In the Training Room: Impact of a Lockout on Rehab

Melvin Bullitt

With a potential NFL lockout coming, two health-related impacts loom large for players.  The first is the possible loss of health care benefits (Patriots’ OL Matt Light raises an excellent non-game-related example of how this affects players personally).  The other is that players who are rehabbing from injury will not have access to team facilities beginning March 4.  This article looks at who on the Colts’ team this is likely to affect most.

By the end of the season, approximately 22 Colts were suffering or recovering from serious injury.  Most of those players were already on IR, and a few (like WR Reggie Wayne) played through injury for several weeks.  Below are the players who will likely still be in process rehabbing and will probably need access to team facilities.  I’ve taken a very high-level guess at when I think they will have returned to full health and any extenuating circumstances:

Player Injury Injured Date (2010) Projected Healthy Date (2011) Notes
M.Bullitt Broken bone in shoulder Oct 3 July 1
D.Clark Displaced tendon in wrist Oct 17 May 1
C.Glenn Neck Nov 28 Apr 1
A.Gonzalez Sprained PCL Nov 1 July 1 Gonzo previously declared that he felt “good;” I’m being ultra-cautious and assuming he still needs some treatment to be 100%.
K.Hayden Neck Nov 28 / Dec 16 May 1
J.Hemby Torn ACL Aug 19 Aug 1
D.Moore Brachial plexus Oct 3 Unknown See below
J.Powers Fractured forearm Dec 5 June 1
C.Session Dislocated elbow, fractured forearm Nov 1 May 1
K.Thomas Believed to be torn ACL with accompanying MCL damage May 2 May 1
C.Vaughn Ankle Nov 21 May 1

Devin Moore is an interesting case.  He suffered a brachial plexus injury on October 3, and was immediately put on IR.  It’s unclear whether the team did so to free up his roster spot, or whether the injury was too severe to overcome.  I assume that Moore might still need access to team facilities, but if he’s still not healed after 5 months, I fear this means the worst for his career. I suspect the following players will not likely need access to the facilities:

Player Injury Injured Date (2010) Projected Healthy Date (2011) Notes
A.Collie Concussion Nov 7, Nov 21, Dec 19 Unknown Likely just needs rest; would need access only to pass concussion tests
R.Diem* Back Jan 2 (2011) Apr 1 Probably just needs rest
A.Johnson* Chest Jan 2 (2011) Mar 1 Johnson was able to participate in practice on a limited basis prior to the playoff game, so this is not likely a long-term injury
B.King Hamstring Nov 17 Jan 1 When King was placed on IR, it was said his injury was not severe enough to keep him out for the season, but the team needed the roster spot.
M.Newton* Hamstring Jan 1 Apr 1 Pure speculation, as no information was released regarding Newton’s injury
B.Sanders Torn biceps Sep 12 Feb 1 Sanders spent a good portion of the season rehabbing in California; I expect him to return there for the rest of his recovery
R.Wayne* Knee Unknown Unknown Always goes to Miami during the offseason

* = not on IR Finally, the following players had been waived/injured, meaning that the Colts were willing to allow another team to acquire them before placing them on IR.  It is reasonable to think that the team will release these players at the end of the season, in which case they would not have access to the facilities in any case.  One name that surprises me on this list is Silva, but it is difficult to expect him to return to form as special teams ace after he suffered a torn ACL.

Player Injury Injured Date (2010) Projected Healthy Date (2011) Notes
D.Caldwell Shoulder Aug 14 Unknown
T.Santi Undisclosed Aug 2 Unknown
J.Silva Torn ACL Aug 17 Aug 1
B.Swenson Undisclosed Jul 28 Unknown

Analysis: What sticks out for me is that a number of key starters (Clark, Hayden, Powers) could be without access to team facilities during their recovery.  As professional athletes, all of these men are certain to be preparing for this possibility, such as by adapting a plan for home rehab or getting treatment from another facility.  But the break in continuity cannot be overlooked.

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