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Could Austin Pettis's injury have been avoided?

The injury report for the Broncos is out, and it is a House, MD episode waiting to happen. The biggest blow is a fractured leg to Austin Pettis that could keep him out of the Broncos' bowl game. The biggest controversy is over whether or not Pettis's injury could have been avoided by the Broncos not going for two.

After the jump, I'll show you one local media personality who calls the Broncos on the carpet, and I'll leave my opinion on the matter. What's your take? Could Pettis's injury have been avoided? Let me know in the comments.

To recap, Pettis's injury happened on a failed two-point conversion attempt after the Broncos' second touchdown. Pettis took the snap, looked in vain for a receiver, danced around some defenders, and was finally tackled. The takedown was not nearly as gruesome as Matt Kaiserman's injury, but you could see that Pettis had tweaked something by his reaction to the play.

The vagueness of Pettis's recovery timetable (possibly a return by bowl season) has muted much of the clamor surrounding an injury to a team's star player. However, that isn't to say that there is nothing to clamor about.


Troy Oppie, the newskid from KBCI Channel 2 in Boise, weighed in with his take on the injury in the Channel 2 sports blog. Written from hindsight:

Bad: Austin Pettis' ankle injury on a needless 2-point converstion try with a 13-0 lead in the first quarter against Nevada. Few teams use the swinging gate (or whatever it is) formation on extra point attempts, and Boise State has used it successfully many times this season. But it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt - and when you lose your stud wide receiver (Pettis was tied for the national receiving TD lead going into the game) on a play that isn't likely to matter anyway - well, that's a little more than plain 'ol bad luck. It could have and should have been avoided.

But really ... could it have and should it have?

The Broncos have made swinging gate two-point conversion attempts a staple of the special teams play this season, and Pettis has been the triggerman for the majority of them. Now that one blew up in the Broncos' face on a fluke tackle, should Boise State fans hold the coaching staff accountable?

In my opinion, it would be wrong to do so. Pettis's injury could have happened just as easily on a pass reception than it did on the two-point conversion attempt. It is not like he was throwing and got his shoulder separated on a hard hit. He was being tackled, which kind of goes with the territory of being an offensive player. Football is a physical game and injuries happen, and while the timing and circumstances around this particular injury are different, that doesn't make the playcall regrettable.

Claiming that a 13-0 lead is a bad time to call the two-point try shows a lack of knowledge about Boise State football. The Broncos have gone for the two points routinely in the first quarter of games this season, and they always do so when the defense dictates. Claiming that Pettis is the wrong man for the job is ludicrous, too. You have to have Pettis on the field because he is the team's best holder, and there is no one better at running the swinging gate.

That is my opinion. What is yours? Do you think the Broncos were right in going for two in that situation? Do you think Pettis should be so involved in special teams? Share your opinion in the comments.