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THE FIVE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2007: #4 -- ERIK AINGE'S INJURED PINKY AND SHOULDER

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I told you he wouldn't throw it deep!

 

 

Quick. Name the worst plays of 2007. Go ahead. Think of five off the top of your head. I'll wait.

Something about that wasn't quite right.

Okay. Betcha that your top five included the botched handoff between Erik Ainge and Arian Foster deep in our own territory (note: is it our own or theirs when our back is to their end zone? I can never get that straight.) against Florida in the Swamp sparking a rout of epic proportions. Betcha, too, that your top five also included the fourth quarter pick six by LSU cornerback Jonathan Zenon in the SEC Championship. Tell me, what do these two plays have in common?

Ainge's health. Foster was on Ainge's left when he tried to hand off with his left hand to avoid jarring his injured right pinky. Didn't work. And Zenon may not have known that Ainge had hurt his shoulder early in the season, but he and the rest of the world knew that for whatever reason, there was no way he was going to throw it deep and that tight coverage on a quick rout wasn't at all risky and presented the distinct possibility that he could make an interception and return it for a touchdown.

Kudos to Ainge for playing through pain and injuries this season. On balance, it was probably a good thing, but it certainly had its downside.

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