Patriots Insider Kevin Saleeba talked Patriots - Buccaneers practices, Tom Brady's injury and more…
Injury News Is Overhyped Says Elway
Brady hit the ground, rocked backward and held his left knee — the same one he tore up in the 2008 season opener that forced him to miss the rest of the year. Even before he limped off the practice field, Twitter went nuts, and not just because it was a two-time MVP quarterback.
Every twisted ankle and sprain has become a trending topic this preseason, giving the impression there's an injury epidemic at training camps from coast to coast. Teams say that's all it is — an impression.
"A lot of times there's a little bit of panic because all we hear about is all the guys who get hurt in training camp," said Denver Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback-turned-boss John Elway. "That hasn't changed from when I played."
What has changed is how that information is disseminated.
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, co-chair of the NFL's competition committee, noted that while some big-name players have been lost to major injuries, like torn ACLs, every bump and bruise seems to quickly become part of the national narrative.
With so many bloggers competing with traditional news sources for eardrums and eyeballs, "what goes on in the rush to break news now is that people don't have the same standards to confirm the injury," McKay said. "They want to make a splash on Twitter and sometimes it's not reality."
All this in a year when the NFL put limits on padded practices, issued new mandates on thigh and knee pads and made rules changes to protect players on both sides of the ball.
Elway said he doesn't think there are any more injuries than before, and McKay, whose committee recommends rules and policy changes to the NFL, said owners won't get the injury figures from training camp until their October meeting. As a result, he said it's too soon to tell if there's been a spike in any type of injury or at any particular position for that matter.
"We have no hard data yet," he said. "We've had some ACL injuries so far. Last year, it was Achilles injuries in camp. I want to wait for the six weeks of training camp and the preseason and compare year to year and allow the experts to evaluate if there's any more injuries or if the injuries are different than in years past. But I don't think there's any more."
Like Brady, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles also created quite a buzz on social media.
Charles, who missed an entire season two years ago with a torn ACL in his left knee, turned his right foot midway through practice Monday, gingerly climbed into a green cart and was taken to the locker room.
Twitter was atwitter with "NFL insiders" giving conflicting accounts, some saying the Chiefs feared the worst, others saying they were relieved.
Coach Andy Reid briefed reporters when practice ended and said it was a strain and that X-rays were negative. Then, the speculation turned to how long the Pro Bowl running back would be out.
On Tuesday, with speculation about Charles' injury still running rampant, the Chiefs trotted out their trainer, who said Charles had his foot examined by two orthopedic surgeons and they confirmed the team's diagnosis of a mild strain.
The league has barred ball carriers this season from using the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field and eliminated the peel-back block. The changes were the latest involving safety, and head injuries in particular, with the issue receiving heightened attention amid lawsuits filed by former players claiming that the NFL didn't do enough to prevent concussions in years past.
Camps had barely opened when Broncos center Dan Koppen, Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram, San Diego receiver Danario Alexander and Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin went down with torn anterior cruicate ligaments.
Bengals All-Pro receiver A.J. Green bruised his left knee trying to make an acrobatic sideline catch on the first day of camp.
"I can't say that it's unique to this preseason," said St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, co-chair of the league's competition committee with McKay. "Unfortunately, preseason injuries are a part of the game, and they happen every year. It's just something that you hope that doesn't happen to you."
Some players, like Rob Gronkowski and Michael Crabtree, didn't even make it to training camp healthy. Receiver Percy Harvin was sidelined on the eve of Seattle's training camp by a torn hip labrum that would require surgery, something he announced, fittingly, on Twitter.
More NFL News: Profootball.scout.com
Join other fans in the Forums: Patriots Talk
For more Patriots news follow us via Twitter:
Or find us on Facebook : Facebook.com/PatriotsInsider
WarNest.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Visionary Sleepers
The Kansas City Chiefs aren't exactly known for their passing attack; however, Dr. Roto does have a man-crush on one KC receiver in Week 8. Dwayne Bowe (pictured above) has yet to score a touchdown or…Read More
NCAA Up Next
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Wainstein report released on Wednesday provided insight into the NCAA’s reopening of its infractions case at North Carolina this summer and also highlighted potential academic…Read More
6 Sports Records Made to Be Broken
Move over Manning—here's a list of the best individual sports records that are ripe for breaking.Read More
TBT: Pumpkin Carving With A Handgun
While many hunters are focused on pursuing big game in late October, it’s also time to make sure you’re ready for Halloween, and specifically trick-or-treaters. In this throwback Thursday video,…Read More
NFL WEEK 7: Cheerleaders Who Need a Hug
It's easy to smile when your team wins. Here's to those women who didn't have it so easy.Read More