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12 Jul 2005

Ten Injuries to Watch in Training Camp

by Will Carroll

Sure, I've been around these parts before, but get used to seeing me. There's no guy more befitting the title of "Football Outsider" than me, the unrepentant baseball guy. That doesn't mean that I eschew football. Like most of America, you'll find me as glued to the big screen on Sunday. Injuries are perhaps even more of a part of the game in football than baseball. The hits are massive, the injuries more violent and often grotesque, yet there's little in the way of actual analysis of how these injuries are affecting a team over the longer term. I won't focus on who's in and who's out -- there are more and better sources for that type of thing. I'll give you the how's and why's of injury, hoping to give some insight and for fantasy players, maybe a bit of advantage. The concept of risk management is still new to football, though there are teams making leaps in this area.

As Vince Lombardi said, "football is a collision sport." People, let's get ready to collide.

Each week, I'll take a look at the ten most significant injuries in the NFL, a combination of long-term major injuries and the biggest injuries from the previous weekend's games. Some will be injuries that affect a team, a particular player's career arc, or maybe they just caught my eye. I'll admit a weakness for the weird, unusual, and bloody. That alone should make me fit in with football fanatics like we have here.

So, powered by the sobering knowledge that I'm not the biggest coffee nerd in football, on to the injuries:

There is nothing in football more sacred than The Line. The idea that Jacksonville hid information that may have affected the line will likely cause Paul Tagliabue some headaches and cost Wayne Weaver some cash. Teams regularly obfuscate their injury list in hopes of finding some competitive advantage that usually is illusory at best. Fred Taylor's dual ligament tear made him look bad, as if he was jaking it in his rehab from the reported and much less serious meniscal tear. Taylor should come back from this more quickly than the players attempting to come back from ACL surgery. If Taylor was accurate in his breakdown of his knee surgery, he'll have a much harder time maintaining leg drive, cutting his ability to get the "hard yard" at the goal line. He'll also see weakness in hard lateral cuts, never a major portion of his game. What has been a major portion is his time on the sidelines, something this injury and its fix is unlikely to change. Taylor should be ready for the start of training camp just a few weeks away. There's little chance he'll make it through the season intact.

The Jets' future was put in the hands of Dr. James Andrews in January. Chad Pennington found himself with a significant tear of the rotator cuff, the four muscles that decelerate and stabilize the shoulder. Andrews, best known for his work in baseball, was selected due to his extensive knowledge of throwing injuries and the research lab that he oversees. While baseball has long used scientific method to work on throwing, football is, for once, well behind baseball. (It's interesting to note that Drew Brees had his best season after working with Tom House, the pitching guru.) Pennington figures to have all of his strength back by the time training camp rolls around so the real question is will he have "touch." There's something called proprioception -- the ability of the body to sense where it is in space -- that many feel is the difference between an elite athlete and people like you and me. Injuries that challenge that proprioception, such as those involving joints and their action, tend to take a while to come back from due to the rebuilding of that innate sense.

Ty Law will be the starting CB somewhere in 2005. The question is where and when. After Carl Poston, Law's agent, recently declared that Law was "85% healed", teams immediately started asking what that meant. Law is recovering from surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot, followed by a second procedure to clean up some ligament damage that occurred when Law tried to come back for the Pats' playoff run. A player reliant on his quickness -- and now 31 years old -- Law is hardly the best candidate to come back to 100%. The comment from Poston likely means nothing medically -- it's a comment more designed for salesmanship than medical reliability. Law's bone was screwed and plated and at nearly a year post, there's no real possibility that the injury is not at maximum medical improvement (MMI). The ligament is likely healed up as much as it's going to be as well, meaning that Law still hopes to get some improvement due to reduced pain or increased comfort. 85% of Ty Law is still productive, assuming it fits into a team's cap structure. If I'm thinking of signing him -- and it seems several teams are -- I want to see him run, then I want to see his foot the next day.

