It's not as if we weren't aware that this was going to happen. On Saturday, Antrim manager Enda McGinley was detailing his very first few days in charge of the county footballers when the bad news kept coming.
McGinley is one of those managers who is only really getting to know the names of his players, while at the same time being asked by the GAA to furnish them with his definitive list of 32 players in the panel.
Such a list was not required in the past, but now with finances over their head, Central Council will be footing the bill directly for player expenses.
In one of his very first pitch sessions, they had 40 players, but finished with 28 training.
Four of them had hamstring issues, while the rest were a variety of muscles tightening up, hip joint soreness, and ankle and hip issues. As a physio who suffered his own ridiculous share of life-altering injuries, he was despairing at the turn of events.
And yet, Antrim did not do what others did in breaking training restrictions. They were given three weeks between the resumption of training to their first game, which incidentally sees them hosting McGinley's former manager and clubmate Mickey Harte in a Louth tracksuit.
And you have to be honest. In all truth, the Championship hasn't meant much to Antrim in over a decade. For the Saffrons to have tangible progress, they need promotion in the league, which they achieved in Liam Bradley's first season in 2009 and used as a springboard to that year's Ulster final.
Some years ago, I had a conversation with a member of Antrim's backroom team. They had lost their first two league games and it was only the first week in February. He knew and I knew that Antrim's season was essentially already sunk, with little chance of promotion.
So for Antrim to thrive, they need healthy bodies. But the tight timeframe was always going to hurt them.
Last year on these very pages, we were predicting a flood of injuries to players when they were allowed to return to club action after the first lockdown.
Former physio to the Irish Olympic team, Marty Loughran of the Performance Lab and Elite Physiotherapy in Cookstown on the Tyrone/Derry border, had cited the injury lists in the German Bundesliga when it resumed.
When GAA players did return, Loughran noted a serious difference between those attending his clinic from Tyrone and Derry. With their heavy schedule of games and the importance of the leagues, Red Hand County clubs were suffering a lot of soft tissue injuries.
Derry opted instead for a Championship that included group stages. The crucial element was that the groups determined your seeding and no one was knocked out at that stage, so clubs were able to nurse their players through the early stages.
So, what happened this time around?
Last week was the busiest week Loughran has experienced in his industry since opening his doors 10 years ago. They had twice as many enquiries as they have ever had over the course of the week. Their second busiest week happens to be the week before.
He tweeted: "Never before have GAA players gone this long without games/training. In some cases it's been seven months. Last year it was just over three. In non-Covid off-seasons players would have played basketball, soccer, rugby to keep themselves fit and socialise.
"It also maintained tissue capacity. This time round, even with the best gym programmes and running programmes, nothing can prepare for the decelerations, landings and contact like the sport itself. The tissue capacity and general movement skills aren't there."
Now, the average supporter and retired player may wonder about this. In the 1960s and '70s in particular, players possibly played as much, and probably more, with the glut of carnival football tournaments.
These were fitted in midweek when the sun was high in the sky and could be crowbarred in between league and Championship games.
In the pre-Netflix era, there was an insatiable demand and drive to play. But the game they played was vastly different to the one we have now.
From when I started attending matches in the '80s, brought along by an uncle who was playing, two memories stand out.
When the ball was down the other end of the field, defenders might use the opportunity to relax and sit on their hunkers. One or two laconic individuals might even have stretched out full length on the grass. The other was of half-time cigarettes.
The carnival crew might look at the expenditure of strength and conditioning coaches and wonder why they hadn't bargained for injuries of the kind we are seeing now.
But no one running a 10k will ever find themselves having to brace for a shoulder, or twist and turn to get away from an opponent.
Those who are employed to look after player welfare in Croke Park and the Gaelic Players' Association did little to address it before announcing the return to play dates, hemmed in by scheduling issues.
But the fact remains that they have put the players at the bottom of the priority list. Again.
The past year has brought many tragic deaths through the Covid pandemic, and the difficulties in paying proper tribute to fulsome and wholesome lives has been one of the great pities.
However, certain deaths retain the capacity to shock, such as the sad passing of Enniskillen man Stephen McCluskey in Cork this week.
Just 46, he was a brother of former Fermanagh football captain Ryan, but he had a rich involvement in sport himself. At just 16, he was a major part of Enniskillen Gaels upsetting Lisbellaw to halt a six-in-a-row bid of Fermanagh Championships in 1990. It was he who sent in the late delivery for a booted goal that settled the issue and he was noted in newspaper reports of the time to be influential down the entire left side of the attack. He put down a number of years on the senior county team.
He and I actually played soccer together in the local leagues as full-backs. It was strictly social, but Stevie had something about him. Supremely fit and handsome, he possessed a marvellous left foot that was a pure danger for in-swinging corners. Meanwhile, my role barely extended beyond arguing with referees and taking throw-ins on my wing.
We lost touch over the years but Stevie later went on to manage the Fermanagh minor hurling team around a decade ago. Several players went on to win the Lory Meagher Cup in 2015.
The McCluskeys are one of Enniskillen and Fermanagh's great sporting families. The girls were into camogie, while youngest sibling Ryan played for years in Irish League soccer and county football and had the potential to be a special hurler.
They lost their father Oliver in 2007, while their mother Noreen is a familiar face to anyone around Brewster Park, helping with catering and blessed with the razor wit of the Hopkins family.
Living down in Cork for the last number of years, married to Fiona and father of Alannah and Odhrán, Stevie found himself living in a world where he could blend into a hurling and camogie culture at his adopted club of The Barr's (St Finbarr's).
Speaking to club chairman Denis Bohane, I was reminded of the lad we all once knew.
"He was exceptionally popular. He coached hurling, football and camogie. He took an interest in all of them. He was always friendly. Such a gentleman to his fingertips, really. He was always in great form, happy, smiling," he said.
"I am sure anyone who encountered him would have experienced that, from his work colleagues and club members. Everybody would feel the same way about him. He radiated generosity and warmth."
Condolences to all his family.