First, a disclaimer: I think Lyle Sendlein is a good guy.
Sure, the center and I hail from the same high school — the local football powerhouse Scottsdale Chaparral. (Although Lyle, being much younger, was actually a part of building the program to where it is today. When I went to school there, a .500 season was tremendous and often the team would get kicked around by the likes of Mesa Mountain View, but my graduating class did have Darrell Bevell as quarterback, and he was good enough in the sport to eventually reach his current post as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator.)
Yet I digress.
The high school gave us an immediate connection, but Sendlein was also a great story, son of a former NFL player who was undrafted in 2007 (and not happy about it) yet worked to eventually become a key starter for a Super Bowl team and a man who not only has been the team’s starting center for a few years but has earned the respect of his teammates to the point he has been named one of the captains for a few years now. He’s a stand-up guy who is always willing to answer questions, win or lose, knowing that people want answers either way. You know he’s tough, after playing almost the entire 2008 season with a torn labrum. Is he a Pro Bowl center? Maybe not. But he has been steady, and he has been an important cog to the Cards’ offense.
The news that he is done for the season hurts the Cards. Yes, some of you will point out the offensive line has not played well, and to that I cannot argue. But much like the loss of Levi Brown, the benefit of Sendlein, I believe, will be felt much more with his absence than anyone could tell with him in the game. Now, I don’t know if the “wheels just might come off” now that Sendlein (No. 63, pictured below) is out, but it will make an impact and it’s arguable it will make the greatest impact of all the offensive line injuries this season, including Brown’s triceps and Adam Snyder’s quad.
(It’d be a good argument, because Brown’s absence has certainly been felt.)
If nothing else, it’s losing a veteran player who means something as a presence both on the field and in the locker room. On a team that needs that steadying influence during a losing skid, that can’t be good.
Tags: Adam Snyder, Darrell Bevell, Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein
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