Butler’s Super Bowl highlights paint him as a boom-or-bust corner, but he’s been much more than that in New England. He’s improved in each of his three seasons with the team, rising up from a dime package afterthought to one of the league’s premier cover corners. Last season brought career highs in interceptions and passes defensed; Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value measurement graded him as the Patriots’ second-best defender and the league’s third-most-valuable cornerback.
That led the secondary-needy Saints to come calling in the offseason, though the two teams eventually failed to come to a trade agreement for the young corner despite months of speculation.
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Reigning All-Star MVP Anthony Davis played 75 games last season, but missed 68 games in his first four years in the NBA. Jrue Holiday suffered a stress fracture in his shin in 2014 and subsequently had a titanium rod implanted from the bottom of his knee to the top of his ankle.
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A year later, he had a stress reaction in the same leg — a precursor to a much more severe stress fracture.
I know the rod’s in there to be able to protect my bone, and it’s supposed to take pressure off my shin so that with that rod in there, my leg will never break, Holiday said, according to ESPN. But to have the reaction kind of on the side, it was weird and frustrating because I thought the hardest part was over. Being injured and having to sit out, not knowing why this is happening, and then this kind of hit. It was … yeah, it was frustrating.
Tyreke Evans also underwent three procedures on his right knee before he was dealt back to Sacramento this summer. Quincy Pondexter needed two knee surgeries in one calendar year and has not played since the 2014-15 season.
In both the 2011-12 and 2015-16 seasons, the Pelicans had the most games missed due to injury in the NBA. Their 351 games missed due to injury in 2015-16 were the most this decade.