This is the third in a series of pre-season
articles that will provide you with in-depth analysis of key injuries
for the off-season 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 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. This week I will recap the wide receiver position.
Luckily, there is not that much going on at this position. The
big names are relatively healthy.
Injury: Microfracture Surgery To
Games Missed in 2008: 5
Healing Time: 4-6 months
Impact on the Field: Maybe the
Saints field is something that is a precursor to knee joints wearing
out. First Reggie
Bush, now Marques Colston undergoes the same surgical procedure.
This surgery occurs when there is a hole in the weight-bearing
surface of the knee joint. The cartilage has worn down exposing
the two ends of a bone. Over a period of time, the two bones grind
against each other leaving a hole in the supposedly smooth surface
of a bone which causes a great deal of pain. The surgery digs
deeper into that hole causing the area to bleed which is supposed
to enhance healing and tissue regeneration. This procedure does
work and does cause a relief in the discomfort. In my experience,
it seems to work better when it is the first injury to the knee.
Not when there had been prior surgeries and injuries such as the
case with Colston. He has had numerous procedures and injuries
resulting in advanced wear and tear. Amare Stoudemire comes to
mind as someone who has had a successful outcome with this procedure.
He had a one-time issue that healed well. Jason Kidd is someone
who underwent this procedure relatively late in his career and
he also has had a positive response. So, I guess we will just
have to wait and see how this one turns out. To be fair, I donít
see myself running to grab this wide receiver. I would be more
likely to let him pass. Even if he returns healthy from this injury,
he will probably get hurt again with something else.
Player: Brandon Marshall
Injury: Torn Labrum In Hip; Arthroscopic Clean-Up
Games Missed in 2008: 1 Game Due To Suspension
Healing Time: 8-12 weeks
Impact on the Field: This is a tough
injury for those who need to run on a daily basis. This is a degenerative
condition similar to the wearing out process of the cushioning
in the knees. What cushions the hip joint, to put it simply, wears
away and one is left with frayed cartilage. The torn part has
to be removed and the result is less cushioning between the joints.
Marshall only had his removed, not repaired. Chase Utley and Mike
Lowell had a repair done. A-Rod had a clean-up during the season
and afterwards, will undergo the repair meaning that they fix
the labrum by stitching it back together. A repair is much longer
and complicated recovery. The clean-up procedure is a relatively
quick recovery. Marshall may still have some aches and pains in
the hip but I doubt it will hinder him in any way. He should be
just as productive now that Josh McDaniels is calling the shots.
The Denver coaching staff will find ways to get him the ball.
Even with Kyle
Orton throwing to him, I donít think you will see any drop-off
in his production.
Player: Michael Crabtree
Injury: Jones fracture
Games Missed in 2008: 0
Healing Time: 12-16 weeks
Impact on the Field: The Jones fracture is a break in the 5th
metatarsal. This type of fracture has a notoriously bad blood
supply meaning that it does not heal very well. Therefore, a screw
must be placed at the fracture sight to hold the bones in place.
Afterwards, one canít put any weight on the foot for 4-8
weeks depending on the surgeon to allow bones to heal. Then, one
can start to rehab the injury. It is a long haul for what you
would think is a harmless little fracture. He supposedly hurt
himself in the middle of the college season, but because there
was minimal pain, thought nothing of it. Getting the surgery when
he did was the very smart, safe thing to do. He will be up and
running by the time training camp starts, but will certainly be
behind because he is a rookie wide receiver and they always take
time to adjust the pro game. I am not a big fan of rookie wide
receivers and I think Josh Morgan will out-produce him. This injury
wonít hinder him, but his youth will.
Player: Torry Holt
Injury: ? Degenerative Knee Condition
Games Missed in 2008: 0
Healing Time: Not Going To; Damage Is Done
Impact on the Field: When I went to look at how many games Holt
has missed over the last few years, I was shocked to see that
he had missed only 2 games in the last five years. I had not owned
him in a while and I was under the presumption that he was injury
prone and his knee was not right. The truth is that he has been
quite durable, but age and a declining offense may have sapped
him of his usual consistent production. Holtís knee has
required multiple clean-up procedures in the past, but I would
think he should be relatively healthy for a 10 year career as
an NFL wide receiver. I read some scout quotes that said that
he has not lost anything and the biggest problem for him was the
offense that surrounded him. He was sought after in the off-season
and ended up with the Jaguars who are desperate for a wide receiver.
I canít imagine that he puts up numbers like he did in his
glory years, but he will be the number one option. The Jags throw
enough to keep the defenses from focusing on their running game
and David Garrard is a good starting QB. I am not sure Holt will
be a big touchdown scorer but I can see him attaining 1050-1100
Player: Deion Branch
Injury: Knee Scope
Games Missed in 2008: 8
Healing Time: 2-4 weeks
Impact on the Field: Here is another example of a wide receiver
that was made productive by Tom Brady. Branch was a nice player
but never lived up to the expectations that his contract said
he should have. He made a lot of money in Seattle and was ineffective
and hurt throughout his time there. Now, he has to compete with
TJ Houshmandzadeh for catches. He will be a nice secondary option,
but I would not anticipate him being a large part of the offense.
With the meager running game to keep defenses honest, a new receiver
to compete with, no deep threat and a quarterback coming off an
injury, I would not expect much from him.
Injury: Torn PCL
Games Missed in 2008: 6
Healing Time: 4-6 months
Impact on the Field: This is a rather rare injury in the world
of sports. Because the ACL is the more dominant rotatory stabilizer
of the knee, the PCL is not commonly damaged. The PCL is injured
when a force is directed to the shin area and the foot is planted
causing the knee to hyperextend. It takes a pretty good force
for this to occur. If the force is great enough, you will see
the ACL rupture, thus lessening the stress on the PCL and prevent
a rupture. If the force is applied just right, you will get an
isolated PCL injury. The PCL is most frequently damaged in car
accidents when the dashboard of the car is driven into the lower
leg. James Jones did not require surgery on this knee and rehabilitated
it to restore the strength and mobility. Because the PCL is not
a major player in stabilizing the knee, the injury did not need
surgery because the ligament was not fully torn. Jones is a very
interesting player. He possesses the same skill set as Greg Jennings.
He is tough over the middle and can break the long gainers. Greg
Jennings is in the last year of his contract. If Jones displays
some skills, maybe Green Bay lets him walk and allows Jones to
take over. Or, he is not healthy or does not shine in practice
and Jordy Nelson steals the #3 wide receiver position. Donald
Driver is also getting up there in age and the opportunity is
there for Jones to win a position this year and possibly in the