Dr. David Chao
Latest NFL News

What do the injuries to Russell Wilson, Dez Bryant & Brandon Marshall have in common? They all have a similar mechanism of being pulled to the ground in a “horse collar” type fashion.

Wilson’s tackle was flagged as a penalty. Bryant was pulled to the ground legally by the jersey. Marshall was illegally yanked down by his facemask last week. All three tackles are dangerous and have the same injury patterns. They all are at high risk for knee MCL injury and same side high ankle sprains as the tackler’s body pins the ankle while the knee is rolled up upon.

Fortunately all three only had mild MCL sprains. Wilson continued to play before being removed for a coaching decision based on the lopsided score. Bryant was injured the second play of the game and returned to catch a touchdown pass. Marshall surprised people when he finished the game last week and proved doubters wrong by starting this week.

When the defender’s body traps the leg as the ball carrier is pulled to the ground, either the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and/or the syndesmotic ligaments (high ankle sprain) are injured. Sometimes it is both. In these cases, there may have been some ankle symptoms but all three were primarily knee injuries.

The good news of all three are that by video, they appear to be mild. Marshall’s injury is known. Wilson and Bryant will have the prerequisite MRI that will confirm the mild MCL sprain. Contrary to some internet fears, I am sure there is no additional ACL tear or bigger injury looming for either player.

Pulling a player to the ground by the collar, facemask or jersey is dangerous as the tackler’s body often pins the leg. Fortunately, Wilson, Bryant and Marshall escaped with minor injuries; however, this can cause ankle fractures or more rarely tibial plateau fractures as well. Players need to take care of each other. Football is dangerous enough and no one should suffer a preventable injury.

MMMD 1: The dreaded non-contact injuries beginning with “A”

Everyone knows anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears end seasons. Achilles tendon tears are second only to that in landing players on injured reserve. As players get bigger, faster & stronger, the ACL and Achilles do not get larger, thicker or stronger, thus a weak point exists.

By video, DeAngelo Hall tore his right knee ACL. The Redskins officially called it a “knee sprain” during the game, which is technically not inaccurate; however, an ACL tear is a severe form of a knee sprain. Ironically, Hall tore his Achilles in 2014.

Manti Te’o was announced to be out with an Achilles. There was no official mention of tear yet but the bad news is expected with the formal announcement of tendon rupture, surgery and IR. This marks the 3rd Achilles tear for the Chargers (RB Brandon Oliver & TE Jeff Cumberland). This is also the 3rd week in a row that San Diego has lost a key player for the year. Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead tore their ACLs in Week 1 and Week 2.

MMMD 2: Walk-through injuries

Injuries in games, practice and preseason are bound to happen, but injuries during walk-through practices? The Browns kicker injured his knee during the lightest of practices and was later placed on injured reserve.

Sammy Watkins had his foot stepped on in walk-through and missed Sunday’s game. His pain predated the stomping injury and my hope is that he won’t need a second Jones fracture surgery as happens up to 20% of the time with this problem fracture.

MMMD 3: Weather delay in Tampa

A thunderstorm delayed the end of the Rams at Buccaneers game by just over an hour. The delay was not just about player safety but fan safety too. Lightning is dangerous for both fans and players.

Reports of danger in football are usually in high school fields without large structures like stadiums; however it pays to be smart when the chance of a potentially deadly injury is preventable.

MMMD 4: Several medical timeouts

It seems that referees have gotten the message after the season opening Cam Newton potential head injury incident. A medical timeout was not called and the league underwent criticism.

This week, several medical timeouts were called by referees. Cardinals WR Michael Floyd was sent off for a play. So was Browns QB Cody Kessler. Both were not diagnosed with concussion.

This is a good step forward. Now let’s hope the system works this well the next time a big star QB in the final two minutes takes a significant head blow.

MMMD 5: UNC needs to watch the action

I feel bad for the elderly gentleman on the Cowboys sideline that got run over. He was clearly mesmerized by the video boards and not watching the action as it came towards him. I hope he wasn’t hurt.

