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Triage Time: The Knee has the Most Votes

RB Bilal Powell is asking for good news on his knee injury....so are fantasy owners. (Icon SMI)

RB Bilal Powell, Louisville – Knee

Powell injured his knee last week against Pitt and has already been ruled out for this week’s contest against the surprising Orangemen of Syracuse. Latest reports indicate that the knee has a significant amount of swelling which would be indicative of ligamentous damage. Chances are that the Louisville medical staff will wait until some of the swelling subsides before doing further diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the injury. If it turns out to be ligamentous, his season is over. Although Louisville has a fighting chance to become Bowl eligible, Bowl eligible does not necessarily translate to Bowl invited and their chances just took a big hit with the loss of Powell, one of the premier rushers in the nation.

WR Greg Childs, Arkansas – Patellar tendon

Childs, the Razorbacks leading receiver, is out for the season with a torn patellar tendon. The patellar tendon runs distally from the quadriceps (anterior thigh) muscles and attaches to the tibial tubercle (bony prominence below the knee). The patellar tendon is important because the patella is located within the tendon. Childs will be facing surgery and a significant rehabilitation period, but should be ready for Spring practice and should be able to play next season up to his former all-star capabilities.

QB Dan Persa, Northwestern – Concussion

Persa is a lucky man. The concussion he suffered in the 4th quarter of the Indiana game was not serious and he has already passed the neurological tests that will allow him to return to full practice on Tuesday. The Wildcat medical staff will be monitoring him closely this week to make sure that concussion symptoms do not reappear. Football is a dangerous game played by very large and very fast people. A collision involving the head and a helmet or even the ground can cause a concussion. A concussion is an injury to the brain and thankfully, sometimes they are not a serious as they could be. Northwestern will be very glad to have Persa available and healthy.

RB Bryce Beall, Houston – Knee

It has been a difficult injury year for Houston, first losing Heisman candidate Case Keenum and now a knee injury to Beall, their leading rusher. Fortunately, Beall’s injury has been diagnosed as a contused (bruised) knee. Contused knees are painful and painful knees are certainly a liability for a running back. Beall may see some very limited action this week against Central Florida, but should be back at full strength the following week against Tulsa. The Cougars schedule is a monster from here to the end of the season and Beall’s continued healthy presence would be a major attribute.

RB Andre Ellington, Clemson – Foot

Ellington’s injury was first described as turf toe, but later reported to be ligamentous damage, most likely to the lateral collateral ligament of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint. Essentially, this ligament attaches the great toe to the foot. This is a fairly significant injury that will need at least four weeks to heal to the point that Ellington could possibly run pain free. The regular season will be over then and a look at Clemson’s remaining schedule makes it no more than a coin flip as to whether they will become Bowl eligible. If they succeed, Ellington will be ready to give them a running game.

RB Vai Taua, Nevada – Ankle

If it seems like a lot of running backs are getting injured, it’s because we are going into Week 10 of the season. Running backs get hit a lot and it takes a toll. Some of that toll is in fatigue or biomechanical errors caused by a combination of fatigue and previous injury. Taua’s injury was an ankle sprain that was bad enough to keep him on the sidelines for the Utah State game. Taua was at practice on Tuesday and the word is he will play at least part of the game this week against Idaho State. An ankle injury is always bothersome for a running back because it affects his ability to change directions rapidly.

WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina – Knee

Alshon Jeffery may well be the top WR in the country. His often acrobatic catches have propelled the Gamecock offense all season. Jeffery has not been without bumps and bruises and it may be catching up with him. He has had some knee pain for several weeks and left the Tennessee game early after putting it away with his big TD grab. He should be ready for Arkansas this week and he will definitely be needed. Along with freshman sensation Lattimore and a maturing quarterback in Garcia, Jeffery has brought hope for better things to come for the Gamecock faithful.

QB Jacory Harris, Miami – Concussion

It has been a tough year injury wise for Harris and a disappointing year on the field for the “U”. Harris left last week’s game against Virginia with a concussion that has had some lingering neurological signs that are significant enough for him to miss this week’s contest against Maryland. This is an intelligent move by the Hurricane medical staff to protect the health of the athlete. Harris should be able to return the following week with no lingering after effects to threaten his health or his play on the field.

QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri – Concussion

Gabbert got knocked around pretty good and pretty often by the Cornhuskers last week. At times, he appeared a little wobbly on his feet and was subsequently removed from the game in the second half. Although there has been no official diagnosis made public, there is little doubt that he suffered a minor concussion, probably as a result of his head striking the turf after being tackled. He was checked out thoroughly by the Tiger’s medical staff and has been given a clean bill of health and has returned to practice. He will definitely be in the starting lineup for the Texas Tech game this weekend. In an era of bigger, faster, and more athletic players, collisions will produce more head injuries. Fortunately, there are excellent athletic healthcare staff’s available to diagnose and treat these injuries.

QB Taylor Martinez, Nebraska – Ankle

Martinez suffered an inversion ankle sprain and missed the second half of the Missouri game. The sprain was diagnosed and treatment began immediately. Martinez was not cleared to return to practice until late Monday and did not take any snaps until Tuesday. Because Martinez plays will great mobility, the ankle sprain could hamper him a little more than it would a quarterback that is less of a running threat. He will be thoroughly tested in practice this week and the final decision whether or not to start him will not be made until late in the week. If he is the starter, he will be heavily taped and braced. This should not affect his passing, but will present a challenge on running plays in terms of rapidly changing direction.

QB Jake Locker, Washington – Rib

Locker suffered a fractured rib in the loss to Stanford last week. For a quarterback, this is a significant injury because virtually every movement of the torso or arm causes movement of the ribcage. Right now, Locker probably feels like he is being stabbed with a knife every time he moves his upper body, including when he breathes. He will definitely miss the Oregon game this week and the fact that the following week is a bye may enable him to return against UCLA on the 18th of November. If he is able to return, he will be wearing the best protective vest available, but he still may experience some pain during certain movements and would obviously want to avoid direct collisions whenever possible.

QB Dayne Crist, Notre Dame – Knee

Crist tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee against Tulsa and is through for the season. The ACL is the ligament which prevents the tibia from translating forward on the femur-in essence, it prevents hyperextension of the knee. It is doubtful that Crist, a Junior, will be available for spring practice. Post-surgery, ACL rehab is a protracted endeavor. He will spend a lot of time with the Athletic Trainers working to strengthen the muscles of the thigh which act as secondary stabilizers of the knee. Crist has been through knee surgery and rehab before, so he knows how hard it is and he knows he can do it. His next official football practice will be next pre-season. Once he is able to return, there may be a small loss of speed, but otherwise, he will have all his skills and abilities intact.

RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M – Leg

Michael fractured his leg last week against Texas Tech and is through for the season. The leg will heal fine, it will just take 8-10 weeks to do so. By the time Spring practice rolls around, Michael will be ready to go full blast in all drills. Just a sophomore, Michael’s exciting rushing feats will be a major asset to the Aggies for the next two seasons.

Dr. Carroll is a nationally certified athletic trainer and athletic training educator for over thirty years with experience at the collegiate, professional and international levels. Currently, Dr. Carroll is a Professor of Sport Science and Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at the University of Mobile. Dr. Carroll is the author of several books on sports medicine and substance abuse in sports, including his latest book, The Carroll Guide to Sports Injuries.


One comment on “Triage Time: The Knee has the Most Votes

  1. […] that TTU’s does not. Cyrus Gray becomes the primary RB now that Christine Michael is out for the season. Jeff Fuller will have a significant height advantage and could get some big plays against an […]

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