Don't worry, Cyclones fans. As it pertains to the injury front, it can't get much worse than this.
About everyone who can be hurt has been hurt: Of the 22 players listed on the season-opening depth chart, seven have missed time with injury, and that does not include Aaron Wimberly, Luke Knott, E.J. Bibbs, Jarvis West and Ben Boesen.
The offensive line has yet to start the same five in a game, though that should change this week.
If we are to trust the trend outlined in "The System," the great college football book co-written by Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict, injuries decrease as October passes. The authors call this the October Surprise.
In 2012, injuries dropped significantly after the 10th month. As explained by Jim Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, by October athletes are reaching their peak point of fatigue from the chunk of games played as well as spring and summer workouts. Per the book, just 20 percent of reported season-ending injuries in college football in 2012 came after October:
It's not that the games are any less violent after October, it's just, overall, the odds of a season-ending injury are proven to decrease.
The most common injury for Iowa State this season has been the MCL sprain, something Jeff Woody, enrolled Iowa State's graduate school program for biomedical sciences with designs on becoming a doctor, says is unpreventable.
No exercise can be done to strengthen the ligament on that side of the knee, and Woody says it's one that can only occur with contact. It doesn't matter how strong a player is.
"We have an MCL fairy that's looking down on us and striking us down," Woody said.
Let's look at the full list:
Shoulder: 2 (Wimberly, Bibbs).
Leg: 1 (Luke Knott, Wimberly, who has missed time because of two injuries).
Arm: 1 (Kyle Lichtenberg).
Then there's tight end Ernst Brun, playing now after missing most of the season with body cramps. The only unspecified injury is Jacob Gannon; the only reason it's unspecified is because the media, caught up in the other injuries, forgot to ask.
The top five reasons for a season-ending injury in college football in 2012, per the book:
1. Knee, 93.
2. Shoulder, 31.
3. ACL, 29.
4. Leg, 27.
5. Ankle, 19.
The good news for Iowa State is, amazingly, none of the injuries that have occurred in-season are definitely going to cost a player his season. Lichtenberg could still return and it is hopeful Boesen and West can, too. Nobody has been ruled out.
It can, and should, get better.