Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Nov 2005

Leftwich Out with Broken Ankle

Two reasons Byron Leftwich's injury may not be as bad as it could've been: (1) the Jaguars' schedule (of the five teams left to play, only the Colts have a winning record), and (2) David Garrard. And hey, if Garrard has a few Tommy Maddox moments, there's always Matt Jones.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 28 Nov 2005

9 comments, Last at 10 Dec 2005, 11:52am by Chris


by Ruben (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 10:35am

I guess it's time for Professor Dumbass Clayton to declare "I told you so" from his yearly offseason "David Gerrard and Todd Collins are great backups" column.

Seriously, am I the only person who sees that recycled, verbatim, every year?

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 11:04am

Broken ankle? Please. Like he needs a healthy ankle to play well. Just have his linemen carry him between plays, what's the big deal?

Maybe all that money is making him soft.

by lafcadio (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 11:31am

The Jags' fans have asked for a change of QB for a long time now. Just be careful with what you wish, sometimes it happens...

But I do think Garrard, Jones (Greg) and the D is enough to travel to the play-offs.

Jags Panthers in Lions' stadium, a feline expansion Bowl !

by Sam (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 1:54pm

Taylor is reportedly healthy and should return next week after being kept out against the Cards "so that he could get his timing back." So that's something at least.

If I'm not mistaken, the Jaguars will play their next several games without their original 3 captains this year (Leftwich, Nick Sorensen [IR] on special teams, and Donovan Darius [IR] on defense).

by bobman (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 6:07pm

I'll trot this out again since the last time I did was the McNair/Manning co-MVP season. Nobody questions how tough "tough-guy QBs" like McNair and Leftwich are and rightfully so. But maybe we should start questioning how accident-prone or even delicate they are? How much time has David Carr missed after a thousand sacks in his 3.5 seasons? Less missed time over the same span than McNair for sure, and probably Leftwich.

Do we all recall the discussions after Week 2 about "The John Teerlink" method so roundly hated by all of Boomer Esiason and Byron Leftwich (other club memberships pending)... one poster kindly described Leftwich's leg injury against the Colts as dumb and (if I recall) amateurish--he reached down for a ball behind him, feet planted, twisting his body, amid HEAVY DL traffic, instead of falling on it. Can you say sitting duck? (yes, he was trying to make something happen, and yes, he would have risked general body damage with 235 lb DEs falling on him, but putting his legs at risk with that plant, stoop, bend, twist maneuver was not the brightest. And Byron seems to get banged up every year.

Actually, I will miss him playing the Colts in two weeks, because as much as anybody was ever in a QB's head, it seems Teerlink was in HIS last game and it would be fun to see that again. I was hoping that misdirected ball of emotions would cause him to throw up a couple of ill-advised wounded ducks, and now I won't get to see it. rats.

by Sam (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 6:45pm


The man played with a broken leg. I don't think you can call that fragile? I would say Byron may put himself in harm's way more often than is good for him, but because of that he makes throws that other QBs may not choose to make by stepping up in the pocket and delivering a strike, KNOWING he will get hit.

by Arkaein (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 8:14pm

Sam, I think you made Bobman's point for him, which would be to say that Leftwich is tough because he's played through serious injuries, but is fragile because he suffers those injuries often.

Now I don't necessarily agree with this assessment, but I think the toughness/durability distinction is an important one. I'd say toughness is a measure of willingness to play hurt and a high threshold for pain, really more a mental attribute than a physical one. Durability is the ability to take heavy hits without getting injured.

Durability is confounded by the style of play and quality of protection, but if a player is often injured you can't really say he's durable, not matter how tough he is.

by deyton (not verified) :: Mon, 11/28/2005 - 10:52pm

It seems that in every Jaguars game I've watched, Leftwich gets hit extremely hard roughly 100 times. I'm actually surpized he's still alive.

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/10/2005 - 11:52am

Carr gets sacked more than anybody, sure, but that doesnt mean as much as you think because most sacks happen when the pocket collapses and the quarterback covers the ball and braces himself to go down. Leftwich gets rocked constantly in the most vulnerable of positions--mid throw. If you're telling me that he's particularly more 'fragile' than any other QB and you think there are guys who wouldnt be out 4-6 weeks after getting their ankle crushed like that, your an idiot.