This is a weekly column that will provide
you with in-depth analysis of key injuries for the week and their
resultant implications on fantasy football. This information comes
straight from my perspective as a Physical Therapist and Athletic
Trainer for ten years. Over this time, I have seen almost all
the key injuries that can happen in this violent sport on the
college level and how to treat them. Hopefully, this gives you
a little more insight on certain injuries and what to expect.
Week 11 proved to be a separation of the really good players
from the mediocre starters. Marion Barber, Frank Gore, Peyton
Manning, Anquan Boldin, and Larry Fitzgerald all proved their
worth. The football season is a long one and you will need to
get production from everyone on your roster, because you never
know when poor production, injuries to key players, or bad match-ups
may limit your scoring.
This type of ebb and flow to a season proves that depth is a
key component to assembling a productive roster. Who would have
thought that Terrell Owens would have such an unproductive stretch?
Or LT would look so pedestrian and guys like Tyler Thigpen would
out-produce such proven commodities as Ben Roethlisberger? From
an injury standpoint, it was a rather slow week. We had some small
injuries that may affect upcoming games, but overall there was
nothing that will have any lasting ramifications on the rest of
The one thing that I have learned over the years is that all
of these injuries to professional athletes are treated very differently
than if you or I were injured. There is a necessity from a financial
standpoint to get these players back on the field as fast as possible.
When I view these injuries, I try to be very aggressive when predicting
when they will be back on the field. There are too many reasons
for them not to be playing on game-day.
Player: Clinton Portis
Injury: Supposed MCL sprain
Healing Time: Back to action
Impact On The Field: This injury was completely overblown by media
outlets at the end of last week. He was listed as having a grade
2 MCL sprain that would hold him out of potentially multiple games.
There is no way he had that severe of an injury. He probably had
a grade 1 sprain and was able to brace his knee and tape it so
that there was very little strain on the inside of his knee. This
injury is a non-issue to me and he will be fine the rest of the
way as evidenced by his performance Sunday night.
Player: Matt Hasselbeck
Injury: Bulging Disc; Possible concussion
Healing Time: Concussion 1-2 weeks; Disc injury: rest of the year;
but should play
Impact On The Field: The Seahawks are an absolute mess right now.
Their offensive line is a shell of its former self, they have
no running game, and all of their wide receivers are either not
in game shape or not very good. Hasselbeck does not look right.
He looks like his back injury is limiting him in some fashion.
He had a bulging disc that put pressure on a nerve that goes into
his leg. This pressure on the nerve resulted in weakness in a
few of the leg muscles. He was able to resume playing when the
pressure relieved enough to allow the strength to return in his
This does not mean that he is not experiencing pain though. On
top of all that, it has been reported that he may have experienced
a concussion. Concussions and lack of treatment have really gained
a lot of attention over the last few years because of the damage
that it does to people later in life. When one experiences a concussion,
one gets swelling on the brain. This swelling can cause cell damage
and if one continues to play and further take blows to the head,
can lead to additional swelling and continued brain cell damage
that does not regenerate. Once you lose a cell, it does not come
back. This is why concussions are so serious. But, as I stated
above, it is imperative to get these guys back on the field. So,
he may be back this weekend. This offense is a mess and will provide
no fantasy interest. You canít trust starting anyone on
this offense until people get healthier.
Player: Brandon Jacobs
Injury: Knee Contusion
Healing Time: 1-3 weeks
Impact On The Field: Brandon Jacobs was hit on the knee by Ed
Reedís helmet and immediately encountered swelling. He was
able to return for two carries in the second half, but was taken
out of the game for precautionary measures. He was sent for an
MRI, but all is well. He will play this weekend and is on quite
a tear. Donít worry about the swelling. He will play.
Player: Earnest Graham
Injury: Ankle injury
Healing Time: 6-12 weeks
Impact On The Field: Earnest Graham has been placed on season-ending
IR with an injury. Over the last season and a half, he has blossomed
into a tough, decisive runner who finds a hole and plows through
it. His fantasy numbers have been tempered this season because
of Jon Grudenís affection for Warrick Dunn. A player rolled
up on his ankle and is being listed tentatively as a high ankle
sprain. The high ankle sprains take 4-6 weeks if they are minor
to heal so, he will miss the rest of the season.
Player: Calvin Johnson
Injury: Quad strain
Healing Time: 1-4 weeks depending on the severity
Impact On The Field: Calvin Johnson suffered a quad strain at
some point during the Carolina game. Most of the time, if it is
a minor injury, one can return to competition. It is after the
game that the pain and limitation in activity causes blood to
pool in the muscle. Quad injuries should not be taken lightly,
just look at Steven Jackson. Even a minor quad strain needs time
to heal. There have been numerous muscle strains of the leg that
have caused star players to miss a chunk of time. Jackson and
Addai are two players that come to mind. I am not saying that
the injury is severe, but there is a possibility that it limits
his production in some way. He may need plays off or it may limit
his explosiveness. There is no way he stays out of your lineups,
but there is a possibility that he is not the Calvin Johnson we
all know and love.