Like Law, Peter Boulware is facing an uncomfortable summer of convincing teams that he's healthy enough to return to his formerly fearsome four-down form. (Say that four times fast.) Boulware is a perfect fit for the suddenly trendy 3-4 defense with his edge rushing skills. Unfortunately, the two injuries he suffered last season -- turf toe and articular knee problems -- directly impact that skill. Turf toe, that insidious injury, really derailed the rehab for Boulware's knee, leaving him completely untested. Boulware remains risky and will until he hits the field, one of those interesting enigmas of what I call a "binary injury" -- he's either fine or not, but we won't know until he's on the field ruining some QB's day. Whether a team will spend a couple million to find out is a tough sign.

Daniel Snyder apparently can't spend enough money to keep a solid secondary in place. Fred Smoot is gone, Sean Taylor has had more legal problems than Martha Stewart, and now Carlos Rogers is walking around in a boot. A stress fracture to his right foot was only found after he sprained his right ankle in "summer school." (Is that not the dumbest name for minicamp ever?) The term "stress fracture" is misunderstood. Basically, this type of injury is a weakness in the bone that has not resulted in a complete fracture. Usually it occurs over time, though there are many complicating factors in addition to repetitive trauma. Rogers not only has the foot stress reaction, but a severe bone bruise -- about one step down the scale from a stress fracture -- in his right ankle. Rogers injury has an unknown genesis -- was it during workouts at Auburn or a trauma suffered at minicamp? This is certainly not an ideal start to his career and while the Skins didn't expect Rogers to step right into the starting secondary, they might not get anything at all this season from their first rounder.

Another wad of Snyder's limitless cash bin is sitting on the bench with linebacker LaVar Arrington, and he is in no rush to get back. He's been cleared to return to activity after two sets of surgery on his right knee, including some significant complications in between. The surgery was performed by James Andrews, who was clear that while he expected a full return, Arrington's situation was certainly hurt by forcing him back into the lineup at the end of 2004. The Skins aren't expecting Arrington to be ready for training camp, yet again putting his role in their blitzing defense in question.

Players in SF play in the shadow of Ronnie Lott's finger. It's a long time since THE MOST INSANE UTTERANCE IN FOOTBALL HISTORY, a rich field if ever there was one. Jeremy Newberry will keep the tradition going this year, playing on damaged knees while trying to protect Alex Smith at the same time. Instead of having surgery now to correct the damage that remains from his displaced kneecap (not dislocated, displaced!), he had a scope and will have microfracture surgery after the season. This new surgery is used to defray the damage done by the bone on bone contact happening in all too many knees around sports. It sounds as bad as it is. Newberry's season relies on painkillers and balls.

Julian Peterson is not a good football name. It's a Bret Easton Ellis protagonist or the fey one on the latest incarnation of The Real World: Bowling Green. A good football name is Jack Ham, Billy Sims, or anything using Jim or Bob (or both!) as a middle name. Bad name or not, Peterson is a solid linebacker who figures to help the Niners back to respectability once his surgically repaired Achilles tendon allows him back on the field. Peterson has been running sprints at full speed despite reports that he is not yet fully healed. How can this be? The question is whether Peterson's Achilles can handle the stops and explosive starts required of an NFL linebacker. The surgery is pretty straightforward and has great results. Peterson will likely have more trouble adjusting to the new 3-4 scheme than he will with his ankle.

It wasn't too long ago that 6'3", 220 described an offensive guard. Now, it's an injury-prone tailback. Chris Brown has missed time over the last two seasons with hamstring strains, ankle problems, chronic shoulder stingers, and surgery on both ankles. His latest malady is pretty mild in comparison, a broken right hand suffered in mini-camp. Don't expect this to slow him down as much as the rest of it. The biggest injury seems to be the strained confidence suffered by Jeff Fisher, who's demanding durability from a player that has never exhibited that skill.

