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.
As usual, the drama surrounding the quarterbacks takes all the
headlines. It is the glamour position and is the one in the league
that cannot be replaced so easily. With Romo, Brady, Palmer, Croyle
(did I just put him in this category?) all out, you would think
some of the passing numbers would look a lot worse. But, in reality
only a few wide receivers have taken a huge hit. Randy
Johnson and Terrell
Owens have seen reduced numbers while others with healthy,
young quarterbacks such as Roddy
White and Santana
Moss have taken the step to elite. Let’s recap those and we
are at that time of the year where muscle pulls and “wear and
tear” injuries are starting to occur.
I want to give a quick take on the knees of Tom
Brady and Reggie
Bush. First, Brady’s multiple surgeries for his infected knee
are simply to eradicate the infection in specific locations. It
was reported that the Pats were upset with Brady’s timing of his
first surgery to repair the ACL and MCL ligaments. This had no
impact whatsoever on whether or not he obtained an infection.
It is presumably the luck of the draw. If they went in the first
time to primarily fix the ACL and did not touch the MCL, he still
would have had just as great a risk of getting a staph infection.
Do not let the media misguide you on this one. The risk of infection
is present with the first incision to the skin.
I reported last week the difference between Bush having the tear
in his meniscus removed as opposed to having the meniscus repaired.
It is true, that having less of the meniscus does put the person
at a greater risk of wear and tear in the knee down the road.
However, I would not be concerned with this injury having any
long-term impact on his football career at this time, with the
information that was released. There is a chance that he has some
wear and tear in the knee but I will not hypothesize about the
unknown. It was released that the tear was removed, so we will
go on that premise.
Player: Darren McFadden
Injury: Turf Toe
Healing Time: A long time if he continues to play
Impact On The Field:: This can be defined in three words: slows
him down. This is a tough injury to come back from if you continue
to practice and play each week. It is a hyperextension injury
of your first toe. The first toe is the most important toe of
the foot that allows extension up on your toes. You can’t
run if you can’t go up on your toes. LaDanian Tomlinson
is going through the same thing. The problem is that one misstep
or twist can aggravate the condition and put you back to step
one. The best, quickest, and most effective way to come back from
this injury is to stay off of it and let time and rehab do their
thing. Of course, this is very easy for me, on the outside looking
in, to comment on. I don’t have to answer to 60,000 fans
wanting him to play, revenue stream lines, owner expectations,
coach pressure, and incentive clauses to name a few. This is why
he is playing, but in reality it means he is susceptible to re-injury
every time he runs. It also means that Fargas should continue
to dominate the carries.
Player: Jason Witten
Injury: Bruised Ribs
Healing Time: 4-8 weeks
Impact On The Field:: As I recapped with Brian Westbrook last
week, this is a very painful injury. Injuring your ribs makes
it hurt to breathe and perform any activity in an upright position.
To perform football moves, one would have to be on some kind of
painkilling medication. It is possible that Witten misses a week
or two or tries to play through it. Either way, he will be limited
and will make it difficult to extend his arms and reach for balls
if they are not thrown perfectly to him. It is not really a big
deal anyway. With Brad Johnson at the helm, no one is obtaining
big receiving totals except Marion Barber. By the time Witten
is feeling better, it will be back to catching balls from his
buddy Tony Romo. I don’t think this will have much of an impact
on Witten’s numbers because he has been unproductive without Romo.
Player: Steven Jackson
Injury: Quad strain
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact On The Field:: It seems like we are at the point in the
season where you start to become susceptible to muscle pulls as
the body starts to fatigue. Jackson ended up missing the Pats
game because of this injury. The quad muscle is a group of muscles
that starts in front of your hip and attaches below your knee.
It is responsible for keeping an athlete upright, making cuts
and propelling him forward. A muscle can be strained if it is
abnormally loaded or if there is an imbalance in the strength/flexibility
ratio in the joint it crosses. This can be a reason why there
are recurrent strains. In Jackson’s case, he tested it in pre-game
and continued to feel some pain, so they kept him out the week
instead of risking further injury which would be a smart move
on their part. Allowing it to heal will prevent the likelihood
of re-injury. The Ram offense is not the same without him and
there is no threat of a run attack. Therefore, a defense can load
the box and let Donnie Avery blow by everyone. Boy, did I miss
the boat on him. Anyways, Jackson should be good to go this week.
Injury: Hamstring strain
Healing Time: 2-6 weeks
Impact On The Field:: Again, the dreaded hamstring pull “pops”
up. The hamstring is imperative in allowing an athlete to accelerate.
It is typically slow to heal and requires time to allow the athlete
to return to competition. Santana Moss has been on a tear this
season. I have him in one league and he is keeping my receiving
corps afloat. He has really emerged as Jason Campbell’s go-to
guy and will really be missed if he is unavailable. I could see
the Redskins having him miss this week’s game and then taking
the bye to really allow the injury the time to heal to get him
ready for the stretch run. I would prefer him to play every week,
but it is much safer to have him miss one week then multiple.
I think he misses this week’s game if he is unable to practice
Player: Sammy Morris
Injury: Knee injury
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact On The Field:: I cannot even begin to speculate on what
type of injury Sammy Morris has. My best guess is some sort of
ligament sprain based on the 2-4 week time frame that was reported.
The Pats are so darn secretive with their injuries. You have no
idea who even has an injury, never mind what type of injury it
is. Morris has emerged as an inside presence and was running very
well before the injury. With him out, they will go with a committee
approach of the always useful, Kevin Faulk and some rookie named
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (only in New England or Denver). When Morris
returns, he will be quite useful getting the majority of the carries
including the goal-line touches. But, until then, proceed at your
own risk with the Faulk or Ellis.