Inside the Medical Tent: Week 15
Updated: Oct 19
We made it to the playoffs. That does not stop us from having to peek inside the medical tent for Week 15. We have had pretty big injuries to some big-impact players over the past two weeks. It would be an understatement to say they could impact your league’s final standings.
Personally, I made the playoffs in three of my four leagues. All-in-all it was a pretty good year for me. The one team I missed the playoffs with was decimated by injuries. Needless to say, in that league, I did not pivot well enough. The past is the past and we move on to dominate all of our playoff teams. Let’s dive in to see what Brian Scott has to say for us this week.
Andrew Leduc: With a high ankle sprain, what do you think the timeline is?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Usually with high ankle sprains the timeline can be anywhere between 4-8 weeks. They are saying he has a mild degree sprain, so that could be good news. The team has said they are hopeful that he may only miss one week. I think that is very optimistic. Even a mild high ankle sprain can take a few weeks. The real test will come next week when he gets back to practice because as of Friday, he has yet to do so.
Prognosis: The team has said they believe he will be out for 1-2 weeks. Judging from Brian’s analysis above, two weeks seems like it would be the earliest. It seems to me this could be more of a 3-4 week situation. With Pierce out of the lineup, there is no one on this Houston team I would start in a playoff matchup. If you are talking cheap DFS plays, Chris Moore could be interesting with both Cooks and Collins out this week.
Andrew Leduc: Injuring his ankle last week, just how bad do you think it was?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Another player with an ankle injury who has yet to get back on the practice field. This has NOT been reported as a high ankle sprain, but most moderate severity will have a bit of swelling and pain associated with it. In order to get past that and get back on the field, it can take upwards of two weeks. So without a practice session this week, I am hesitant to say that he will be available.
Prognosis: Stevenson was reported as practicing on Friday after this interview with Brian occurred. There were no reports of him being limited at the practice either. The team may have just been cautious with keeping him out the remainder of the game Monday night. If Stevenson does miss this week, Damien Harris is in line to jump right back into RB2 territory. Harris also has an injury of his own, but he has practiced this week in full and should be good to go.
Andrew Leduc: With his rib injury severe enough to need to go to the hospital, is it realistic he plays this week?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Apparently his rib injury is significant enough that physicians did NOT clear him to play this weekend. That could mean there is a fracture of one of the ribs or that there may have been some trauma to the underlying lung tissue that may predispose him to a more serious injury if he were to play through it. Look for him to rest up next week too if Zach Wilson plays well.
Prognosis: It has been reported that White has a rib fracture. In his absence, the Jets have announced Zach Wilson will be returning under center. After what we saw from this team with Wilson leading the offense, this does not feel like a spot I will be taking any chances in for my playoff matchups. The team has been publically disgruntled with Wilson and how he has handled their losses. I do not see him as having won the team over at this point and expect a very disjointed performance from the Jets’ offense.
Andrew Leduc: As a medical professional, where do you think more blame falls for Parker almost being allowed to stay on the field? Is it with the team or the NFL?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: I blame all parties involved. There is no way in an NFL game that a player getting injured like that should go unnoticed. That means there was more than one person not doing their job, on the team, and with the league. The teams have numerous Athletic Trainers on the sideline (one of whom should be following the line of scrimmage every play). There are usually several others assigned to specific groups of players to care for during the entirety of the game.
Where was everyone?
A team of physicians on the sideline is usually present as well (i.e. team doctors, Orthopedists, Neurologists, etc.). Even the away team will sometimes have their team physician and his staff travel to games. Add in that the NFL has “spotters” in the booth, who are certified Athletic Trainers at each home game. Their specific job is to scan the field for injured athletes. There is no way this should have been missed. All are to blame.
Prognosis: As a Patriots fan watching this game live, it was immediately obvious to me that Parker was not alright. The moment he stood up and he stumbled. The fact that no one else was able to spot this and speak up at the time is disgraceful. The NFL has had a few big concussion moments this year, with the biggest being Tua. We saw an increase in players being removed from the game as a precaution in the wake of that. That lasted a short time though as the NFL obviously felt they had met their quota in public opinion.
The NFL operates with the idea of making changes until people stop paying attention to those changes. Then it returns to what is best for the league’s pockets. The NFL spotters definitely should have caught this, but so should the Patriots. Where was Troy Brown, the wide receivers coach? As a positional coach, you should be watching your players at all times. In my eyes, the Patriots are to blame around 40 percent and the NFL 60 percent. I give more blame to the NFL because they are the ones who take that public position of player safety.
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