The Titans are also hoping that TE Ben Troupe will become a bigger threat this season. Off-season surgery on his fifth metatarsal -- the bone on the outside of the foot, extending to the piggie that went wee-wee-wee all the way home -- will likely cause some problems with his training camp, though not in the regular season. The 10-14 week timeframe puts him up against this season's kickoff, though team sources think he'll participate in "most" of camp. Again, this is a common injury that is becoming less common as turf is going extinct in the NFL, except in larger receivers that are overstressing their feet and ankles on cuts. Bigger is not always better.

By the way, when this column returns after the first weekend of pre-season games, it really needs a name. Offer the best one by emailing will-at-footballoutsiders.com and I'll buy you a copy of Pro Football Prospectus.

Posted by: Will Carroll on 12 Jul 2005

56 comments, Last at 29 Apr 2006, 8:34pm by Nathan B. Dawe

Comments

1
by year of the dolphin (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 10:10am

sweet addition to the FO team.

2
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 10:41am

Will, I think you already have a good name for the column: "Painkillers and balls"

3
by Ray (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 11:26am

Great column. It'll be good to hear what's really going on with some of these injuries, rather than just the fluff that the talking heads give us. Looking forward to the regular season...

4
by Steven Cummings (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 12:04pm

Great article Will. Any comments on the possibility of Priest Holmes having a relapse? He sprung back from it in '03 obviously but it just keeps happening...

5
by kleph (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 12:16pm

Will, I think you already have a good name for the column: “Painkillers and balls�

seconded

6
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 1:19pm

"Teams regularly obfuscate their injury list in hopes of finding some competitive advantage that usually is illusory at best."

Ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Can we end this now!!!!!

A four year study of the injury reports by NFL teams (from the 2000-01 to 2003-04, with a side report on 2004-05) found this to be UNTRUE!!!!!

Teams reported nearly the same amount of injuries over a four-year span, regardless of the franchise, league or style of play, with the Indianapolis Colts being the only outlier (and they play half of their games on Astroturf).

Sometimes fans kvetch about the "grading" of severity for the injury (say, "Probable" instead of "Questionable"), but this means nothing to GMs. Why? They know that only 9 percent of all players who begin with a "P" grade stay with a "P" grade. The rest, eventually, end up with a "Questionable" or "Doubtful" or "Out" listing (and "Doubtful" and "Out" are pretty much the same thing), with a great many eventually being relegated to the IR.

I was asked by an NFL team to actually study this phenomenon because they were convinced a certain team fairly successful recently in the past several Super Bowls was "cheating" by failing to report the number and severity of injuries.

Guess what? New England is statistically no different from any other team in the NFL in what they put on the injury reports.

Bear in mind, also, that HPAA precludes franchises and their team doctors from disclosing medical information beyond the scope of the NFL/NFLPA agreement on this data, without the written consent of the player/patient.

This is particularly true of offseason injuries, rehab, etc. That information is circulated only through the permission of the player. Often, he doesn't want bad news parlayed about -- not becaue he's been directed to do so by the front office, but because he doesn't want other players, his team or possible bidders for his future free agent services to know the extent of damage to his knee, head, butt, whatever.

7
by c.regan (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 1:30pm

Good article,once again F.O. hits a home run.....sorry for the baseball analogy...

8
by Eric (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 1:39pm

Re: Fred Taylor

How would the Jaguars get a fine for "misrepresenting" Taylor's injury? I thought the only thing finable was the weekly injury report, and "questionable - knee" is exactly what Taylor was last season, regardless of the actual nature of the injury.

Is there/should there be incentive/punishment for the NFL teams to provide actual information to keep "The Line" accurate? The teams should care about ticket sales, because they do not get direct revenue from Vegas. I would imagine that bettors would rather watch >1 game at a time, rather than spend more money to view 1 game in person. Thus, the team should ignore the better, and cultivate fans.

Whether the Jaguars are cultivating fans by misrepresenting Taylor's injury, or worse, materially changed Taylor's attitude, is another matter altogether...

