Dr. Sullivan’s NFL Week 2 Medical Report Part 1

Dr. Sullivan's NFL Week 2 Saquon BarkleyMedical Report Part 1

Week 2 in the NFL was brutal. Injury reports almost broke social media. In fact, you could probably make a pretty impressive fantasy team using just the names of players injured in Week 2. Let’s take a look at the injuries that occurred and what impact they will have on teams going forward. In today’s injury review we will look at the rash of knee injuries and tomorrow we will look at everything else.

ACL Woes

By far, the knee took the brunt of the injuries during Week 2. These knee injuries in many cases were season-ending. Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa, Courtland Sutton, Solomon Thomas, and Bruce Irvin all suffered ACL tears and their 2020 season is over. They will each undergo ACL reconstructive surgery and post-surgical rehab in the coming days. Since their injuries occurred so early in the season, they should be ready to go when the 2021 season kicks off.  The average recovery time for an athlete to return to competition post-surgery is six to nine months. If you want to read more about the surgery and recovery process for this injury you can read about it in my article ACL Recovery – The Long Road Back.

Watching these videos closely helps to visualize the ACL injury description. In terms of understanding knee injuries, An ACL injury is associated with a Toe Out Knee In position. When watching a film of the injury I  look for the knee going forcefully inward while the knee is slightly flexed and if the player is landing from a jump the majority of the weight strikes on the heel first.


PCL is in there too

Parris Campbell did not suffer an ACL injury as was initially feared, however, he did suffer significant injury to both his MCL and PCL which basically means even though the injury is slightly different, the recovery time is about the same as for an ACL injury. The PCL is an extremely strong ligament and is in fact 1.5 times the size of the more commonly injured ACL. The main role of the PCL is to keep the ends of the two bones of the knee (tibia and femur) centered on each other during normal knee activities. Specifically, the PCL resists the backward motion of the lower leg. Unlike the ACL, which is mainly functional during certain high-risk athletic activities, the PCL is important and is functioning almost all the time even during simple walking.

The PCL does not always require surgical repair, unlike an ACL tear. A partial PCL tear, grade I and II, are typically treated non-surgically. There is a long course of intensive physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles controlling the knee. Complete PCL tears often require surgical treatment to regain knee stability. While Campbell was reported to have sustained an injury to both his MCL and PCL, he is currently weighing his options regarding surgery. While surgery is not absolutely required it is usually recommended in the case where multiple ligaments have been injured. Regardless of his decision, the recovery period of six to nine months does not bode well for him returning in the 2020 season.


MCL doesn’t want to be left out

Kaleb McGary, Isaac Seumalo, Raheem Mostert, and Brandon Scherff suffered a mild to moderate MCL strain this past weekend. Tevin Coleman suffered a severe knee injury according to Kyle Shanahan. I suspect this is actually a Grade II MCL sprain. I covered the MCL and its injury and recovery previously. You can read about it here. A mild Grade I MCL tear is usually one to three weeks to recover and more severe Grade II and Grade III can be four weeks to even season-ending if it is a significant Grade III.

With that said I would suspect that all of the MCL guys will be out this week. Their status will depend on how they respond to treatment.

Tomorrow I will cover the rest of the injuries from Week 2. Stay tuned.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images


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