Is Fedex Field the Most Cursed Stadium in NFL? Fans Think So

From Joe Burrow's knee explosion to Alex Smith's life-threatening leg injury, FedEx Field has an unmatched list of careers derailed by horrific injuries within its walls.

Dev
Written by Dev , Writer
Published on May 26, 2024 | 07:15 PM IST | 57.1K
From Joe Burrow's knee explosion to Alex Smith's life-threatening leg injury, FedEx Field has derailed careers by horrific injuries
FedEx Field Stadium, Greater Landover (Image Credits: Getty Images)

Just last season, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts narrowly avoided a potential catastrophe when a railing collapsed under the weight of overzealous fans at FedEx Field. 

Hurts had just led the Eagles to a 20-16 win over Washington when fans leaned too far over the railing in the tunnel, causing it to give way.

The young QB stayed remarkably calm, helping fans get back on their feet as they fell towards him before posing for selfies. 

Security guards tried frantically to pull Hurts away from the mayhem, but he seemed to be enjoying the wild scene with the Eagles fanbase.

While no one was seriously injured, the rail collapse highlighted the bigger safety issues and poor conditions at the aging FedEx Field. It was just the latest in a long line of scary incidents to occur at the stadium.


Career-Altering Injuries A Common Sight at FedEx Field

Beyond just railing disasters, FedEx Field has developed an infamous reputation for the alarming number of career-altering injuries suffered by marquee players on its actual playing surface. 

The most recent came in 2020 when Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had his season abruptly ended after tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee against Washington.

"An MRI showed Burrow tore his ACL and MCL and suffered other structural issues," a source told ESPN at the time. "Knee injuries of this nature usually sideline players anywhere from nine to 12 months."

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The gruesome knee explosion was just the latest in a long line of FedEx Field horrors. In 2011, Adrian Peterson's promising career was brutally sidetracked when he tore his ACL and MCL on the stadium's surface during Week 16 of that season. 

Two years later, it was Robert Griffin III going down with a torn ACL and LCL in the playoffs, ending his brilliant rookie campaign.

Alex Smith's Nightmare Scenario

However, no injury was more traumatic or life-threatening than the compound fracture Alex Smith suffered to his right leg in a game against the Texans in 2018. 

Not only did Smith break both the tibia and fibula, but he developed a nasty infection that could have cost him his leg - or even his life.

It may have been a trauma, considering it was a cervical-style open wound. 

He was dealing with significant injuries to his bones and his soft tissues and he had a limb-threatening emergency going on. There was a period when the doctors were very concerned that he might lose his leg.

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Smith needed 17 surgeries, including a muscle transfer and microvascular procedure, to save the limb from amputation. 

His recovery over the subsequent two years was called "a miracle" as he battled back to not just walk again, but briefly return to the field in 2020 before retiring.

String of Brutal Injuries Continues at FedEx Field

Just when the injury horrors of FedEx Field seemed over, more players went down in brutal fashion. 

In 2021, Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation in Week 1 that ended his season. A year later, Chase Young missed most of 2022 recovering from an ACL tear sustained at FedEx.

The injury occurred when Fitzpatrick was tackled in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was initially reported that Fitzpatrick would not require surgery and would instead undergo a rehabilitation process. However, it was later revealed that Fitzpatrick would in fact need arthroscopic surgery on his hip, effectively ending his 2021 season.

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Perhaps most cringe-worthy was the 2020 dislocated ankle suffered by Washington quarterback Kyle Allen, who was carted off in agonizing fashion after his foot twisted at a sickening angle. The replay of the injury is difficult to watch.

The injury was severe enough that Allen was clutching his ankle and shaking his head in disbelief before waving to fans and being transported to the locker room.

With Allen out of the game, Washington turned to veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who had made a remarkable comeback after suffering a gruesome leg injury of his own in 2018. Smith had undergone 17 surgeries to repair his broken leg and nearly had his limb amputated due to a severe infection.

Is FedEx Field Really Cursed?

With over a decade's worth of injuries drastically altering careers and longevity, it's no surprise that fed-up fans have started calling for FedEx Field to either be significantly renovated or abandoned altogether.

“FedEx field sure does deliver a bunch of injuries” says a fan. 


“Ill never forget when Jalen hurts was tryna greet fans and the damn guard railing almost landed on top of him” quips another avid NFL enthusiast. 

 


“Is FedEx Field built on an old Native American cemetery/burial ground or something?” mocks another fan.

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Another jokes “I bet if Look at the history of those grounds I bet it use to be a cemetery or a black neighborhood their before the stadium was built…they got that land in blood…Something spooky going on there” 

 


From Joe Burrow's explosive knee tear to RG3's ACL rupture to Alex Smith nearly losing his leg, the rap sheet of horrific injuries at FedEx is starting to become insurmountable compared to other NFL stadiums. 

Bizarre railing collapses, career-altering compound fractures, and some of the most gruesome scenes of agonizing pain have all become troubling norms.

While Washington's perpetually struggling franchise has undoubtedly played a role with poor field conditions over the years, the sheer volume of lives and careers altered within those stadium walls is becoming too much for even die-hard fans to stomach. 

ALSO READ: Which Is the Oldest Baseball Stadium Still in Use? Find Out

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About The Author
Dev
Dev
Writer

Devang Watkar aka Dev is a print and broadcast journalist with a relentless passion for storytelling. Known for a

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