The Training Room: Week 10 Injury Updates
It's crazy to imagine, but we are just a few weeks away from the fantasy playoffs. Injuries continue, as a fact of life in fantasy football, making headlines and leaving owners scrambling for the stretch run. Let's get into some of the injuries we saw this past week.
Low Back Strain - Quick, fast motions of the spine/back can lead to strains of the muscles or irritation to the joints/ligaments in the back that cause pain.
Foster left the game during the first offensive series against the Colts on Sunday. He did not return and was seen in street clothes during the rest of the game.
Bottom Line - Some might be familiar with the notion that hamstring injuries and low back injuries are inter-related and that they co-exist. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much research to support hamstring injuries putting athletes at an increased risk for back pain. However, there is some research that shows low back injuries can cause recurrent lower leg injuries such as hamstring strains and calf strains, which Foster has dealt with this season.
I made a comment to our senior editor John Paulsen earlier in the year that I thought Foster's calf issue might've been coming from his back, and I still stick by that statement. Without getting too in-depth and scientific about this topic, some research has shown that as athletes age, there is increased compression on the L5-S1 nerve root level, which innervates the hamstring and calf muscles. Compression on the nerve itself can cause a multitude of symptoms (tingling, numbness, pain), but it also can leave the tissue susceptible to increased strain due to improper activation from the nerve.
The bottom line is, I think all of Foster's issues have been stemming from his back and that if they don't treat the cause, his symptoms will continue to linger throughout the season and possibly beyond that. Foster could be out a week or two or potentially longer depending on how severe the pain is in his back, which could continue to irritate his hamstring. Owners should prepare to be without Foster for a couple of weeks while they try to get his injuries sorted out.
Strained Knee - A strain refers to some of the soft tissue structures (cartilage, muscle, tendons) in the knee being overstretched, which causes pain.
Pryor was taken out of the game in the 4th quarter and did not return. Coach Allen said the move as precautionary.
Bottom Line - Reports were that Pryor was moving fine after the game, and he should be ready for this week's game against the Giants. I think Pryor will be fine and should be a solid option against a struggling Giants defense.
Concussion - Concussions are an insult to the brain from direct trauma. The brain suffers microtrauma and scarring with a variety of symptoms presenting, depending on where the trauma is located.
Sproles took a hard hit on the first series of the game and was immediately taken to the locker room to be evaluated. He was shortly ruled out after that with a concussion.
Bottom Line - You never want to see anyone deal with a head injury, especially with the way head injuries are now a primary focus in the NFL. The fact that Sproles was ruled out so early in the game, and because the Saints are on SNF against the Cowboys, it'll give him more time than usual to get medically cleared to play. Check later this week to see if he's able to pass the necessary tests to be ready for this week's game.
Fracture Foot - Direct trauma/force to the foot that exceeds the limits of the bone to withstand that trauma leads to a fracture.
Rudolph left in the 3rd quarter against the Cowboys after scoring a touchdown. He did not return to the game. X-rays were originally negative for a fracture, but today a fracture in his foot was confirmed.
Bottom Line - Rudolph was having difficulty being a solid play in fantasy leagues due to the inconsistent play at the quarterback position in Minnesota. Since he did not sustain a lisfranc fracture, his recovery time should fall around 4-6 weeks to let the bone heal completely. Since the Vikings are clearly out of playoff contention, they might hold him out the rest of the season as to not risk any setbacks. If you have Rudolph, check out our Waiver Wire Watch by Patrick Fitzmaurice for replacement options.
Strained Hamstring - The hamstring muscle is the primary muscle in the back of the thigh responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. When it relates to sports, it's a very important muscle in aiding to accelerate/decelerate the lower body to allow proper running and cutting.
McFadden sustained the injury in the 2nd quarter of the game against Washington. He was later ruled out for the rest of the game after the half.
Bottom Line - McFadden and Michael Vick fall under the same category as players with all the talent in the world, but who just can't stay healthy. Because McFadden re-aggravated the same spot in his hamstring, and due to his slow ability to recover, I can see him missing the next 2-3 weeks and potentially longer. Rashad Jennings will be a hot commodity this week on waivers and should fill in nicely for him.
Ankle Sprain - An inversion sprain is often referred to as "rolling" your ankle. The ligaments/tendons/muscles on the outside of the ankle get overstretched and cause pain/swelling.
Woods left the game in the 3rd quarter against the Chiefs and did not return. X-rays taken were negative with reports stating that his ankle sprain is minor.
Bottom Line - It seems like Woods should be able to play this weekend but check back later this week to make sure he's practicing. Regardless, I think there are better options available that will help your team.
Elbow Injury - No further information was given about Kerley's injury.
Kerley was in significant pain after sustaining an elbow injury in the 2nd quarter. New York media outlets are reporting that it could be a significant injury such as a subluxation/dislocation.
Bottom Line - Until we hear further news it's tough to speculate as to what his injury could be. Speaking as someone who's suffered a dislocated elbow, the amount of pain and swelling that immediately occurs is significant. It is sounding like Kerley could be done for the season from this injury. Santonio Holmes could be a nice addition as he comes back from a hamstring injury or possibly David Nelson.