How are top earners affected by productivity shocks? We address this question using a unique longitudinal data set on the universe of professional football players in the Italian Serie A, representing 20% of top earners in Italy. We use traumatic injuries and adopt an IV strategy to provide causal estimates of the impact of productivity shocks on several labour market outcomes. We find that a 30-day injury substantially affects the probability of contract renegotiation and reduces net wages by around 12%. We show that this large penalty is due to employer's precautionary motives rather than to shock-induced reduction in current player's performance.