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Anatomy Of An Injury - Week 16

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: Reggie Bush
Injury: Tweak of Surgical Knee
Healing Time: 0-6 wks
Impact On The Field: I had written about 5 weeks back how some injuries have a tendency to linger. When someone has a piece of a meniscus removed, this allows more of the bones to be exposed to each other in a joint. When two bones rub against each other for a long period of time, arthritic change is the result. Now, I am not suggesting that Bush has arthritis in his knee because I have never seen that reported nor would it be if it was true. But, I do know that his knee is not right yet. Now, this may just be something that needs more time to heal or it may be something that always bothers him. He now has had multiple injuries/issues with his knee. Probably more concerning than his knee, is his inability to be decisive when running the football. He has a hard time making one cut and hitting the hole. His tendency to continue to dance behind the line of scrimmage gets him into trouble. If it was not for the genius of Sean Peyton, he would be the biggest bust since Tony Mandarich. Peyton finds ways to utilize his talent in every facet of the game which allows for him to always be a threat. I would not count on Bush next week. For next year, I would anticipate more of the same from Bush with this knee injury most likely limiting the length of his career.

Player: Joseph Addai
Injury: Shoulder injury
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact On The Field: This injury as always with the Colts has been very secretive. My best guess is that he has an AC sprain. I saw the hit he took and he was leading with his shoulder which usually results in that type of injury. A mildly separated AC joint, which lies directly above where your arm bone meets your shoulder, is a very difficult injury for quarterbacks and running backs to come back quickly from. Because running backs are constantly involved with contact, they are continuously at risk of lowering your shoulder and taking a direct hit there. Once, the damage is done, one is not really at risk for much more damage. The darn thing just hurts. Expect Addai to be out until he is fully healthy. There is a good chance he is out next week also.

Player: Frank Gore
Injury: Medial Ankle Sprain
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact On The Field: I won’t go into much detail here since I discussed this injury last week. I think there is a good chance that he plays this weekend. By game time he’ll have rehabbed for almost two weeks. With two games left and he has all off-season to get healthy, he seems to be a really tough guy. I think and hope he plays this week.

Player: Brandon Jacobs
Injury: Partially torn PCL, MCL sprain
Healing Time: 3 weeks?; 2 weeks
Impact On The Field: The crux of Jacobs’ problem is his inability to stay healthy over the course of a season. A guy that is big will have difficulty shifting his feet to avoid traumatic contact. The shorter quicker guys are certainly more susceptible to the more violet contact, but because they are smaller, can get to the ground a little easier than the bigger guys. Warrick Dunn is a guy that comes to mind as one who is able to avoid severe contact. I heard him during an interview recently say that because he is smaller and quicker, it is easer to lower his pad level compared to the bigger defensive players, which allows him to avoid major contact and avoid injury. Getting back to Jacobs, his torn PCL is of more concern than the MCL sprain in the opposite knee. The PCL goes from the front of the upper leg to the back of the lower leg in a “rough” explanation. It helps control rotary motion as does the ACL. Also, it prevents hyperextension of the knee and is frequently damaged when a defender hits the shin of a runner causing the foot to be planted and the knee straightens too far. This injury does not typically require surgery unless it is a severe tear. The fact that they are contemplating letting Jacobs play indicates that this is not that type of injury. If Jacobs does return, he will be far less than 100%. Knee bracing only helps so much. The bigger question is, do the Giants let Jacobs walk? If you are in the Championship game, I would be relying on someone else this week because of Jacobs’ potential for inconsistent carries.