28 Apr 2010
Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady has apparently torn his patellar tendon while playing basketball. This is, very obviously, a catastrophic injury for the Broncos, who were already undergoing changes across their offense, and the first example of the injury regression that should be expected to come their way in 2010. I'll update this post with more about Clady's injuries and his comparables in a bit.
UPDATE: This is getting interesting. Adam Schefter and Jason LaCanfora are both reporting that Clady will only miss 3-4 months, and should be able to return for training camp.
Something's amiss here. We have a wide variety of players listed with torn patellar tendons in our injury database. I can't find a single player that managed to either recover from a torn patella in the middle of a season in three months time, or a player that suffered a torn patella in the offseason and then recovered to start the season. Not one.
In fact, there's only one player I can find who didn't miss the entire year with their torn patellar tendon. Perhaps the closest comparison to Clady is Seahawks center Robbie Tobeck, who tore his patella tendon in May of 2000. Tobeck went on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season, and only managed to play in four games, none as a starter. LeCharles Bentley of the Browns, another center, tore his patella in July of 2006 and was immediately placed on injured reserve. He never played again, although that had much more to do with staph eating his knee than the initial injury.
Every other player I've found with a torn patella went on IR or missed more than six months. In fact, every other instance of a player appearing on the injury list (besides those on injured reserve) with a torn patella is an example of a player being listed with that injury from the previous season. Several players were expected to come back from the injury, were placed on the PUP list or were inactive to start the season, and then ended up on IR -- Germane Crowell in 2001 and Gary Baxter in 2007 are examples. Nate Webster came off of PUP in 2005 but was never healthy enough to make the active roster.
In other words, it's impossible to reconcile history with the idea that Clady's going to be back by August. So either one of three things are true here:
1) Clady doesn't have a torn patellar tendon
2) The Broncos and/or Clady are misinforming people about the expected timeframe of his injury
3) Clady is superhuman and will heal at a rate no NFL player ever has.
60 comments, Last at 03 May 2010, 7:28pm by tunesmith
Did you know the Chargers started five different centers in 2014, or that the Ravens placed five cornerbacks on IR? Part II of our 2014 AGL study looks at injuries by unit.