This does bring up a different question. The gentleman was on the sidelines working as the official unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC). His job is to watch the action and protect players. It is the spotter’s job to watch video and sideline personnel’s job to watch the field. Certainly it would be appropriate for the UNC to watch the video boards after the whistle for replays but not to miss the live action.

Lesson number one on the sidelines is to watch the action. With this incident, I wonder about the experience of UNC doctors. Last week, I was told by a NFL doctor that the assigned UNC had never worked a football game in his/her life and had no specific football training. Recently, Jenny Vrentas was allowed access to observe a sideline neuro doc in action and he admitted to only having 10 games experience in 3 years. In contrast, up to half of team doctors have 10 plus years of experience.

Since the UNC plays an important role, perhaps there should be some formal training mandated before stepping onto the sidelines to help give players more protection.

MMMD 6: Injury rundown

The Steelers had multiple players leave the game. LB Lawrence Timmons (shin – hospitalized and quickly released), G Ramon Foster (chest), S Rob Golden (hamstring), WR Eli Rogers (toe) and LB Ryan Shazier (leg) were all nicked. Their status will be determined this week.

Redskins WR Josh Doctson was a surprise late scratch with Achilles tendonitis. This injury has lingered from preseason and hopefully will not hamper him all year. Teammate CB Bashaud Breeland suffered a high ankle sprain.

Bears RB Jeremy Langford left with an ankle injury. Contrary to some reports of Achilles injury, by video, his tendon is not torn. His return to play is yet to be determined but fears of his season being over are premature.

Packer TE Jared Cook left with an ankle injury. Video was not clear as to diagnosis or when he might return.

Giants CB Eli Apple left with a hamstring injury and his return is to be determined.

49ers CB Jimmie Ward strained his quad/thigh muscle and left the game.

DeSean Jackson and Morris Claiborne both suffered different contusions and were able to return to play.

Tony Romo helped warm up Cowboys with throws during pregame. At five weeks after L1 compression fracture, I expect to see him at practice at any time now in a red jersey. Romo is not ready to take a hit but he is ready to practice with a red jersey.

Jay Cutler did not play with his UCL thumb injury as expected. Even though he doesn’t need surgery, expect his absence to continue as his ability to grip and spin the ball is affected.

Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett’s thumb sprain has not been confirmed as an UCL and thus still has a chance to play next week. Either he or Jimmy Garoppolo (AC) is likely to be available for Week 4 before Tom Brady returns.

Browns QB Josh McCown was announced with a hairline clavicle fracture in addition to AC sprain. His estimate to return is pegged at 2-4 weeks. WR Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice and will not need surgery but will miss 4-6 weeks.

Jimmy Graham appears to be rounding into form after his patellar tendon tear last year.

Titans G Chance Warmack’s season is over after finger tendon surgery. The reason for IR is the post-op recovery protocol is extensive, thus making it impossible to play through, even thought it is just a finger.

MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard

Josh Mcown does have an AC sprain but he also has an unanticipated hairline clavicle fracture, so even though video was right, it was also wrong, so it will be counted as a mistake.

Adrian Peterson did have a locked knee with bucket handle meniscus tear. He did end up with repair, which is better long term but longer recovery. There was much misleading info but scope and repair were always the likely outcome.

DeMarcus Ware did have surgery for an ulna fracture and returns in a month. DeAngelo Hall confirmed ACL tear. Manti Teo will have Achilles tear announced soon. Jay Cutler did miss due to his thumb. Mo Claiborne and DeSean Jackson continued through contusions. Eddie Goldman was confirmed with high ankle sprain. Chance Warmack will miss the season with flexor tendon finger injury.

The 39-1 record moves to 48-2 for a 96% average.

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Dr. David Chao
Latest NFL News

After a relatively healthy Week One, the law of averages has unfortunately caught up with the NFL. Among the many injuries this week, seven prominent running backs were injured. Fans and fantasy owners of Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Jonathan Stewart, Doug Martin, Thomas Rawls, Ameer Abdullah and Danny Woodhead are holding their collective breaths.

