Super Bowl Injury Analysis

Super Bowl Injury Analysis

<b><u>Eagles</u></b> <br><br> <b> Injuries:</b> Wide Receiver Terrell Owens (ankle), Tight End Chad Lewis (foot), Linebacker Mark Simoneau (ankle)

Analysis: Owens suffered a broken leg and a high ankle sprain during the team's game on December 19 against Dallas. Owens has yet to play since then but there are encouraging signs that he might be able to play in the Super Bowl game in less than two weeks.

Owens has been rehabbing in a pool to build up strength in his injured right leg and has been making progress. Owens caught some passes on the side during practice last week and jogged a few steps. Recent medical evaluations have been good and Owens is expected to run for the first time on the leg this week in order to see where he's at physically.

Lewis suffered what is believed to be a Lis Franc Sprain (mid-foot) during Sunday's game against Atlanta. That type of injury requires surgery and will keep a player out for several months.

With Lewis on the shelf, second-year tight end L.J. Smith will take over the starting job and long-snapper Mike Bartrum becomes the backup. Not having Lewis hurts for a few reasons. Lewis, though near the end of his career, is still a solid pass-catching tight end and has improved as a blocker. His presence will be missed in the club's redzone packages and in two tight sets.

Simoneau has missed the last two games due to a sprained ankle. Simoneau practiced last week but the club decided to use backup linebacker Keith Adams as the starter at the weakside position against Atlanta. Simoneau is expected to be available to play in the Super Bowl game but it's not yet known who will start. Adams has played well in place of Simoneau so it wouldn't be a surprise if they leave things the way they are.

Patriots

Injury: Defensive End Richard Seymour (knee)

Analysis: Seymour has missed the last three games due to a knee injury. Though the team hasn't confirmed the nature of the injury, it's believed to be an MCL sprain. It's likely either a grade-2 (partial tear usually a two to four week injury) or a grade-3 (full year usually a four to eight week injury).

Reserve end Jarvis Green has been filling in for Seymour. While Green has performed well, the club misses not only Seymour's ability to rush the passer but his ability to play inside or outside in their defensive scheme. Seymour is considered in NFL circles as one of the top five ends in the league so just imagine how good their defense would be with him back in the lineup.

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