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Updated by Scott Liljegren on Feb 11, 2014
Headline for Professional Athletes Whose Careers Were Ended By One Injury
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Professional Athletes Whose Careers Were Ended By One Injury

Here is a list of athletes who's careers were ended by one devastating injury.

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Steve Moore
  1. Steve Moore After a solid career with the Harvard Crimson, center Steve Moore was drafted 53rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL draft.  In parts of three seasons, Moore began to carve out a role with the team.  In the ’03-’04 season, he became a mainstay of the lineup, appearing in 57 of the teams first 58 games.  Game 58 against the Vancouver Cunucks would be his last.  On February 16th, in retaliation to a hit that Moore laid on Canuck Star Marcus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi sucker puched Moore from behind, drove his head into the ice, and fell on top of him.   Moore was rendered unconscious immediately and suffered a fractured vertebrae, facial lacerations, and a severe concussion.  Moore wore a neck brace for over a year after the incident and still, more than 9 years later, feels the effects of the concussion.  Despite training for a comeback, he never played another game in the NHL.  
Juan Encarnación
  1. Juan Encarnacion Juan Encarnacion made his MLB debut in 1997 as a 21-year-old for the Detroit Tigers.  Encarnacion had good power, speed, and could play all three outfield positions.  Through his first 11 seasons, he played for the Tigers, Marlins, Dodgers, Reds, and Cardinals; and was a world series champion twice.  On August 31st, 2007, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Encarnacion was warming up in the on-deck circle during a game.  Teammate Aaron Miles fouled off a pitch that struck Encarnacion in the face, leaving him with multiple fractures to the eye socket and a damaged optic nerve in his left eye.  Team doctor George Palatta described it as the worst injury to a baseball player’s face that he had ever seen.  Encarnacion filed for free agency in 2008 and has not played in the MLB since.
Joe Theismann - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  1. Joe Theismann You can’t have a career ending injury list without including Joe Theismann.  Theismann led the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl championship in 1982 and set several franchise passing records.  However, his career was cut short with perhaps the most (in)famous, gruesome, and most viewed on-field injury in the history modern sport.  In a 1985 game against the New York Giants, Theismann was sacked by linebacker Lawrence Taylor.  On the way to the ground, Taylor’s knee drove straight into Theismann’s lower right leg, fracturing both the tibia and fibula.  Instant replay from the television broadcast showed Theismann’s foot and lower shin lying on the ground with his upper shin and knee at a 45 degree-angle. According to Theismann, “it snapped like a breadstick”.  The compound fracture to his leg left his right leg shorter than the left, forcing him to retire.  
Michael Irvin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  1. Michael Irvin The 11th overall pick in the 1988 NFL draft, Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin racked up 65 touchdowns and nearly 12,000 yards over his NFL career.  He won two Super Bowls with “America’s team” and was inducted into the pro football hall of fame in 2007.  However, he would have been able to add to his hall of fame resume if it weren’t for a career ending injury in 1999.  Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Irvin was tackled by defensive back Tim Hauck and went head first into the turf.  Irvin was carried off on a stretcher - while Eagles fans cheered his injury - and was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine), forcing him into early retirement.  Irvin has gone on to have a successful career with the NFL on Television, but never played football in the NFL again.
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Steve Moore

Steve Moore

Steve Moore
After a solid career with the Harvard Crimson, center Steve Moore was drafted 53rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL draft.  In parts of three seasons, Moore began to carve out a role with the team.  In the ’03-’04 season, he became a mainstay of the lineup, appearing in 57 of the teams first 58 games.  Game 58 against the Vancouver Cunucks would be his last.  On February 16th, in retaliation to a hit that Moore laid on Canuck Star Marcus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi sucker puched Moore from behind, drove his head into the ice, and fell on top of him.   Moore was rendered unconscious immediately and suffered a fractured vertebrae, facial lacerations, and a severe concussion.  Moore wore a neck brace for over a year after the incident and still, more than 9 years later, feels the effects of the concussion.  Despite training for a comeback, he never played another game in the NHL.