Adrian Peterson is the headline injury as he could not put weight on his right leg when he was helped off the field and into the locker room. There were initial fears of ankle injury but further examination of video focused on his knee. His right knee appeared to be locked, a condition that could be caused by a bucket handle meniscus tear when knee cartilage flips and catches in an awkward position preventing full motion. I hope the early optimism is correct, but crutches and a locked knee brace is not the look of a player ready for next week. cstdebtvyaawkr0

The big concern is the high association with ACL tear, although it is possible to not tear your ligament and suffer a locked knee. I wish I had a different angle on video as my worry is the step before the ankle is pinned. I hope his season and ACL are spared but even when a locked knee “calms down” and can straighten, that doesn’t mean the problem is solved. It would not surprise me to hear Peterson needs arthroscopic surgery at a minimum. Lets hope for a small meniscus tear and a quick return.

Arian Foster was immediately ruled out with a groin injury. It is unclear if the injury is related to his hamstring issue, which he entered the game with. At the start of last season, Foster did suffer a groin injury that needed core muscle surgery. I hope his current injury is a pure groin muscle issue and not a sports hernia type injury like 2015.

Jonathan Stewart and Doug Martin exited with hamstring injuries. There is no way to tell severity or if respective teams were being cautious by removing the two players. Their returns will be likely week to week.

Thomas Rawls was coming off a high ankle type fracture and left with another lower leg injury. Coach Pete Carroll related Rawls got kicked and suffered a contusion which hopefully means he is back for next week.

Ameeer Abdullah left with a foot injury after a nifty run with several hard cuts. The good news is, by video, there was no obvious injury mechanism on that final play. The bad news is one has to worry about potential fifth metatarsal stress fracture with all those hard cuts and no definitive misstep leading to his exit. X-rays were negative but that doesn’t preclude a stress fracture. Here is hoping it is not.

Danny Woodhead injured his knee and did not return. As I indicated on twitter, I am purposefully refraining from comment or analysis here for professional reasons. I try to provide insider knowledge but can never give insider information.

I hope this unlucky group of seven running backs can dodge serious injury and all be back to top form soon.

MMMD 1: Quarterback AC joint injuries

Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh McCown both appeared to suffer AC joint sprains. The Patriots QB did not return, but the Browns QB did. The difference is severity as well as injury to throwing versus non-throwing shoulder.

The acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain is also called a separated shoulder, but has nothing to do with the ball and socket joint. Still it can interfere with throwing mechanics and there are different grades of injury.

It will be difficult but not impossible for Garoppolo to play on a short week here but the race is on to beat Tom Brady back to action in Week 4.

McCown will undergo further evaluation on his left shoulder but the hope is he can continue to lead the Browns in RG3’s absence. After all, he did finish the game with the non-throwing shoulder injury.

MMMD 2: DeMarcus Ware breaks forearm

“Meet me at the quarterback” took on new meaning as Ware’s forearm met Von Miller’s knee. cssneptuiaetdyt Ware is reported to have an ulna fracture. I expect surgery to be announced to allow for a quicker return measured in weeks without going on injured reserve. This appears to be a similar injury to the one Thomas Davis suffered in the NFC Championship Game where he had surgery and returned for the Super Bowl. My hope is to see Ware playing in a cast as early as in 3-5 weeks.

MMDM 3: Buffalo injury worries continue

The Bills have had bad injury luck already with Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland. They don’t need Sammy Watkins to miss time.

Watkins had offseason foot surgery for a 5th metatarsal fracture and is reportedly dealing with foot pain. If the pain is from the bone, that is a bad sign. Jones fractures have a high rate of second surgery as happened with Dez Bryant, Julian Edelman and others recently. X-rays were reportedly negative but if symptoms continue, a bone scan or CT scan will likely be next.

Here is hoping the pain is from the soft tissue and not related to the original bone injury.

MMMD 4: Stiffer penalty for face masking

I am not talking about an incidental tug or even instinctive grab; however, when a player is literally pulled to the ground by his face mask, that calls for a fine, ejection or even suspension.

