The Denver Broncos have dealt with a shocking amount of injuries this season, and one player is taking legal action against the league for his situation. According to The Athletic, linebacker Aaron Patrick has filed a lawsuit again the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams, the Los Angeles Chargers, SoFi Stadium, ESPN and other entities after he tore his ACL during the Broncos' Week 6 matchup against the Chargers.
Patrick alleges that negligence created a "dangerous" sideline condition that contributed to his injury. Per The Athletic, the suit seeks unspecified damages, as well as lost wages and relief from "pain and suffering and emotional distress." According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL, ESPN, the Chargers and the Rams all declined comment on the lawsuit. The Chargers were the home team the night of the incident, the Rams are the owners of SoFi Stadium, and ESPN was broadcasting the event.
During the Broncos' overtime loss against the Chargers last month, Patrick attempted to make a tackle on punt returner DeAndre Carter. As Carter was racing towards the sideline, Patrick closed in on his target before his momentum carried him out of bounds. There, Patrick attempted to avoid contact with the NFL's TV liaison while his left foot planted on one of the mats/carpets that was covering up cords and cables.
"Player safety should be the foremost of importance to the NFL and its owners," Patrick's attorney, William M. Berman said in a statement. "The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar sports enterprise and business, and it needs to do everything possible to protect its players from non-contact game injuries. As for Patrick's injuries, Sofi Stadium was built at a $5,000,000,000 expense; the stadium should have the state-of-the-art equipment to protect for player safety, and not use the type of $100 mats that you would expect to see in a restaurant kitchen."
The day after the injury occurred, Patrick's agent, Lamont Smith, told NFL Media's Tom Pelissero via text, "I was very disturbed about the way the injury occurred with the carpet being on the sideline like that. His cleat got lodged in the carpet trying to avoid the media person."
Patrick was in his second season with the Broncos. In 17 total games played for the franchise, he has recorded 11 combined tackles and one start.