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Based on this alarming trend, Tom Brady might want to play his next game covered in bubble wrap

October 16, 2017

We're not big believers in jinxes. We'll step on the white lines. We'll chat up the starting pitcher about how he's perfect through seven. We'll touch the Stanley Cup long before we've earned the right.

But still, this . . . this is nutty.

Follow football enough and you'll know that three of the game's biggest stars have already been lost to significant injuries. The Cardinals' David Johnson dislocated his wrist in a season-opening loss to the Lions and is out for several months. J.J. Watt blew out his knee a few weeks after that. And then this past Sunday, Aaron Rodgers was likely lost for the season due to a broken collarbone.

What else do those players have in common? All three were featured on regional covers of Sports Illustrated's NFL Preview issue. Who was the fourth player featured in one of SI's regional covers?

Sorry, Tom Brady.

Look, even those of us who have gone on record as unabashed Patriots haters don't want to see Brady succumb to the fate that is quickly barreling down on him. We'd rather see him endure small humiliations. A game-losing pick six. Lukewarm sales of his new book. A receding hairline. All would be preferable to what the editors of Sports Illustrated have callously burned him with by putting him on the cover.

We're not saying it's definitely going to happen. But just to be safe, Jimmy Garoppolo might want to take some snaps with the first team this week in practice.