Brandon Marshall was brought down by his face mask to prevent him from scoring and injured his knee as a result. Fortunately it was a mild MCL, but it could have been much worse. In many ways, tackling by the face mask is just as or more dangerous than a horse collar tackle.

MMMD 5: injury rundown

There were the typical early season muscle injuries. Stewart, Martin and Braxton Miller were examples of hamstring strains. No matter how in shape players are, football shape is different and we usually see these injuries more frequently early on.

Saints CB P.J. Williams was carted off on a spine board but appears to being doing better. He does not appear to have a cervical injury but rather concussion issues.

Jaguars guard Kelvin Beachum also appears to have avoided serious neck injury after he too was carted off on a spine board. He was kept in San Diego overnight for observation after a concussion.

Browns center Cam Erving was hospitalized for a bruised lung after being hit in the chest/ribs. He will likely miss at least a month. If he is placed on IR, then a choice would have to be made between him an RG3 as only one player per team can return from IR.

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah ultimately left the game after an early leg whip from friendly fire. He was seen without a boot or crutches after the game so here is hoping for a quick return.

Chargers safety Jaleel Addae was reported to have a clavicle fracture. Expect surgery and a 4-8 week return.

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin got the wind knocked out of him and injured his knee. He will have a MRI this morning.

Vikings QB Sam Bradford’s hand was noticeably swollen but that doesn’t mean injury. The back of the hand swells easily and indeed Bradford finished the game without issue. No, the medical staff did not cut and drain his hematoma as some opined.

MMMD 6: Concussion co-chair exoneration

The co-chair of NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee was cleared by a University of Washington panel of improperly influencing grants. A congressional subcommittee made headlines with accusations of impropriety singling out this doctor. I hope the exoneration makes similar headlines, but I doubt it will. Unfortunately, the original accusations will live forever at the top of any Google search but the clearing of his name will end up buried in the depths of the internet. Such is the world we live in today.

MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard

It was a busy week. Matt Jones did play with his AC joint injury as expected. Unfortunately, Keenan Allen did tear his ACL. Brian Cushing was confirmed with a MCL injury as was Brandon Marshall and T.J. Green. Russell Wilson was confirmed and played with a high ankle sprain. Demaryius Thomas played with his hip injury. Jimmy Garoppolo indeed has an AC sprain, not clavicle fracture. P.J. Williams and Kevin Beechum had concussions, not neck injury. Sam Bradford’s hand was not a big deal. Other analysis including Adrian Peterson is pending cross checking with MRI results.

For the time being, the 28-1 record jumps to 39-1 at 97.5% .

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Dr. David Chao
Latest NFL News

Week one of the 2016 season was relatively healthy but there still were the inevitable injuries. Despite an opening night victory, Broncos fans fretted about star WR Demaryius Thomas’ left hip and his reported second opinion.

Does a second opinion mean trouble? Not really. Getting someone other than the team doctor to evaluate a player is a mantra the NFLPA tells every agent to always do. In almost two decades in the NFL, I witnessed the second opinion rates skyrocket, even for routine injuries. It is not something that I discouraged as a team physician as transparency was important.

In this case, there are several additional reasons that Broncos fans can relax. First, Thomas injured the hip in the first quarter and finished the game. Next, he is not technically seeking another examination of his hip, rather just sending his MRI out for review.

A true second opinion would involve Thomas visiting with another doctor. That does not seem to be the case here. If the player/agent were worried, Thomas himself would have headed somewhere, especially with the extra time having played on Thursday.

The MRI is always read by an independent radiologist anyways and that doctor has usually never met or examined the player. Technically, any further impressions would constitute a third opinion.

Some still worry that the MRI would not be sent unless there was an issue. In my experience, over 50% of the time, agents would routinely request sending the MRI to a “players” doctor regardless of findings.

By video, the early game internal rotation injury did not seem significant. Thomas finished the game with four catches for 48 yards.

