Q: Is Leonard Fournette going to be an injury concern for the rest of the season?
*UPDATE* – Fournette has been ruled out of today’s matchup against the Bengals by the Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone. In a statement released Sunday morning, Marrone stated, “Leonard Fournette will not suit up for the game due to an infraction of a team rule. This has been addressed internally, and further details will not be made public.”
A: For the next few weeks, yes. For the rest of the season, hopefully not. If Fournette can make it through the month of November without a setback or recurrence of his foot/ankle problems, he should be ok. But because Fournette has a history of these injuries going back to college, his injury risk will always be slightly increased.
When Fournette was hurt in Week 6, Inside Injuries immediately said he should miss at least one week (which he did). Because he gave himself multiple weeks to heal, he has improved from a High Injury Risk to Elevated Risk. It is unlikely he moves to a Low Injury Risk this season, but he should continue to slowly improve.
Q: How much longer does Emmanuel Sanders need to get healthy?
A: Sanders is still two weeks away from his Optimal Recovery Time. He hopes to play in the Broncos’ Week 9 matchup with the Eagles, but another week off would be beneficial for his long-term health. Sanders initially rolled his ankle in Week 6 and has not practiced at all since the injury.
Before Sanders injured his ankle, he was already in the Elevated Injury Risk category. From 2012-2016 he missed just one game, but in 2017 he also had a minor shoulder injury, and in 2016 he played through foot, hand and hip injuries. He was also off to a slow start this year, and his injuries may be to blame. Even if Sanders improves from High to Elevated Injury Risk later this month, it is unlikely he is ever Low Risk. His Health Performance Factor is also Below Average, an indicator that he can’t perform near his best if he does take the field right now.
Q: Is the Redskins offensive line the most unhealthy in the league?
A: With four injured starters, it’s hard to imagine a worse situation for an offensive line. LT Trent Williams will eventually need surgery to repair ligament damage in his knee, but he wants to try to play through the injury. His backup, Ty Nsekhe, recently underwent core muscle surgery. Morgan Moses played through two sprained ankles, and Shawn Lauvao left Sunday with a stinger and did not return. RG Brandon Scherf is battling an MCL sprain, while center Spencer Long is battling knee and quad injuries.
The list is long and seems to get worse and worse. It’s a tough situation for Kirk Cousins and the entire offense. Some players are lost for a few games, while others may be back this weekend at far less than 100 percent. The bottom line is this is a bad situation, and it won’t get much better this season.
Q: Now that Zach Miller has undergone surgery, what does his future look like?
A: The first step in his recovery was saving his leg. So far so good on that step, but he still has a very long road ahead of him. Had doctors not moved swiftly and recognized damage to the artery (which was shredded from the top of the knee to the bottom of the knee), we would be talking about amputation. Thankfully things have gone well so far and he has a good pulse and warmth in his lower leg.
The second step will be reconstructing the ligament damage in Miller’s knee, which may involve tearing up to four major knee ligaments (ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL). He has multiple surgeries in his future, and at this point it is safe to assume that his NFL career is over.
Q: Do you think Andrew Luck will miss the rest of the season?
A: Right now, that is the most realistic outcome. Luck’s shoulder did not respond well to two weeks of limited practice, so he received a cortisone injection. That didn’t solve his pain, so he is seeking additional opinions on his shoulder. Either he doesn’t like what he is hearing from his medical team, or they have not been able to determine the cause of his continuing pain. The latter is more likely, but either one is possible.
Luck’s surgery was to repair a posterior labral tear, which is a complicated procedure with a lengthy recovery. He has surpassed the initial 6-9 month recovery window and now may not be ready to play until 2018. If doctors can’t locate the source of his pain, another arthroscopic surgery is a possibility. Recovery time would depend on what damage was found, and how invasive the surgery ended up being.
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