2016 NFL Preseason Week 2 Schedule Plus Rob Gronkowski Injury Scare—The Madden Curse

The 2016 NFL Preseason week 2 is upon us, and Patriots’ tight end sensation Rob Gronkowski may be sitting it out. On Monday, Gronkowski was practicing 7-on-7 drills with Tom Brady and was seen walking on the sideline after the play. Head Patriots’ athletic trainer Jim Whalen approached Gronkowski and the duo made their way to the lower practice field where people who are rehabilitating injuries can be found; the pair then retreated to the locker room. Rob Gronkowski was held out of practice on Tuesday but whatever was bothering him seems to be minor. As the week progresses, we will know if he will play on Thursday.

This isn’t the first injury scare that Rob Gronkowski has had as of late; he missed most of the NFL off-season due to a pectoral injury. We should have known something was going to go awry once Gronkowski made the front cover of the latest Madden game. Folklore is entrenched in our society and it’s no exception when it comes to sports; The Curse of the Bambino plagued Major League Baseball, The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx has made victims of athletes from all sports around, and The Madden Curse has affected NFL players for over 15 years.

Rob Gronkowski may be a victim of the Madden curse like Garrison Hearst
Garrison Hearst lays on the field with a broken leg during the NFC 1999 Playoffs [Photo byCraig Jones/Allsport/Getty Images]

The Madden Curse began in the NFL in 1999. Up until then, John Madden was the only person featured on the front of the video game. The supposed curse is when a player is featured on the front of the video game they will be cursed with a poor NFL season or an injury. As silly as it sounds, it has happened enough times that many news outlets have covered this phenomena. The first player featured on a Madden game was Garrison Hearst for Madden 1999. Hearst had a phenomenal season in 1998 rushing for 1,570 yards, his career best, but during the postseason he suffered a broken ankle.

The Madden Curse Daunte Culpepper is a victim of The Madden Curse like Rob Gronkowski during 2016 NFL preseason week 2
Daunte Culpepper is taken off the field injured [Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images]

Daunte Culpepper graced the cover in 2002 and the quarterback had 13 interceptions in the first 11 games and his season ended during game 11 when due to a back injury. Before donning the cover in 2003, NFL superstar Marshall Faulk had five consecutive seasons of rushing more than 1,000 yards and helped lead the Rams to two Super Bowls. But the following NFL season after making the cover he suffered an ankle injury and never rushed for over 1,000 yards again.

NFL fullback Peyton Hills had a stellar year with the Cleveland Browns in 2011 when he rushed for 1,117 yards and made 11 touchdowns. Because of his breakout NFL season, Hills made the video game cover in 2012 and his following season was abysmal. He missed a lot of the NFL season because of hamstring injuries, a sprained hip, and strep throat. He finished that NFL season with only 577 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Other players to suffer The Madden Curse include Ray Lewis, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Brett Favre, and many others. Now with injuries received during the off-season and an injury scare on Monday, many people are wondering if Rob Gronkowski is next on the list. But in all seriousness, Gronkowski could have a stellar NFL season because he is a beast and after all, curses aren’t real—right?


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Folklore aside, the 2016 NFL preseason week 1 is in the history books and all eyes are now focused on week 2. All games listed below are in the p.m. and Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday, August 18

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 7:00

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions 7:30

Atlanta Falcons vs. Cleveland Browns 8:00

Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers 8:00

Chicago Bears vs. New England Patriots 8:00

Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks 10:00

Friday, August 19

New York Jets vs. Washington Redskins 7:30

Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys 8:00

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers 9:00

Saturday, August 20

Carolina Panthers vs. Tennessee Titans 3:00

New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills 4:00

Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts 7:00

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans 8:00

San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos 9:00

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams 9:00

The 2016 NFL preseason week 2 features 16 games that will help tie fans over until the regular season begins.

[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]