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Anatomy Of An Injury - Week 14
12/3/08

This is a weekly column that will provide you with in-depth analysis of key injuries for the week and their resultant implications on fantasy football. This information comes straight from my perspective as a Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer for ten years. Over this time, I have seen almost all the key injuries that can happen in this violent sport on the college level and how to treat them. Hopefully, this gives you a little more insight on certain injuries and what to expect.


Player: Plaxico Burress
Injury: Gun shot wound
Healing Time: 3-8 weeks
Impact On The Field: The big news of the weekend involved the leg of Plaxico Burress and more importantly, how he injured it. This is a new injury to add to the wall of shame for those players with strange and unnecessary ailments. Plax shot himself in the thigh damaging soft tissue and some muscle. The damage to the muscle and skin appears to be minimal and was sewed up. This should heal pretty quickly. From an injury standpoint, the wound must heal to allow resumption of activity. This may prevent him from taking the field this weekend. The real issue is from a legal standpoint. There is a good chance the Giants have had enough of his shenanigans and put him on the IR which would end his season and possibly his career with the Giants. The problem is that he is still the best wide receiver they have and his ability to beat double-teams separates him from the other wide receivers on the team. The Giants can function effectively without him for now, but when the competition stiffens in the playoffs, they will miss him. He dodged a severe injury, but he may not play anytime soon because of all the off-the-field drama.

Player: Brady Quinn
Injury: Broken tip of index finger
Healing Time: 4-6 weeks
Impact On The Field: This was an injury from two weeks ago that I did not get the chance to discuss. Again, this is an injury that I just donít get. The Brown organization tells Quinn it is o.k. to play and that he wonít further damage it by playing. He has a rough game and has more pain so he sees the guru of all doctors, James Andrews. Dr. Andrews proceeds to tell him that if the fracture displaces further, then he risks potential tendon damage. So, he was put on season ending IR. What are the Browns doctors and high-ranking officials getting paid for? What is the management team doing? You have the staph infection issue, Kellen Winslowís mishandling of his personal issue, and now the potential risk of damage to their franchise quarterback. Oh yeah, wait a minute, they have two quarterbacks that are paid like that. Needless to say, Quinn will be out for the year and should assume the role of QB1 with a new coaching staff in place that will best utilize what he and the other skill position players in Cleveland do best. I think that you will see a strong offensive unit next year in Cleveland with all of them being sleepers.

Player: Derek Anderson
Injury: MCL sprain
Healing Time: 4-8 weeks
Impact On The Field: Anderson was subbing for Quinn who replaced Anderson for being so bad. Did you get that? What a mess! Anderson suffered a torn MCL when he was sacked trying to avoid the rush. His leg twisted backward and he felt a burn. Never a good thing when your leg is pointed in the wrong direction. The MCL will heal fully, but will keep him out the rest of the year. This should put an end to his tenure as a Brown. Unfairly, he was put in a tough spot by his teammates. Braylon Edwards can not catch a cold and seems to be more interested in his acting career. He has dropped more balls in really big spots which had killed drives and nullified points that would have changed outcomes of games. But, Anderson has his limitations too. He is not a very accurate thrower and does not possess much touch on his throws which finally did him in as a starter and caused the switch to Quinn. The real question with this injury is not whether or not it will heal, but will he be cut before his roster bonus is due next year.

Player: Kellen Winslow
Injury: High Ankle Sprain
Healing Time: 3-6 weeks
Impact On The Field: The bad situation gets worse. What a day to be a Cleveland fan. One can only hope they fire everyone there. Winslow has a high ankle sprain and this could put to end his disappointing season. As you know if you have read here before, high ankle sprains can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks and are more severe than a regular ankle sprain. When this ligament is sprained, it is impossible to bear weight in the lower leg and allow one to run. If he gets back quickly, he has potential as a check-down target in the Ken Dorsey run offense. Otherwise, look for him to be a nice buy low candidate next season. He will build some rapport with Quinn in the off-season assuming he is still there.

Player: Ryan Grant
Injury: Sprained thumb
Healing Time: 2-6 weeks
Impact On The Field: The injury is not a big deal if he were an offensive lineman. But, as a running back, it is hard to hold the ball in the hand without the use of the thumb. Running backs need to switch hands with the ball to protect it and require the use of both hands to do so. Without the use of the thumb, ball security becomes an issue. It can be taped and splinted to support it, but pain limits the usage of the thumb. Brandon Jackson played quite well last week and could be a suitable replacement to allow Grant more time to heal.

Player: Trent Edwards
Injury: Groin strain
Healing Time: At least 3 weeks
Impact On The Field: This is a tough loss for the Bills. He strained his groin badly and that will hurt the Bills playoff chances. He was having pain with walking after the game and that is not a good sign. He will miss the game this week and then I guess we will see. He will be wrapped up to take the strain off that area, but with quarterbacks having to take their drop backs in a lateral motion, this puts direct stress on the groin area. Also, one needs this muscle group to rotate and plant the leg to set-up to throw. These are bad things when assessing oneís ability to play the QB position. He will return this season, but at less than 100% for some time. This may not be a bad thing from a fantasy perspective because J.P. Losman likes to throw deep to Lee Evans. That should allow Lynch to have some room to run. But, Losmanís inability to throw to other wide receivers not named Evans and his inaccuracy on his short throws will limit the Bills chances at a playoff spot.