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What If ... these five careers hadn't been altered by injury?

by Jacob Feldman

From Derrick Rose to Steffi Graf, examining the greatest injury what ifs.

Jim McMahon

WHAT IF ... Charles Martin gently downs (instead of suplexing ) Jim McMahon in '86 Packers-Bears game.

NEW ENDING: Healthy McMahon, not Doug Flutie , leads Bears (and a D that's stronger than in '85) to second SB win. Walter Payton gets title-game TD, keeps playing. Bears are contenders when Bulls start threepeat ; Chicago is Titletown.


Steffi Graf

WHAT IF ... Günter Parche, an obsessed Steffi Graf fan, is stopped by security at middling tennis event in Hamburg before stabbing Monica Seles on April 30, 1993.

NEW ENDING: It's unrealistic to imagine Seles's keeping up three-majors-a-year pace through '90s , but her on-court rivalry with Graf nonetheless elevates women's tennis years before Williams sisters arrive.


Derrick Rose

WHAT IF ... In first round of 2012 playoffs, against 76ers , Bulls guard Derrick Rose falls while jumping—but MVP-to-be gets up quickly, only slightly tweaking left knee.

NEW ENDING: Chicago lives up to advanced metrics, claims '11–12 crown, sets up rivalry between D-Rose, LeBron . Five years later Kevin Durant chooses still-dominant Bulls over Warriors.


Bo Jackson

WHAT IF ... Bo Jackson runs through 1991 playoffs unscathed, hip joint intact.

NEW ENDING: Bo leads Raiders to a couple of Super Bowls (heck, maybe all that joy keeps them in L.A.?) while building Hall of Fame baseball résumé . Future two-sporters like Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston remain twin-tracked, keeping MLB atop cultural zeitgeist.


Ray Chapman

WHAT IF ... Indians' Ray Chapman twitches the slightest bit as Carl Mays's fifth-inning fastball barrels in on his head in August 1920.

NEW ENDING: Chapman takes it in the skull but lives to see another day. MLB brass hold off on new rules that, in reality, trigger Live Ball era, preventing HR boom. Sublime bunts lead Sportscenter's Top 10 to this day.