Ahhhh, football is in full swing, which means we’ve stopped talking about deflated footballs and are focusing only on the product on the field. Just kidding…this article is more about the impact guys who aren’t on the field, why they aren’t, and when they will be. In case you missed this article, heading into week 3 of the NFL season around 15% of players had officially suffered an injury. Now, we’re through 5 weeks of the season and the NFL is missing some of its biggest stars due to injury. Guys like Dez Bryant, Lesean Mccoy, Marshawn Lynch, that QB in Pittsburgh, and more have missed multiple games, but what should you expect from them going forward?
The “Hammy” group
Esteemed members include: Lesean Mccoy, Marshawn Lynch, and Alshon Jeffrey
I have to say, hamstrings injuries are some of the most annoying injuries out there for athletes. In many cases here is the cycle of how recurrent hamstring injuries go. Rest à Pain goes away à Run/play sport à pain returns (I wish I had an arrow to indicate that the cycle starts over after this last one). The reason that athletes seem to have lingering issues all year is because once pain decreases, they feel compelled to go out there and play. Ideally, for a hamstring strain to completely recover, activity should be slowly and progressively ramped up over weeks, not rushed over the course of days. However, when someone is paying you millions of dollars to be playing football, the odds are that if you’re pain free, than you’re going to be playing and risking re-injuring a fragile hamstring.
Lesean Mccoy – According to rotoworld, Mccoy could still miss 2-3 weeks after an MRI revealed a new tear in his hamstring. The good news is that Mccoy has said he wont play until he is 100%, which hopefully will help him avoid re-aggravating the injury.
Marshawn Lynch – Listed as questionable for this week. Even though Lynch is one of the toughest backs in the game, returning from a hamstring injury too early could just make the rest of the season more difficult.
Alshon Jeffrey – Looks like he will miss at least one more week. The Bears have been very quiet about updating the media on Jeffrey’s hamstring injury, however, given that he has had about a month to rest, I would be surprised if he missed more than 1-2 more weeks.
Big Ben – When Roethlisberger went down I’m pretty sure everyone thought he was done for the year. Although Big Ben avoided the dreaded ACL tear, he still suffered a significant knee injury (MCL sprain), which may limit his mobility even after he returns in week 8 or week 9.
Tony Romo – Luckily, Romo fractured the collarbone on his non-throwing shoulder, which will at least allow him to keep his throwing shoulder moving and strong while he rehabs his left. Even with that said, Romo will most likely still be out until week 12 as the bone repairs to the point where it can take a hit in an NFL game.
Andrew Luck – There isn’t really much information about Luck’s shoulder other than it is “sore.” Generally when a team lists a QB’s shoulder as sore it means there is no significant structural damage and that they expect him back sooner rather than later. I expect Luck will be playing in week 6, and if he’s not, I think it’s more likely than not that Luck’s shoulder is more than just “sore.”
Steve Smith – Smith suffered four broken ribs during the Ravens first win of the season in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Smith and the Ravens, there is no magic cure for broken ribs and rest is usually the best medicine for that type of injury. Given how tough Smith has been over the course of his NFL career, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back (and playing through pain) by week 6 or week 7.
Dez Bryant – Bryant is coming off foot surgery for a broken bone suffered in week 1. Since his surgery, his recovery timeline has been all over the place with people reporting anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks. At this point it looks more likely that Bryant should be back around week 7 or week 8. As long as Bryant doesn’t rush back too soon, look for him to be the big time playmaker we were all expecting to watch this year.
Luke Kuechly – Keuchly suffered a concussion during the first half of week 1 and has yet to return to game action. It appears that Keuchly is getting to close to returning to the field for week 6, however, the recovery timeline for a concussion varies significantly between people which could mean that Kuechly might be out longer than expected.
UPDATE: Week 5
Jamaal Charles – Early reports are that Charles tore his ACL during the Chiefs week 5 loss to the Bears. Obviously, if Charles has a torn ACL he will be done for the year and possibly miss the beginning of next year.
As always, hope you enjoyed reading this and feel free to tweet all your NFL injury questions throughout the season to @Dschwartz_PTs.