw their odds to win the division go from -175 to -125.
Sam Darnold Illness Affecting New York Jets
Even an illness like Sam Darnold’s mononucleosis can change the line. The Jets were 2-point favorites over Cleveland in Monday’s contest. When Darnold was diagnosed, and it was reported that he would miss at least four games, the line swung to 6.5 in the Browns’ favor.
New York lost on Monday to the Browns, 23-3.