In any case, no surgeon operates solely based reviewing a MRI. If there was worry about a hip labral tear, the second opinion doctor would have wanted to see the player. Media and twitter speculation of surgery are very premature.

This seems to be a case of over worry. Second opinions are routine. Sending the MRI for an additional set of eyes is extremely common. In this information era, sometimes too much information creates what I think is unnecessary worry.

MMMD 1: Chargers lose game and star receiver

The Chargers were the week one surprise when they jumped out to a 21-3 lead while dominating the home team Chiefs. Then Keenan Allen went down without contact, was carted off and everything changed.

Allen was visibly distraught, but I go off injury mechanism not player reaction. We all hope his ACL was spared but several reports indicate the worst case scenario.

Head Coach Mike McCoy said ACL tear was suspected but saying further test with a MRI upon return to San Diego was needed. We can all hope for the best but physical exam is very accurate on the field and I always knew a ligament tear by feel. The MRI was done more to determine associated injury. Last year it was a kidney injury and it looks like this year a knee injury will end Allen’s season prematurely.

MMMD 2: How bad is Russell Wilson’s injury?

Seahawks fans continue to worry about their star quarterback’s ankle injury. By video, it was a high ankle sprain type mechanism, but appeared to be mild. Wilson was able to finish the game.

High ankle sprains are the dreaded type that can have a player out for multiple weeks; however, like all injuries, there are different levels of severity. Wilson was seen in a boot after the game and that is commonly used to control swelling overnight. The fact that he was putting weight on it and out at a restaurant were good signs as well. A more severe high ankle sprain would have necessitated crutches and at home ice/elevation/compression.

The worry is how much swelling there will be the next day and this will be the key. Expect Wilson to be limited in practice but I also expect/hope he will be ready for Week Two despite early reports to the contrary.

MMMD 3: Cam Newton concussion controversy

It didn’t take long for the NFL to have this years “Case Keenum” type head injury controversy. As expected, threats of fines and loss of draft picks have not changed anything. Adding a second ATC spotter makes an impossible role a little easier, yet the process is far from foolproof.

The concussion protocol continues to be confusing and the optics of the Newton situation are not good. There was an unsubstantiated report of an on field medical check, but no mention of it by Newton, no video proof, no media eyewitness accounts nor league statement confirming the on field check was done. The NFL should allow the spotters, referees & unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants to speak or release a statement on their mindset. Short of that, it just looks like the league is hiding something.

Now the NFL and NFLPA will conduct separate investigations. Lets see if the up to $150,000 fines for a first time event happen. I doubt that it will.

MMMD 4: Injury rundown

Texans LB Brian Cushing left the game with a knee injury later reported to be a MCL where he is said to miss six weeks. By video, this injury actually occurred on the very first defensive play with friendly fire and Cushing played nine more plays to finish the opening defensive series before leaving the game. This is the other knee from his previous ligament damage. I don’t believe the injury to be severe and fully expect Cushing to return well before six weeks.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski missed the opener with a four-week old hamstring issue. He has been at limited practice so I expect him to be close to playing, although severe strains could have a player out 8-12 weeks. Playing a road game without Gronk, Brady, Lewis, Vollmer, Solder, Ninkovich and with Chandler Jones trading sides, the minus-2 turnover ratio still didn’t keep the Patriots from winning.

Falcons WR Julio Jones re-sprained his same left ankle. Fortunately it is a low (not high) injury and he should be healthy enough to play next week.

Browns QB Robert Griffin III injured his left shoulder but finished the game. By video, he likely has a mild AC joint sprain and should not miss time.

Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater was confirmed to have a multi-ligament knee injury.

Saints CB Delvin Breaux fractured his fibula. No announcement yet but expect surgery and IR as real possibilities.

Giants WR Victor Cruz and Ravens TE Dennis Pitta overcame long odds of missing two NFL seasons and returned to play for their respective teams.

Packers WR Jordy Nelson and Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin took advantage of their extra recovery time with their preseason 2015 ACL tears making successful returns. Running backs Dion Lewis and Jamaal Charles who were injured mid-season did not make the opening week bell.

