What if Trent Green did not get injured in the preseason in 1999?
In our What If scenario, we ask: What if Trent Green did not get injured in the preseason in 1999?
The NFL staff has identified plays or events that may have altered the course of history. Each Tuesday and Saturday throughout the offseason, we will be tackling a different scenario and speculate on how things might have gone differently.
Kurt Warner's MVP campaign in 1999, capped off with a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV, ranks as one of the great Cinderella stories in the history of sports. But Warner's achievements would not have been possible without the misfortune of a teammate.
The St. Louis Rams hadn't reached the playoffs since 1989, but head coach Dick Vermeil believed he had finally found a capable quarterback in Trent Green. The 29-year-old had enjoyed a breakout season with the Washington Redskins in 1998, throwing for 3,441 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, before signing with the Rams as a free agent.
He entered the preseason as the undisputed starter, but tragedy struck in the third exhibition game against San Diego, as Green suffered a season-ending injury. The Rams were forced to turn to Warner, who had spent the previous season in NFL Europe, and was only four years removed from working at the Cedar Falls Hy-Vee grocery as a stocker.
Warner, of course, seized his opportunity in a way few could have imagined. He added a second MVP award in 2001, leading the Rams to Super Bowl XXXVI, and hold the distinction of being the most accurate quarterback in NFL history, with a career completion rate of 65.6 percent.
Green left for Kansas City, where he has enjoyed six solid seasons as the teams starting quarterback. But he has never scaled the same heights as Warner, likely leaving Green, and fans in St. Louis, to wonder: What if he had not suffered the injury in the preseason?
-- David Mosse
The NFL staff has identified plays or events that may have altered the course of history.
Saturday, April 21
What if the Falcons didn't trade up for Michael Vick?
Saturday, April 14
What if Monday Night Football did not exist?
Saturday, April 7
What if Mo Lewis had not injured Drew Bledsoe?
Saturday, Mar. 31
What if Trent Green did not get injured in 1999?
Saturday, Mar. 20
What if Bill Belichick had become the coach of the Jets?
Saturday, Mar. 17
What if the NFL had not adopted a system of free agency?
Tuesday, Mar. 13
What if the Jets had selected Dan Marino in the 1983 draft?
Saturday, Mar. 10
What if the Colts-Giants game had not been such a classic?
Saturday, Mar. 3
What if Bo Jackson had devoted himself to football fulltime?
Tuesday, Feb. 27
What if the NFL didn't employ revenue sharing?
Saturday, Feb. 24
What if the Colts had called John Elway's bluff?
Tuesday, Feb. 20
What if the Falcons had not traded Brett Favre?
Friday, Feb. 16
What if Leonard Marshall had not drilled Joe Montana
Tuesday, Feb. 13
What if the NFL had not employed instant replay?
Saturday, Feb. 10
What if Jimmy Johnson had not left the Cowboys?
Thursday, Feb. 1
What if the Colts had selected Ryan Leaf in the draft?
Saturday, Jan. 27
What if Scott Norwood's kick had split the uprights?