9
by thatguy (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 1:44pm

Will, or anyone,

Do you know anything about Tony Gonzalez's foot? He was on my fantasy team last year, and every week it was mentioned that his foot was injured and would eventually require surgery. Is this true? How serious is it? Can he go the rest of his career before getting surgery?

10
by Kris (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 2:22pm

I'm curious: is the "most insane utterance in football history" referred to in the discussion of the 49ers above the following: "just cut it off" ????

thanks.

11
by Alec (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 2:47pm

He's got a Knee
(homage to Wanny)

12
by Jim A (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 2:47pm

There is nothing in football more sacred than The Line. The idea that Jacksonville hid information that may have affected the line will likely cause Paul Tagliabue some headaches and cost Wayne Weaver some cash.

I think Carl has published convincing evidence that teams don't deliberately fudge the injury report, but is there any solid evidence concerning the NFL's interest in the betting line and injury reports? I posed this question in another thread, but has the NFL really made a connection between the availability of injury data and associations with professional gamblers? Or are we just speculating here?

13
by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 3:06pm

My understanding of the Tony Gonzalez foot injury was that he had surgery after the season and that he was already back to 100 percent by minicamp. It sure didn't seem to be bothering him at all during the season, so I'm guessing it was never too serious.

14
by Nathan (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:42pm

another great article.

15
by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 5:52pm

Yah, just this offseason F.O. has gone from being the best football site on the web to being way and away the best football site on the web.

Keep it up, you guys.

16
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 6:34pm

Re #6: It's not so much the number of injuries reported, but something you can't find through statistics: a complete lie about the injury. Just a few examples: Shanahan regarding Plummer, Del Rio regarding Byron Leftwich (twice) and regarding Fred Taylor (once or twice?), Edwards regarding Pennington. They were all reported with injuries but it took one to three weeks as well as leaks from within team management in each case to uncover the truth about each of these injuries.

17
by Reinhard (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 6:43pm

#10:
"...he suffered a mangled pinky finger on his left hand. Team doctors recommended surgery that would have sidelined him for the last part of the season.

Lott had another idea, one he had read about: Amputate the end of the finger. The healing process would be much faster ... and he could keep playing.

The doctors agreed, and Lott’s finger was amputated above the third knuckle. He didn’t miss a down."

I t h i n k this is what he was referring to.

18
by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 8:52pm

Foul! Those two games at the end of the year were the only games Taylor has missed in the past 3 years. When can this "Fragile Fred" business die?

19
by MitchW (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 10:59pm

"It's just a flesh wound."

Homage to the Black Knight in Monty Python's the Holy Grail.

20
by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Tue, 07/12/2005 - 11:31pm

Yes, I can see it now...

Steve McNair: Come on, then. Let me on the field.
Flaming Thumbtacks physician: What?
McNair: 'Tis but a scratch.
Physician: A scratch?! Your arm's off!
McNair: No it isn't.
Physician: (pointing at detached arm lying on the ground) What's what then?
McNair: (looking) I've had worse.

Next day...
McNair: Come on then! Clear me to play!
Physician: What?
McNair: Just a flesh wound.
Physician: Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!
McNair: Yes I have!

I'm laughing and crying at the same time...

21
by Tony W. (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 2:40am

The obvious name for the column: Flesh Wounds

22
by somebody (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 2:56am

Lavar Arrington's injury along with champ bailey's departure had a ewing theory type of effect on the redskins d last year (finishing ranked 3rd overall 1st vs the run.) I wouldn't worry about arrington's loss having a negative effect this year.
On the same note ty law's injury didn't affect new england last year at all.

I'm trying to think of one guy on a defense that if he got injured would severly damage the team. The only one i can come up with is strahan when he got hurt last year the giants defense definitely declined. I'll throw in peppers for carolina they would probably get worse if he missed time but that's it.