Texans DE J.J. Watt kept his streak of never missing a NFL game alive. As expected, he was only minimally effective and not the usual dominant player.

Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham overcame odds to suit up after patellar tendon rupture. In limited action, he produced one catch for 11 yards.

Cardinals G Evan Mathis injured his left foot, tried to continue playing but couldn’t. This may be a big blow to the offensive line.

Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise was in a cast for a wrist sprain despite no broken bones. He will have limited availability.

Jaguars RB Chris Ivory was hospitalized for a general medical issue before the game. Here is hoping he is OK and there is nothing related to his calf injury like a blood clot.

MMMD 5: Injury reporting confusion

Week one saw a big change with the new rules eliminating “probable”. With the help of medical followers, we documented that league-wide “questionable” lists more than doubled for the first week 2016 vs 2015 (82 vs 39).

With a player 99% likely to play lumped with someone who is 50-50, this surely will cause confusion. For example, Andrew Luck was described by his head coach as “absolutely” playing yet he was listed as “questionable”. I don’t see the advantage of this new reporting system where less information is given.

MMMD 6: Future expansion to London

Many speak of the travel being unfeasible for an overseas team. This weekend, the Dolphins travelled to play the Seahawks. A flight from Miami to Seattle is longer than if the Patriots were to fly to London.

With some scheduling accommodations, a London based team seems inevitable.

MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard

Thankfully, this was a relatively good injury week. Carson Wentz rib injury was not an issue. Kyle Long was reported to play through labral tear issues that likely will require surgery at season end. Teddy Bridgewater was confirmed to have a multi-ligament knee injury.

This takes the 25-1 record to 28-1 at 96.6%.

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Dr. David Chao
Latest NFL News

Media outlets reported Fred Taylor was unhappy with his NFL doctors for withholding information about his injuries. Who is he unhappy with and what really is going on here?

After analyzing the articles and Taylor’s twitter tirade, this is primarily about NFL appointed neutral doctors determining his disability benefits. “I never complain as a player or now.” The focus is not about team doctors lying about diagnoses to get the running back to play through injuries. He has not directly implicated his long-time Jaguars team doctors or Patriots medical staff. He directly criticize NFL “neutral” docs.

First off, let me be clear. It is WRONG to ever overlook injuries or withhold information from a player or patient at any time. To do so is illegal and considered malpractice which carries civil liability and is actionable by state medical boards.

Contrary to sensational media reports, Taylor makes no direct accusations against team doctors that treated him during his 13 year NFL career. His complains against league appointed “neutral” doctors in determining his post-NFL disability.

After Taylor was unhappy with being denied his “line of duty” benefits three times, he sought out his own doctor who performed 11 MRIs and a dozen X-rays. Taylor says he unknowingly played through a fractured clavicle and bilateral partial labral tears.

As much as one might suspect a player’s current team doctors might minimize injuries, when the player changes teams, the new team doctors provide quite a bit of scrutiny. Just this week, two players passing physicals for current teams failed physicals for the new team (see MMMD 5 below). If Taylor had active clavicle or shoulder issues, the Patriots doctors certainly would be incentivized to call that out on their post-Jaguars physical.

If the NFL neutral doctors are underreporting injuries to deny disability, that is certainly inappropriate and justifies Taylor’s indignation. However, lets not turn this into something along the lines of the concussion or painkiller lawsuits.

NFL neutral doctors are typically jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA. If there are “shady practices”, I hope the players union steps forward to help advance these claims rather than take the position that they only represent current players.

I can see why Taylor holds a medical grudge about being called “Fragile Freddy”. That certainly is not a fair nickname. Anyone who plays 13 years in this day and age has to be tough and endure to play through plenty of injuries. Retiring as the 15th all-time rusher, he deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame and a fair shot at disability benefits.

MMMD 1: Teddy Bridgewater dislocated knee and subsequent trade

The worst injury to date for 2016 is the Vikings QB’s knee dislocation. Details of how a non-contact injury can be so severe and my medical analysis have already been explained at Real Football Network.

