Why Clay’s ‘Bachelorette’ Injury Was Heartbreakingly Ironic

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Usually, in the case of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, the injuries are of the romantic kind. Broken hearts on these shows are a dime a dozen. But no, on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, contestant Clay broke his wrist during a football-themed group date with Becca and the other guys. He is a professional football player, but it doesn’t mean he’s immune to injury — did Clay’s wrist injury on The Bachelorette affect his football career?

Given that there are at least two guys with football experience on The Bachelorette right now, the producers had to do a football-centered group date. Clay was playing it cool to start with and not going absolutely HAM on the other contestants, but when his team was down and he needed to make up those points, Clay rushed the field and scored a mighty touchdown. Unfortunately, he injured his wrist, hearing a pop and fearing that it was broken. Poor Clay! For any other Joe Schmo off the street, it wouldn’t matter so much that he got hurt. Like, it would suck, but it wouldn’t be detrimental to one’s career. But in the case of Clay, who is a literal NFL player, well, that could be a problem if he needed to get back in the game after his stint on The Bachelorette is over.

According to Sports Illustrated, Clay has been in the NFL since 2010 as a tight end (girl, you know it). USA Today reports that right now, Clay is an “unrestricted free agent” and he’s currently associated with the New Orleans Saints. He’s also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, and Detroit Lions, and he was on the injured reserve list before The Bachelorette even started, according to CBS News, so if he gets on a team for the 2018-2019 season and is still on the injured reserve list, it really shouldn’t be related to The Bachelorette. Becca’s season started filming in the early months of 2018, and football practice doesn’t start until about August — that’s quite a few months for a broken wrist to heal. To be fair, it wasn’t an easy break — Clay tells a few of the contestants on The Bachelorette that he needs an operation to put himself back together again (like Humpty Dumpty, but with pigskin). Even so, if Clay is still hurt and can’t play football during the 2018 season from The Bachelorette, it was a lot worse than we thought.

Later, Clay and Becca had a little one-on-one time, and Clay ended up getting a rose from Becca. Not bad for an injured dude! Maybe that wrist booboo is worth it if you end up getting engaged to Becca, huh, Clay? But it wasn’t to last. During the final cocktail party, Clay tells some of the other contestants that he doesn’t know if he can stick around for the rest of the show. He said:

He later says that football has to come first in his life because it’s how he makes his money and he knows that the right thing to do is to head out the door and get better. Clay opted to leave Becca behind in order to fix his wrist, and it was commendable — though it was a hard decision, he had to make it for his future and for his family.

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