What fans and media know about Beanie Wells' injured right knee fits in a medium-sized paragraph.
Wells suffered the injury against the Steelers last Sunday and has swelling. The knee is "stable", according to coach Ken Whisenhunt, and Wells won't knee surgery.
The unknown, however, takes several paragraphs to explore. We don't know what part of the knee is injured. We don't know what made the knee keep "locking up" on Sunday. Wells said it's not related to the knee surgery he underwent last season. And we don't know if it's related to the allergic reaction he had later to an injection. We don't know when Wells will return, so his availability for Sunday's game in Baltimore is in question. The "don't knows" go on and on.
Somers talked to Dr. Orr Limpisvasti, an othorpedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, on Monday. Here's what Dr. Limpisvasti had to say about Wells' knee problem.
"Some of the locking symptoms people talk about could mean something inside the knee is loose or misplaced: a meniscus tear or a loose piece of cartilage or bone, or an injury to the joint cartilage, if it’s a big enough piece. That’s some of the most common things if there is “true” locking."
In Dr. Limpisvasti's experience, athletes often describe a "locking" sensation when a knee doesn't actual lock up. A variety of things can cause that problem.
"Those are the big, broad things. Inflammation of the joint lining, a little bit of fluid, arthritis in the knee. The patient athlete may say, 'it just kind of kind of locked up,' but they mean it more in the lay sense. If an MRI reveal no cartilage or mensicus tear, it may be one of those things."
Alfonso Smith looks like he'll get the start in a bad matchup with the Ravens, who have allowed the 2nd-fewest Adjusted FP to opposing RBs this year. If Wells misses more than one game, Smith would be a sneaky good start against the Rams in Week 9.