Sports Illustrated cover jinx hits the NFL

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The Sports Illustrated cover jinx has shown no mercy to the NFL this season.

Looking back at the magazine’s 2017 NFL season preview, there were four athletes featured as giants on the regional covers with a bunch of other league stars trying to tackle them. Those four athletes were Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson and J.J. Watt.

Two out of those four have suffered season-ending injuries already. A third is out until Thanksgiving at best.

Let’s run through the list of sadness: Johnson broke his wrist in Week 1, Watt suffered a tibial plataeu fracture in primetime last Sunday night and this week Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone.

Is this all the fault of Sports Illustrated?

No. Definitely not. The only thing these players have in common is that they are four of the league’s best players, which means they’re likely to end up on newspaper and magazine covers every week, let alone during NFL preview time.

Still, after a few years of SI cover athletes remaining relatively healthy — the New York Mets notwithstanding, because, well, they’re the Mets — it makes you wonder if the jinx is back with a vengeance.

In any case, we can’t blame Patriots fans and fantasy owners for wanting to dress Brady in bubble wrap for the rest of the year. Perhaps being on the cover of Madden 18 has caused the curses to cancel each other out.

It appears defensive lines aren’t the only thing out to get Tom Brady this season. (AP Photo)