What does giving up a first round pick (and more) imply for health of Bridgewater’s knee going forward? Would a team pay that price to get Sam Bradford to start for just one year? Certainly this move confirms that Bridgewater is out for 2016. It may indicate the Vikings know that the start of 2017 is not a guarantee. As Vikings GM Rick Spielman said, “no one knows how long it’s going to take Teddy to recovery”.

I knew it was bad when I saw paramedics were called and not just an ambulance. In my 17 years as a head team physician, I never called an ambulance much less 911 for a player injury. I hope Bridgewater can recover to be 100%, but that would be against the odds.

MMMD 2: Carson Wentz will be game one starter

With the Eagles trading Bradford, there was news that Carson Wentz would start when healthy. Medically you can book that Wentz will take the first Philadelphia offensive snap of 2016.

Wentz’s rib fractures may not be healed 100% but they will be healed enough to play. It would be very unusual for a rib injury to prevent play five weeks after occurrence. Teams rarely wait for full healing with players routinely playing with added protection and rib blocks.

If Wentz were an established starter, I would be 100% certain he would start. The only reasons he would not is if Eagles want to protect the rookie or feel that he missed too many practice reps with the injury.

MMMD 3: Cramp not knee dislocation

On the heels of the horrific Bridgewater injury, a video purported to “pop leg back into place” received over 100k combined retweets and likes. Instead it was just a cramp, as I indicated based on video during the college game.

Sometimes video makes injuries look bad, but they are not. Other times replay makes it look mild, but injury is severe. A trained medical eye is needed. In this case, a cramp can be very painful and it is essentially a “seizure” of the muscles. Anyone who has had a cramp knows it can be very painful, but it is far from a knee dislocation.

MMMD 4: Why is Nick Chubb playing but Jaylon Smith is not?

Visually, the two players suffered very similar injuries. Congratulations to Chubb who made a terrific collegiate return gaining 222 yards. Meanwhile, Smith was placed on the non-football injury list and has not practiced or passed his physical for the Cowboys. The big difference is the peroneal nerve injury for Smith where he still is using the AFO. Structurally, Smith’s knee should be sound. The question is when and if the nerve will return to normal.

MMMD 5: Bizarre saga of Browns cornerback continues

K’Wuan Williams was waived by Cleveland while serving a two-week suspension for not playing in a preseason game. Two independent doctors are said to have recommended surgery and now the Bears have failed him on a physical. His agent is now asking the Browns to pay for his ankle surgery. There is no doubt in my mind that the Browns will need to pay for his surgery. This is the “old maid” principle of NFL injuries. The last team to pass a player on a physical owns all of the injuries. Unless there are facts not disclosed yet, the only question here is the argument over the ensuing missed pay. How many weeks will the Browns owe the player in injury settlement? There likely will be a grievance coming unless there is agreement.

It is not uncommon for one team to pass a player and another to fail him. This week, Patriot Bryan Stork failed a Redskins physical. I wrote in detail about the famous 2014 Rodger Saffold failed Raiders free agent physical after there was agreement to terms. http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/what-happened-in-oakland/ This case is unusual as the Browns have not acknowledged the injury at all.

MMMD 6: Injury rundown

Tony Romo’s status is still in limbo, but that is good news. After a CT scan this weekend, the Cowboys QB was not placed on injured reserve yet. An IR stint would mean missing eight games. Medically, he will miss a minimum of six weeks but that could mean only four games. Hopefully staying off IR means his recovery may be closer to the six week estimate than the 10 week one.

J.J. Watt is off PUP and likely for Week 1. This would keep his playing streak of never missing a NFL game alive. Watt may play but is unlikely to be 100% until mid season as was the case with Dontari Poe of the Chiefs last season.

Josh Doctson is off PUP and on the 53 man Redskins roster. Hopefully the rest has put the Achilles tendonitis behind him, but be careful as this injury can linger.