23
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 3:34am

Re #16:

I'm calling foul on the Shanahan/Plummer incident. If you're referring to the incident that I think you're referring to, it's entirely irrelevant in any discussions of "the line". What happened is that Plummer got injured during a game (I believe it was 2 years ago, against San Diego). Shanahan lied about what the injury was DURING THE GAME (again, if my memory serves, he called it a concussion when it was really a shoulder injury). He said he did it so that if he had to put Plummer back in later in the game, the other team wouldn't focus on his shoulder in an effort to incapacitate him. The truth came out after the game was over, in plenty of time for the game next week.

I have no problem with this at all. He did what he did to protect his player, and since the game was already in progress, there isn't a gambler in America who should be complaining about incorrect injury reports.

Anyway, please, if I'm completely misrecalling the incident, or if there was another situation altogether, please let me know that I need to get my facts straight.

24
by lafcadio (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:02am

name for the column :
Injured Reserve
or (my favorite)
Hurt Block
or
If he was on the field...

25
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 11:07am

Re: 6

A couple of points on your injury analysis.

1. An underlying assumption is that teams (over a four year period) will experience essentially the same number of 'actual' injuries. This assumption is compromised by your own point about Indy. (Didn't the Eagles, for example, play home games on Astroturf for most of this period?)

2. Even if we accept this assumption (and all teams are reporting similar levels of injuries) it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is being completely honest. They could all be similarly 'shading' the truth. Which is consistent with the point Will makes.

26
by Will (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 11:14am

Carl - I wasn't as clear as I should have been on my point. I didn't mean that the actual injury report was incorrect, but that the descriptors were often ... well, not very descriptive. It's not quite the "lower body" mentality we see in the NHL, but it's moving that way. I think you will agree that the teams report as little information as possible while still meeting the requirements of the rule.

27
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 11:56am

With regards to teams reporting injuries, it's important to understand that teams are legally prohibitted from reporting more than what is required in the NFL/NFLPA aggreement in much the same way that your doctor can't tell people about your medical conditions without your written permission.

28
by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 12:57pm

One point I don't see made is that the coach shouldn't have to lie about an injury. If it's severe enough that someone could go at it and really mess it up then the player shouldn't be on the field. I would much rather have a player on my team miss one game than play in that game and injure himself for the rest of the year. The problem is how injuries are viewed in sports by the players and fans. Injuries are part of football and players should get adequate time to heal.

29
by billvv (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 1:46pm

Injuries Explained

30
by JasonK (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 1:47pm

Re #22:

Yes, the Giants D got worse after Strahan's injury, but keep in mind that the team lost 2 other starting D-linemen (Norman Hand and Kieth Washington) at around the same time. Makes it tough to determine how much of the decline is attributable to Strahan alone.

I think a single defensive injury can be significant, but it's tough to come up with examples because achievements on D are very dependent on the gameplan and teammates. For example, the loss of star cornerback leads to the team using more zone schemes to protect the replacement-- you don't see the replacement getting torched, but the defense becomes vulnerable in other ways that it wasn't before.

31
by Diane (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 1:49pm

Congrats Will on your increase in workload! :-) Hopefully you have properly trained your fingers/wrist to cope with the increased stress.

suggested names for the column:
"The Injured Reservist"
"Will-ing and Disabled"
"Nobody loves you when your down and out"
"The Doubtful Probable Questionable is Out"
"She Turned Me Into a Newt (I got better)"

32
by Jim A (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 2:50pm

#27, I believe this is what Carl is referring too. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, see link) was passed by Congress in 1996. Additional privacy provisions took effect in 2003.

Someone should read through the CBA to see how the NFL deals with this specifically. Maybe we need a lawyer to interpret this, but I know policies that are collectively bargained are generally given a labor exemption with respect to antitrust law (e.g. the reserve clause and the player draft) but HIPAA isn't really an antitrust issue.

33
by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 5:41pm

Would it be possible to take a look at the injuries of the Raiders receiving corp. By season end we were down to 6th or 7th stringers, and ironically if Jerry and Tim had stuck around they'd have been getting a game.

