News and Notes: Peterson, Richardson and More

Trent Richardson has MRI on previously troublesome knee

Richardson has been impressive in camp. Will knee soreness force the Browns to slow him down?
Photo by Erik Daniel Drost

Richardson experienced some soreness in his knee and was held out of practice earlier this week. That’s not entirely unexpected for a player who has had surgery for a meniscus problem. Whether an exam finding precipitated the MRI that followed or it was solely precautionary is unknown, but the team said today that the MRI findings were “not that big a deal.”  That reads like a reassuring statement for the short term, but it doesn’t definitively rule out the possibility of more trouble and another surgical procedure in the future.

Actions will speak louder than words here. If the Browns hold Richardson out for a practice or two and he returns to the impressive form he’s flashed in camp, this can be considered a very minor setback. If he’s held out through next week or misses more than one preseason game, it’s a different issue. We should hear more in this afternoon’s press conference.

ETA: As I said, actions speak louder than words. Richardson will see Dr. James Andrews for a consultation on Thursday. We’ll see what’s recommended. Given past history, scar tissue removal, meniscus repair, meniscus removal or simple rest and observation could be possibilities.

Terrell Thomas’ ACL: Does Aggravated = Sprain?

I found it difficult to reconcile Thomas’ statement today that his ACL was “aggravated”  rather than partially torn. Aggravated implies a “re-injury” to me and suggests that Thomas did sprain his ACL, which by definition is a partial tear. And, though Thomas suggested his injury may have been a bone bruise that caused the swelling and aggravation, the 3-8 week time frame could also be suspicious for a ligament sprain.

Sounds nitpicky – and it probably is – but the distinction interested me after reading a comment from an orthopedic surgeon who said that athletes who have had the kind of reconstructive surgery Thomas are usually recommended to have another reconstructive surgery due to instability.

In this case, the term “aggravated ACL” may be nothing more than an athlete translating medical terms into his own words and Thomas will hopefully be able to return to form to help the New York secondary this year.

Ryan Williams held out of the Hall of Fame preseason game

I don’t consider the Cardinals’ decision to hold Williams out of the first preseason game and limit his early practice time a setback. The early preseason practices are important for reinforcing concepts that were installed in OTAs and to work on conditioning and football-readiness. It’s more critical for Williams to not over extend himself in the first two weeks of padded practices then take a handful of snaps in the first of five preseason games. If he’s not considered ready for live game action by the third preseason game or misses more practices in the next week than he did last week, then there’s cause for more concern.

Vikings continue to be cautious with Adrian Peterson

Peterson will have another evaluation this weekend, but don’t expect a rush to judgment. The earliest Peterson is likely to be activated is after the second preseason game, to give him a week or two to acclimate and get ready for the final preseason game. Reports on his rehab continue to be positive.

Antonio Gates in great form early in camp

I’ve had a handful of fans and fantasy owners ask me about Antonio Gates by email and Twitter over the past week. Reports from camp are buzzing about the weight he’s lost and how well he’s running and moving.  Most athletes with chronic plantar fasciitis never fully get over the condition and Gates is likely to be no exception. The weight loss, though only five pounds, could be a very reassuring sign. Gates was very limited in the conditioning he was able to do over the past two seasons. Though there’s no guarantee that he’ll get through the season without a setback, his improved condition and movement is a great sign for his 2012 production.

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