Monday Injury Debriefing

My sincere thanks to everyone for reading, contributing, and interacting on the blog and for your support and encouragement this year. Safe travels and a very happy holiday week to all.

The report that Arian Foster left yesterday’s game with an irregular heartbeat sounds scary. And in many cases, it’s a diagnosis that requires further testing and treatment. But there are conditions – premature ventricular contractions or “skipped beats” – that are relatively “minor issues” to borrow the term used by the Texans yesterday. PVCs can cause a fluttering feeling, chest pain or nausea and can be prompted by lots of factors, including adrenaline, caffeine, fatigue, etc. To be clear, I’m not saying with certainty that Foster was suffering from PVCs or even suggesting that the Texans’ characterization of his condition as minor is accurate. But it’s definitely possible that Foster’s issues aren’t a major concern, especially if he had further evaluation during his previous episode.

Randall Cobb injured his ankle on a third quarter punt return. Despite some optimism after he jogged off the field and negative x-rays, there’s definite reason for concern here. Television replays showed a mechanism that could be consistent with a high ankle sprain (or, less likely, a foot sprain). Mike McCarthy told reporters that he was “hoping” Cobb’s injury wasn’t serious, but acknowledged that the “next day is a huge indicator.” That’s absolutely the case. It’s good that Cobb didn’t suffer any broken bones, but I expect that we won’t see him again until Green Bay’s first playoff game, if then.

The injury to Trent Richardson’s right foot or ankle is also worrisome. Richardson got the back of his right leg clipped when Mike Adams tackled Colt McCoy in the backfield. Television replays didn’t show an obvious low versus high ankle sprain mechanism and the end of the injury was obscured on the lone helpful view. But what was visible could be consistent with a mid-foot injury and possibly a Lisfranc injury. Take my television diagnosis for what it’s worth, but watch the news closely on Richardson early this week. If we hear that he’s had an MRI and visited a specialist, it’s likely a significant injury.

Matt Forte aggravated his ankle injury again and was in a walking boot after the game. Television replays of the injury strongly suggest another high ankle sprain. Though Forte was telling trainers he could return yesterday and the Bears are in a must-win situation in Week 17, expect Forte to be limited in practice and a likely game time decision at best.

Heath Miller has sprains of his MCL and PCL and was fortunate to avoid an injury to his ACL after hyper-extending his knee during a low hit. The Steelers will get more information from an MRI today, but it’s unlikely that Miller will require surgery. With the Steelers out of playoff contention, Miller will not play in Week 17.

I’m anxiously awaiting more specifics on Adrian Peterson’s abdominal injury. It’s something he’s played through for multiple weeks now, which usually hints at an injury that is not significant. However, there are relatively few injuries involving the abdominal area and some of them – abdominal muscle tears (a.k.a. sports hernia), oblique muscle strains, among others – are very difficult to play with effectively. If Peterson breaks the rushing record and takes his team to the playoffs while playing through one of those injuries, it’s another story to add to his legend.

If you’re interested in injury mechanisms, have access to television replays and aren’t too bothered by re-watching a player’s injury, take a closer look at the slow-motion, close-up views NBC showed of Mario Manningham’s injury. You can see Manningham’s knee “open up” as he’s tackled, a view of an injury we rarely get on the field or on television. I’ll be surprised if Manningham doesn’t have at least a high grade MCL injury and it’s very possible he’ll have a multi-ligament (ACL/MCL) injury.

Anquan Boldin may miss this week’s game with a shoulder injury. Vernon Davis suffered a concussion and will be re-evaluated this week. Cecil Shorts suffered another concussion yesterday and it’s highly unlikely he’ll be cleared to play in Week 17. The Bills fear Scott Chandler has a significant knee injury. Carson Palmer’s rib injury may keep him out this week.

Categories: News and Notes

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