Health Screen: Colts Safety Chip Vaughn

(Chris Graythen | Getty Images)

Chip Vaughn was signed to the team on October 25, after spending time with the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles.  The Training Room takes a look at the investment from a medical perspective.

Vaughn’s injury history is refreshingly clean.  There are no reports of injuries before his rookie season with the Saints, when he underwent surgery before the first preseason game to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.  The primary question is why Vaughn was placed on IR for what is usually a shorter term recovery.

There are two courses of action to address a torn meniscus: either a meniscectomy (removal of the torn fragment), or an actual repair.  Full recovery from a meniscectomy is typically a four-to-eight week process.  Recovery from a meniscal repair takes much longer because of the poor blood supply to the area; it may require 6-12 months before the athlete can return to the field.

Vaughn was put on IR at final cut-downs, begging the question of whether the surgeon attempted a repair instead of a meniscectomy.  However, Vaughn was quoted three weeks after his surgery as saying that his doctor expected him to be 100 percent by the season opener, representing a total of four-and-a-half weeks recovery.  This is more consistent with a meniscectomy, and coincides with Brett Mock’s assumption that Vaughn was placed on IR so the Saints could save a roster spot, but still protect him and bring him back in 2010.

Assessment: Other than what appears to have been a relatively minor injury over a year ago, Chip has a clean injury history and should be ready to contribute right away.  Welcome to the Colts, Chip!

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