Most importantly, any thoughts on Ronald Curry? Is he going to be fit for the season - he'll be key as the Raiders 3rd WR. But also any long-term effects for Randy and his hamstring?

Appreciated if you get time.

BBS :-)

34
by illegalleaping (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 5:47pm

I'm partial to "Keepin' it on the DL"

35
by Björn (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 6:17pm

Kibbles, I think you are thinking of the same thing that the other guy was thinking of. I remember it well. In an interview afterwards, Plummer told the media that Shannahan instructed him to act like he had a concussion. Funny stuff.

Name Suggestions:
The Skinny
The Scoop
Carroll's Heroes
How's it look, Doc?
Doctor Carroll

36
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 6:21pm

Has Shanny ever told Plummer to stop acting like he has a concussion? Because this could explain a lot.

37
by Björn (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 6:33pm

Sortof like the urban legend about the hypnotist who forgot to dehypnotize a lady? You might be on to something, Mr. B. Maybe we should write Mike a letter...

38
by Sean D (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 3:25pm

Suggestions:

From the Trainer's Table
Cortisone and Athletic Tape
Probable Probability
Questionable Questionability

39
by Carl (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 4:13pm

" a complete lie about the injury"

All NFL teams are required to report is -- (1) Prediction of the consequences of a given injury on a player's upcoming game status(P, Q, D, O), which meshes strongly with the severity of the injury; (2) Location of injury; (3) Name of the injured player.

This system stems from two demands and appears the way it does because of a caveat: (1) teams that need injury info so that they can scheme against their upcoming competitors; (2) team physicians already are filling out longer injury reports for the league, other franchise personnel versed in Workers' Compensation filings and state and federal labor regulators; (CAVEAT)An equally compelling argument from players that they should not have to share medical information that is personal and protected by federal law.

If what is reported weekly during the season sounds like very little data, remember that federal law (HIPPA, sorry for the typo) precludes the release of medical info by an employer (franchise), trade group (NFL, a 501C6 corporation), physician (team doctors/trainers/equipment managers, etc.), contracted specialists (outside surgeons, rehab experts, nurses, etc.), or physicians granting second opinions, among others, without the expressed, written consent of the patient/player.

I have linked to an explainer on the law in another section of FO.

What you see as a "complete lie" is often more about the inability of the team to give precise details about a player's injury without his consent. During the offseason, this becomes even more problematic because the typical injury reporting rules don't apply.

The NFLPA and NFL confected an agreement several years ago about what would be shared with each other within the league. The reason why you see the data reported as it is stems from the NFL's realization that the best way to double-check what teams report is to open up practices to the various media following the teams, including media from news outlets covering a given franchise's upcoming competitor.

One of a GM's most cherished duties on Friday is to scan the rival's media watchdogs do see what they wrote about their foe's practice session. He'll look to see if reporters mentioned that Jock Star scrimmaged, or was in crutches, or limped visibly around the field.

GMs then use what they read as they peruse the injury report that's sent out by NFL.

If what turns up in the agate sounds sparse, you should take a look at OSHA reporting or what is ground into Bureau of Labor Statistics' reports. Really, only the Mine Safety and Health Administration is as detailed as the NFL and the media that cover them, and MSHA doesn't name names!

The nice thing about the NFL is that you can track injuries -- as rudimentary as they are shown -- by an individual player! That's great for social scientists (and nut-head reporters) who study this sort of thing.

I agree completely with Jim about some of the stranger listings, such as "Trunk." The nice thing about the injury reports, however, is that the next week's reference will nearly always be more detailed (chest contusion, for example, and not "Trunk").

As for the Plummer incident, that forced most franchises to give out far less detail about an injury during a game. They wait until their reporting requirements kick in later in the week rather than face fines from the commissioner for knowingly fabricating injury data.

40
by Z (not verified) :: Thu, 07/14/2005 - 6:14pm

BooBoo Breakdown

41
by David (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 12:04am

Potential Title: "To the Pain"

Princess Bride reference...

