What is Madden cover curse? List of players impacted by it 

List of players impacted by Madden cover curse
List of players impacted by Madden cover curse

Getting chosen as the Madden cover athlete is one of the greatest personal honors for an NFL star. However, there's almost no escaping the curse for a player once they feature on the front of the football simulation game.

The Madden curse refers to the unfortunate dark cloud that follows players after they grace the cover image of the video game. Since the game was released in 1999, a total of 19 players who featured on the cover had injury-ridden or unproductive campaigns that followed.

However, the curse seemed to have tailed off in the mid-2010s.

Full list of players impacted by Madden cover curse

Patrick Mahomes suffered a brutal leg injury after appearing on the Madden cover
Patrick Mahomes suffered a brutal leg injury after appearing on the Madden cover

Garrison Hearst, Madden 1999: Hearst was on the cover for the first edition of the game. Unfortunately, he suffered a horrific broken ankle the in the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons in January 1999.

Eddie George, Madden 2001: George featured on the Madden cover in 2001, a year after he led the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl. However, the following year, he spent most of the campaign on the sidelines due to injury.

Daunte Culpepper, Madden 2002: Culpepper had an excellent 2001 season with the Minnesota Vikings. However, he suffered a season-ending knee injury later in the year.

Marshall Faulk, Madden 2003: After helping the St.Louis Rams win two Super Bowl titles in three years, Faulk was plagued with a nagging ankle injury.

Michael Vick, Madden 2004: Then-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick led his team to the playoffs in 2003. However, just a few months later, Vick broke his leg in preseason and played only five games the following campaign.

Ray Lewis, Madden 2005: Lewis had a career-high six interceptions in 2004 but he failed to catch a single interception the following season. He was also injured for the final game of the 2005 campaign.

Donovan McNabb, Madden 2006: McNabb suffered a groin injury during a Week 10 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys in November 2005, and was placed on season-ending IR later that week.

Shaun Alexander, Madden 2007: After featuring on the Madden cover, Alexander suffered a broken foot in Week 3 of the 2007 season, causing him to miss six games.

Vince Young, Madden 2008: Young suffered a quad injury in the 2008 season and missed one game after gracing the Madden cover.

Brett Favre, Madden 2009: Favre had retired just before he was chosen as the cover on Madden 2009. However, he made a U-turn on retirement only to have a poor season with the New York Jets, who finished 1-4 in their last five games.

Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu, Madden 2010: Polamalu sprained his MCL and missed four games in the 2010 season. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald suffered a rib injury that caused him to miss the Pro Bowl and playoffs.

Peyton Hillis, Madden 2012: Hillis graced the cover of Madden 2012 but dealt with hamstring issues twice the following season.

Adrian Peterson, Madden 25 (2014): Peterson had a foot sprain and groin injury later in the 2014 season.

Richard Sherman, Madden 2015: Sherman underwent surgery following the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots in February 2015.

Odell Beckham Jr., Madden 2016: Beckham graced the cover for Madden 2016, and the same year, the wideout dealt with a few hamstring issues.

Rob Gronkowski, Madden 2017: After featuring on the Madden cover, Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski suffered three different injuries during the 2016 season. One included a hamstring injury, the second a pulmonary contusion, and the third was a back injury that required surgery.

Antonio Brown, Madden 2019: Soon after gracing the cover of Madden, Brown suffered a knee injury towards the end of the 2018 season.

Patrick Mahomes, Madden 2020: The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback suffered a dislocated kneecap late in the 2019 season after he made it as the cover athlete on Madden.

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Edited by Diptanil
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