Last week, we unveiled another set of 10 of the Top 100 Players of 2017, but one of them didn't appreciate it very much.
While it was understandably frustrating to spend the season on the sideline and likely aggravating for J.J. Watt to see himself still ranked high -- considering the standard to which he holds himself -- it also was a great compliment paid to him by his peers. Whether he appreciated it doesn't matter much, but it's interesting, because in this week's group, we have a couple of players who also spent significant time on the sideline, yet they're still ranked among the top 30.
Rob Gronkowski and Earl Thomas missed a combined 13 games in 2016. Gronkowski went down after only eight games, which at the time led many to seriously question New England's ability to contend. Newsflash: It didn't hurt much, seeing as the Patriotscelebrated the franchise's fifthSuper Bowl triumph last week at owner Robert Kraft's home.
Moral of the story here: These men are undoubtedly vital to their teams' success, and while they had to take great steps to adjust in their absence, the league's players sure didn't hold it against them. That makes the honor that much more valuable in this writer's opinion. Hang it on your mantle, Earl and Rob, even if J.J. won't accept it.
Here's to healthy seasons for all as they look to bolster their already sky-high reputations.