42
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 9:00am

So, Bennie Joppru. Is the reason the guy has never played and will never play an NFL snap

1. bad luck,
2. "injury proneness",
3. something more complicated, along the lines of a subtle causative relationship among the injuries,
or 4. the gnomes in the sky, with the teeth and the orange?

43
by Seth (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 1:55pm

"Necessary Roughness" how about that for the title? anyone? anyone?

44
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 4:45pm

A man with a wheelbarrow is walking past an NFL training camp.

Man: "Bring out your vets! Bring out your vets!"

A GM approaches, carrying an old WR over his shoulder. "Here's one."

The WR speaks up. "I'm not done yet!"

The man shakes his head. "He says he's not done yet."

GM: "Yes he is. He's missed sixteen games in the last two years."

WR: "I'm getting better!"

GM: "No, you're not. You'll be on IR in a moment."

Man: "Oh, I can't take him like that. It's against CBA regulations."

WR: "I don't want to be cut!"

GM: "Don't be such a baby."

WR: "I think I'll go for a walk."

GM: "Isn't there something you can do?"

WR: "I feel happy ..." [snap]

GM: "Ah, thanks very much."

Man: "Not at all. See you on Thursday."

45
by ZasZ (not verified) :: Fri, 07/15/2005 - 5:12pm

Brilliant, zlionsfan. Brilliant.

46
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 1:05am

How about...

The Charles Rogers Update?

or

What in the World is Wrong with Steve McNair Now?

Though, I'm still partial to "Painkiller and Balls"

47
by wally (not verified) :: Sat, 07/16/2005 - 2:56pm

how about "under the knife?"

48
by Diane (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 12:01pm

More column title suggestions:
Injured Reservists
The Training Table
Where there's a Will Carroll, there's a way (to get on the field)
Jimmy Johnson's hair on the DL

49
by Tom (not verified) :: Mon, 07/18/2005 - 7:51pm

this is all really interesting. I look forward to more of these (and I really think 'painkillers and balls' is the best name you're going to come across!)
One thing that I'd like to hear your opinion on is the possibility of any long-term injuries to Terrell Owens after that early comeback. It's a pet theory of mine that all his whinging about players being dropped any time that teams like, and it being all so unfair, comes from some insecurity about that ankle's durability. Is that likely, at all, or am I just making stuff up?

50
by Yellowknifer (not verified) :: Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:21am

I love Newberry. Easily one of the most underrated offensive linemen around, and he's been to multiple pro bowls, which says a lot. However he needs to have surgery. Desperately. We can live with one of the young guys at C. It wouldn't be ideal, but we do need to find out. Heitmann reportedly is much stronger and Baas was a great C in college... best in the nation arguably.

51
by MCS (not verified) :: Tue, 07/19/2005 - 2:21pm

I prefer to ambiguity of:

Keepin' it on the DL

52
by johnny (not verified) :: Wed, 07/20/2005 - 7:44pm

i like "necessary roughness" it is a good football termed play-on-words; "painkillers & balls" is a really good one too. the DL one is alright, i guess; i am just not too keen on unnecessary "ghetto" apostrophes, or capital letters.

53
by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 07/22/2005 - 12:56pm

Go with the classic:

What's Up Doc?

54
by SteelerBill (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2005 - 10:50am

Love the reference in #11 to Wanny - "he has a knee"....

I'm not convinced, and have heard this discussed on the NFL Network actually, that Chad will be ready to go in week 1...had anyone else heard this?

55
by Diane (not verified) :: Wed, 08/03/2005 - 1:49pm

Even MORE suggestions:
3 yards of tape and a cloud of dust
The Medical Red Zone

56
by Nathan B. Dawe (not verified) :: Sat, 04/29/2006 - 8:34pm

how did you did not know how the draft.

tottally off the page

if you had this in perspective how would you fix the 2006 NFL Draft