The 25 Greatest Sports Careers Ruined by Injury

16. Earl Campbell

Sport: Football
Years Active: 1978-1984
Career Stats: 9,407 YDS 74 TD
Injuries: knee surgery, spinal surgery, nerve issues

Earl Campbell was one of the NFL's most prolific running backs to ever suit up. In just his first season, Campbell rushed for 1,450 yards on his way to picking up both the Offensive Rookie of the Year and the Offensive Player of the Year honors. Campbell would deliver crushing blows to defenders who tried to tackle him, and made them think twice before trying it the next time.

His best season came in his third year when he rushed for 1,934 yards, took home the MVP, and led the NFL in rushing for the second straight year—only Jim Brown did this before him. If you're name is mentioned along with Jim Brown, you're greatness speaks for itself. The "One Man Demolition Team" was a force in the NFL for 5 of the 8 years he played before his knee and back injuries got the better of him.

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