I read an article last weekend saying that injuries are not up this year. I wish I could remember where, because while that point was correct, it led to an incorrect conclusion. The writer made that argument only to say that injuries are part of the game and we should just accept them. No, we should not. We should understand that the game is going to cause some injuries and be ready for them, but that there is something to be done to reduce the amount and severity of these injuries. Most important, we just have to take them seriously. The mockery that teams are making of the injury report is threatening to make it useless. In the cases of
Manning's case is the most troubling because it shows just how dangerous these injury report shenanigans can be. The Colts and Manning finally revealed that yes, he did have a second, more extensive surgery to remove infection from his knee after it had spread. While press reports are focused on "80 stitches," it's the lengths to which the Colts went to hide things that are stunning. In the offseason, there's no duty to report, largely because there are no games. But while Manning is telling people that he's "finally feeling healthy," people are looking back at the Week 2 OIR and noting that the unhealthy Manning wasn't listed.
While the case of Manning's medical black ops is a clear violation of the spirit of the rules, Winslow's is a shade of gray. It was widely reported that Winslow was in the hospital with swollen testicles. This can be a result of several conditions, like infection, trauma, or as a precursor to testicular cancer. The reason you cringed is the reason the Browns haven't released much information. This is perhaps the most personal injury, embarrassing, painful, and potentially life-threatening or life-changing.
While the NFL requires that we know the condition of a player in regard to this week's game and his likelihood of playing, there's really no need for us to know further specifics. Unfortunately, to maintain this, we need more information. It's a real catch-22. Gamblers work game to game, but the majority of fans and fantasy players want all the info they can get. There are Web sites and television networks built on that concept. Could it work for
It might have been the discussion with
The news isn't quite so good for Jones. His hamstring has a moderate strain (or Grade II) and will miss up to a month. We're not really sure how well Jones heals since he's been very healthy throughout his football career. Speed players normally need a month to avoid re-injury, and here's a place where the Cowboys definitely have the depth to cover the loss.
While most have focused on Manning's revelation this week, the big injury story in Indy is the loss of two of the top three running backs. Addai injured his hamstring early in Sunday's win and will miss up to a month. Addai isn't known as a speed back or a power back; he's something in between, which makes this tougher to read. The fact is, RBs in Indy's system are relatively interchangeable. There's a certain level of things they need to do, but past that, it's plug and play. The transition from
The Colts situation is reminiscent of what's going on in Pittsburgh as the Steelers have had to slide down the depth chart, losing Parker, then
The Bengals are letting Palmer see some of the best doctors in the country as he searches for some answer to his elbow injury. Indications are that he's torn the UCL -- sometimes referred to as the MCL or "Tommy John" ligament -- but not enough to require replacement. Of course, a minor tear would be "structural damage," and there's some indication that Palmer might have another condition, ulnar neuritis. This is, again, something more often seen in baseball and related to Tommy John surgery. The ulnar nerve runs very near the UCL and can be irritated when the UCL swells or roughens. Having ulnar neuritis has been described as having your funny bone (which is the ulnar nerve) hit, over and over, all the time. That's not comfortable and certainly not something that's going to be good for a quarterback. As Palmer continues to search for answers on his elbow, the Bengals are tearing down their season and seem willing to let Palmer rest as long as is necessary to get a high pick in next year's draft.
The news keeps getting worse for the Seahawks. Hasselbeck's back problems and knee problems are now coming together, with his herniated disc sending pain down the nerves and into his injured leg. It's not a classic cascade -- a situation where one injury starts a series of events that leads to more or worse injuries -- but it's similar in spirit. The team has already ruled him out for this week as they hope to get the back under control, allowing the leg to get better. Back problems are tough to read, but with the Seahawks making the quick move, it's a coin flip here -- it's either going to work like they hope, costing him another week or we're looking at a long-term problem that may need surgery. The Seahawks think
Betts is known as a high-effort player, one that doesn't do things halfway. His knee injury isn't halfway, either. He's torn his lateral collateral ligament in a way that has caused problems on either side. There is, according to sources, a muscle strain in both his hamstring and calf due to the hyperextension and forced varus (inward) bend that tore the ligament. It's not a complete tear, so Betts is hoping to avoid surgery, but with the complications, it's unclear whether he will or how long it will take him to recover. Some of my sources guessed on this and thought that two weeks would be the minimum, but this is going to have more to do with Betts' healing response than the diagnosis and averages. In the meantime,