Kyle Long gets Bears new deal despite a reported labral tear. This likely means he will play in a shoulder harness this season and have offseason surgery.

Neither Andrew Luck nor Keenan Allen are at significant risk for kidney re-injury. Both are hoping for a healthy 2016 after several injuries in 2015.

Is Ladarius Green’s ankle hurting or is he suffering from headaches? He is now on reserve/PUP and will miss minimum six games. Either way it is unusual for a free agent signing to be on PUP as that indicates residual medical problem from the previous season.

Dion Lewis is on reserve/PUP after ACL surgery and will have at least an additional six weeks to recover.

Will Jamaal Charles be ready week 1? The Chiefs have hinted he may not be, but clearly he is not far away or he would have been placed on PUP.

Darren McFadden was placed on NFI for his elbow fracture.

Dennis Pitta is back after finger fracture but the bigger news is his comeback from his second hip dislocation that had him out two seasons.

Tyrann Mathieu is expected to play every single play during Week 1 after ACL surgery.

Justin Houston coming off February ACL is on PUP and may be out for longer than the minimum six weeks. He would have until Week 12 to be activated.

Dion Jordan will not come back from suspension yet as he was placed on the NFI list for his knee.

Jimmy Graham’s status is up in the air after patella tendon rupture. As expected, this is a harder injury than an ACL to bounce back from.

MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard

Unfortunately, Mike Jenkins of the Cardinals did indeed tear his ACL as it seemed by video. Fortunately, A.J. Green does not have a significant injury corresponding the impressions on game tape even though he was pulled from the final preseason game.

This takes the 2016 tally sheet from 23-1 to 25-1 at 96.2%.

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Joe Messineo
NFP Fresh Voices

The Denver Broncos sent off Peyton Manning in a grand fashion by capping off his storied career off with a Super Bowl victory. Manning was a shell of himself in the game, throwing for 0 touchdowns and only 141 yards. However, a win’s a win and Manning will go down as one of top quarterbacks of all-time and ended his career with a storybook ending.

It’s no secret that the Broncos won with a fantastic defense, great game planning, and playing mistake free football. When Peyton retired, it opened the door for the next Broncos quarterback to help lead the team back to the Super Bowl. There were a few candidates available: Brock Osweiler, Colin Kaepernick, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Instead, John Elway chose to sign Mark Sanchez and draft project quarterback Paxton Lynch.

The Broncos may have the biggest drop off in quarterback for a Super Bowl defending champion, since – well – the Broncos. History has a funny way of repeating itself. John Elway carried the Denver Broncos to a 14-2 record and beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in his final season. How did they fare the next year? Brian Griese was at the helm for 6-10 record for the Broncos that year.

The Broncos clearly thought Osweiler was a good enough quarterback to play for them since they offered him a contract. The Broncos reportedly offered their former quarterback a contract worth $45 million, with about $15-16 million paid per year, and a guaranteed $30 million. The biggest offer of $72 million over four years, with $37 million guaranteed came from the Texans. Since they did offer a contract, John Elway clearly wanted to bring the young quarterback back, but had a set price and wasn’t going to go over it.

Trade talks between the Broncos and 49ers picked up this offseason for Kaepernick, but talks died down before the draft. Again, this indicates that Elway was interested in bringing quarterbacks in. Ryan Fitzpatrick also was in search for a new home this season and an already-made team like the Broncos would have been a perfect fit, but the two never were reportedly talking.

John Elway must have great confidence in his defense again since he decided to defend his title with either Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, or Paxton Lynch. Sanchez is the most experienced of the three, having bright spots with the Jets early in his career, but on Monday Coach Gary kubiak named Siemian the starter

Is John Elway trying to outsmart himself? Does he think any quarterback can just come and play with this Broncos team and they will still win? It’s a risk and storyline that will play out this entire season. Osweiler and Kaepernick aren’t All-Pro quarterbacks, but there was a reason why Elway was interested. Instead, he is rolling his dice with Siemian, and Sanchez if that doesn’t work out. It will be a very interesting year in Denver.


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