"Have we reached the limits of the human body?"
That was the question I asked after Sunday's casualty-laden Week 1. With players spending the last two decades getting bigger, stronger and faster, the hits have gotten bigger, the fatigue has come faster, but the ability to hold up is not stronger. There is, somewhere, a genetic maximum, different for each player on what they can take. Dr.
With year-round "voluntary" camps, minicamps, workouts and more, fatigue is setting in earlier, leaving the muscles that support joints tired and less able to stabilize. The mind isn't able to react quickly enough, leaving players in the wrong place in the wrong position. It could well be that everything coaches are trying to do to prepare players is leading, indirectly, to the sheer number and severity of the injuries we're having today. I'm asking around, so I'm hoping to get a better answer to this question soon. Without an historical database, I can't say for sure, but the trend lines don't look good. It gives us plenty to talk about this week, and sadly, throughout the season, so let's get to the state of the latest injuries:
Young is taking this knee injury way too hard. The MCL sprain he suffered isn't that bad and normally would cost him between two and four weeks. Young has always been able to heal relatively quickly and to play through pain, so
The Bucs didn't waste time letting everyone know that Garcia would be out this week. The ankle sprain, combined with a line that got him knocked down eight times, made it clear to
"It bent all the way backward." That cringe-inducing quote tells you all you need to about the severity of Colston's thumb injury. The mechanism was brutal, but the surgery to reattach the ligaments and tendons is pretty straightforward. Now, Colston will work in rehab, but there's a couple factors that will help determine when he comes back. First, his QB,
The Jags might be trying to emulate the Colts on the field, but this is not what they meant. Just like the Colts, the Jags now have a very thin interior line due to a tough sequence of injuries on and off the field, from losing
Yes, it's possible not to lead with Brady. By now, you all know the prognosis. When I initially saw the hit on Brady, my first thought was "that could be worse." I quickly learned the danger of judging anything from one angle, one look and from a distance. I didn't hear (or see) Brady's scream. The initial angle I saw was the high end zone corner shot, one that made it appear that
The hit came from the outside of the knee with Brady's knee caving in medially and then twisting. When you
A doctor I spoke with Tuesday night still doesn't understand how the ACL tore on that hit and wonders if Brady had previous damage to the knee, though there's no indication that was the case. As everyone in the free world knows, Brady is having imaging done today, though manual tests indicate at least an ACL tear. There's no question that Brady will be ready to return next year, but we don't know how the associated damage was fixed yet -- strains to the MCL, tears in the meniscus -- and those go a long way toward determining how a player returns. Given the time, Brady's work ethic and his style of play, I don't anticipate any problems as he returns. Of course, we still don't know exactly what Brady damaged and what he will have repaired, or even who will perform the surgery, so there's still a lot of "unknown unknowns" to deal with before we have a clear picture of his return path.
The line play last week left something to be desired for the Colts. Putting a three-deep guy or two against a physical, complex defense is just a terrible matchup, and given that, the results might not be so bad. The Colts aren't waiting to see if it gets better, pushing
The news is pretty good for Clark. There are no structural issues, leaving many to think that Clark has a meniscal tear of some degree or a mild sprain. He's expected to play, though the Colts are using a lot of three-wide sets and even some two-back looks, an indication that Clark might not play as much as normal. It's also notable that
McGahee was active, but didn't play last week. For those who are wondering, that counts as far as the NFL injury calculations work as a game played for purposes of monitoring the OIR. McGahee's knee continues to progress from preseason surgery and figures to have him back in the lineup this week. He'll likely get the start, though it's clear that
It's not bad enough that Hasselbeck has a sore back, a banged up line and no receivers to throw to now that
Burleson is done for the season, but the team still cut