Monday Injury Debriefing

Griffin avoided a significant knee injury, but his Week 15 status is still unknown. (Photo by Keith Allison)

Griffin avoided a significant knee injury, but his Week 15 status is still unknown.
(Photo by Keith Allison)

Robert Griffin III avoided serious injury after a dramatic hyperextension injury yesterday. The wording of the Redskins’ press release – a clear MRI with a knee sprain – caused some confusion initially, as the MRI technically couldn’t have been “clear” and have a finding of a ligament sprain. I think the Redskins were simply trying to reassure their fans that Griffin’s knee was clear of the most significant ligament injuries – high grade sprains and/or an ACL tear. Based on the hyperextension and knee sprain report, it’s most likely that Griffin has a low-mid grade PCL sprain. That’s just my speculation, however; we’ll hopefully get more specifics from Mike Shanahan today. It’s also too early to say anything about Griffin’s return to play expectation. If the injury is low grade, it’s possible that Griffin could play this week, but it won’t be surprising to hear anything from a 1-4 week timetable.

(Edit: Griffin has a Grade 1 LCL strain per Mike Shanahan. He’ll be limited in practice this week, but could play in a brace. His availability will depend on how much looseness he feels in the joint at the end of the week and how much any pain, swelling or stiffness he has after a week of treatment. If he’s unable to play this week, it shouldn’t be a long term injury.)

Dez Bryant is seeing a hand specialist to determine the best course of action for a torn tendon in his finger. The decision to have surgery or not will depend on the severity (complete or incomplete) and location (flexor or extensor) of the tendon tear. A completely torn tendon would prevent Bryant from either flexing (finger cannot be bent) or extending (finger cannot be straightened) a portion of the injured finger. If there’s any concern that the tendon cannot be repaired at a later date or that Bryant could be left with a permanent deformity or loss of function that would limit his ability to catch passes, surgery will likely be recommended. Repair of the tendon is followed by strict splinting of the finger to allow full healing, a process that usually continues for 4-6 weeks. Additional intermittent splinting and therapy can extend the recovery period to 10+ weeks. If it’s determined that Bryant can play through the injury (pain, swelling, loss of range of motion) without long term disability, Bryant could return as soon as this week.

Ray Rice reportedly has a hip pointer, which is a bruise of the tissues (and sometimes bone itself) overlying the top of the pelvis. If the bruising is extensive, the swelling and inflammation can irritate nerves in the area, adding to the pain and potential loss of range of motion in the leg on the injured side. Rice injury is thought to be minor and he was able to play effectively through it yesterday, but the full extent is often not known immediately. It’s too early to handicap his chances of playing in Week 15, but expect him to be limited in practice early this week.

Hakeem Nicks saw fewer practice reps last week, limped during yesterday’s game at times, then admitted that he banged his knee again after having x-rays after the game. Those x-rays were reportedly negative, but that doesn’t rule out another episode of swelling that could limit Nicks this week or a recurrence of any possible soft tissue injury that he had dealt with earlier in the season. We may not know much about his Week 15 status until very late this week.

I tweeted last night that Fred Jackson’s injury looked like a possible MCL sprain (with or without an ACL injury) and the team confirmed a Grade 2 MCL injury at their morning press conference today. Mid-grade MCL sprains can take 2-6 weeks to heal and indications are that the team believes Jackson’s injury will keep him out the rest of the season. Though it’s the second significant ligament injury to Jackson’s right knee this season, he should be fully recovered in time for offseason activities.

Television angles didn’t show a clear mechanism of injury, but Ahmad Bradshaw left yesterday’s game after having his left knee twisting while chipping a defensive end. Bradshaw later returned to the game, but Tom Coughlin hinted that Bradshaw was expected to be sore this week. Bradshaw rarely practices during the week, but any decrease in practice participation would be cause for some concern.

Brandon Pettigrew didn’t return after suffering an ankle injury when rolled up on from the side while blocking at the line of scrimmage. Television angles weren’t conclusive and Pettigrew did not return to the game. Knowing the Lions, we’re not likely to get any meaningful information on Pettigrew’s injury today.

Jay Cutler has a neck injury. It’s being described as “whiplash” which is essentially a painful strain of the muscles around the neck. It’s something Cutler can play through if he has enough range of motion and strength to protect himself from further injury. According to reports, Dwayne Bowe may have multiple rib fractures. Depending on their location and Bowe’s ability to play through pain, the injury may or may not be season-ending. Brent Celek joins the long list of Eagles’ players on the concussion evaluation pathway this week. Jared Cook is reportedly dealing with another shoulder injury. (Edit: The injury has since been reported to be a torn rotator cuff. Cook is likely out for the rest of the season.)

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