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NFL Injuries

Will Cam Newton (shoulder) return to MVP form?-Dr. Morse

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Photographer: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, suffered a partially torn right rotator cuff during the Panthers’ Week 14 win against San Diego during the 2016 season. Newton struggled with his accuracy and passing yards this past year, as compared to the year before. Decreasing from 7.7 yards per attempt to 6.9 yards per attempt, partially secondary to repetitive wear and tear on his shoulder, resulting in only 19 TD passes along with 14 interceptions (chipping in 5 rushing TDs as well). Compared this to his 2015 MVP season – where he passed for 35 TDs with only 10 interceptions, also running for another 10 TDs. The increase in interceptions from 10 to 14 was nominal but the decrease in touchdowns from 35 to 19 is significant, and could likely be due to his shoulder injury.

The Shoulder – A Complicated Joint

Cam was diagnosed with a right rotator cuff tear; so let’s briefly talk about the rotator cuff. There are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and the teres minor). Let me get a little medically technical here and describe exactly how the rotator cuff muscles work within the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is actually a group of (the aforementioned) four muscles whose goal is abduct (move away from the body) the humerus (supraspinatus), externally (infraspinatus and teres minor) and internally (subscapularis) rotate the arm. Collectively the rotator cuff muscles are vital in moving the shoulder and maintain glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint) stability. The supraspinatus is the most commonly injured muscle of the four rotator cuff muscles. These muscles originate from a bone in your back called the scapula, and connect to the head of the upper arm bone (humerus). The easiest way to think of the shoulder joint is to think of a golf ball sitting on a golf tee. Where the golf ball is the head of the humerus, and the golf tee if the shoulder joint.

Now imagine if the shoulder joint, or the golf tee in our comparison, were weakened or damaged in some way – that is what Cam Newton is dealing with. Since Cam throws the ball with his right arm, any shoulder injuries like a rotator cuff tear could possibly cause pain, instability, loss of strength, and even loss of certain movements depending on which part of the shoulder joint is damaged. In the case of a rotator cuff injury, this not only causes pain and weakness, but also loss of the ability to raise the arm away from (and sometimes above the head) the person’s body. In terms of a quarterback, this can cause them to have decreased velocity, command of their passes and ‘tightness’ of the ball’s spirals. Quarterbacks with rotator cuff strains or tears find it very challenging to both place the ball in certain locations as well as to get the correct amount of velocity on the ball to get it to the receiver in an appropriate time.

Shoulder injuries and they throwing athlete present a unique challenge because the act of throwing itself actually brings the shoulder to an extreme in terms of stress and motion. As the athlete continues to progress through high school, college and (if they are good enough to eventually make) the pros, their shoulder has taken a lot of wear and tear over the years due to repetitive throwing. The drive to succeed for many of these throwing athletes leads them to push through times of fatigue – the time when your body is normally saying ‘stop and rest’ but instead athletes usually push through injury. This in turn that leads to further injuries because of the lack of time to properly allow the body to heal. The dominant shoulder is subject to extreme positions and significant amount of stress during a routine delivery of either a pitch or an overhead throw of a football. Transferring the amount of force required from the legs to the core and then to the arm requires a significant combination of muscles and joints. These muscles and joints need to work in conjunction with the perfect timing in order to accurately achieve pass velocity and accuracy for the athlete.

How do shoulder injuries occur?

Shoulder injuries often occur due to overuse, muscle fatigue and poor mechanics this can change the athletes actual throwing motion. These changes and throwing motion along with the aforementioned issues can lead to a variety of different injuries. Some of these include capsular tightness, internal impingement, superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears, articular-sided partial rotator cuff tears and even full thickness ruptures of the tendon. Based on reports, Cam Newton suffered an articular-sided partial rotator cuff tear.

How are shoulder injuries diagnosed?

The initial diagnosis of a shoulder injury is physical examination by a medical professional, preferably either in physical therapist or sports medicine trained physician, who can help to assess which of the muscles, tendons or bones are injured by having the patient/athlete move the arm in various directions. If certain movements cause pain or are unable to be performed, then the muscle corresponding to the movement is often involved. The best way to identify if a muscle is injured is to get an MRI of the shoulder.

If the MRI and physical exam showed that there are indeed some structural integrity issues then the most common initial approach is non-operative treatment encompassing of rest, steroid injections and a disciplined rehabilitation program to improve the scapular kinetics and normalize the glenohumeral/shoulder range of motion. Non-operative management remains the mainstay from most throwers, but in cases where this non-surgical conservative approach fails to relieve the athlete of their pain or their performance continues to suffer, then surgical intervention with arthroscopic debridement as an effective alternative surgical option for those with refractory symptoms. Cam Newton falls into this latter category; as he required off-season arthroscopic shoulder surgery performed by Dr. Pat Connor at the Carolina Medical Center in late March 2017. My suspicious is that Newton only had a minor procedure, where they just had to take down and repair the rotator cuff.

After performing the surgery, Dr. Connor was pleased with the results. Netwon was not allowed to throw (at all) for at least 12 weeks, and not allowed to throw with the team for 16 weeks. We are currently about 13 weeks out from his surgery date based on reports, which would give Newton 3 more weeks in July to ramp up to get ready to start throwing. The Carolina Panthers training camp starts on July 26 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I anticipate that Cam will be ready and able to start this day, but he will have to slowly ramp up in order to be able to participate in the first or second preseason games, which are scheduled during the first and second week of August.

After sustaining this injury and undergoing the repair, what type of expectation should you have for Cam Newton in fantasy football this year?

Newton is currently going as the number seven quarterback, being picked in the seventh round in between Derek Carr and Russell Wilson, and ahead of the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins (based on their current ADPs). I think this is a very good spot for Newton, as he has the potential to be a top five quarterback this year because has a safer floor then Wilson, Roethlisberger, and Cousins.

I believe Cam Newton has the potential to pass for about 3700 yards, about 24 TDs with 13 interceptions, and rush for another 500 yards with five rushing TDs. I personally would draft him ahead of the names of Dak Prescott, Stafford, Winston, Carr, Roethlisberger and Tyrod Taylor.

Expect Newton to utilize his new two rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, as Newton tries to change the way he plays, focusing on getting out of the ball out of his hands faster. This will likely utilize quicker passes similar to what the Brady and the Patriots do. In an effort to decrease wear and tear on his body, he’s attempting to stay away from sweets, with a goal of dropping down to the his lowest off-season weight yet. Look for Cam Newton to bounce back strong in the 2017 NFL season.

I have confidence in the repair and clean out that was completed by Dr. Connor and think that Newton have a strong season but keep an eye on him early in training camp to make sure that his shoulder and rotator cuff are responding appropriately. Now that you’ve read this article you have a competitive advantage upon others in your league that did not – but please don’t be afraid to share! Consider Newton a low-risk, high-floor, safe quarterback in the QB 5-10 range.

This was written for the @TheFantasyDRS by Dr. Jesse Morse. I am a Family Medicine trained physician, and I am currently completing a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of South Florida in Tampa. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me directly at @DrJesseMorse or visit my website at: www.DrJesseMorse.com. Keep an eye out for my next article!

Jesse A Morse, MD is a fellowship-trained sports medicine doctor practicing in Miami, Florida. He specializes in Regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound, fractures and, non-surgical orthopedics. Dr. Morse treats professional athletes regularly and understands their mindset and how to get them back on the field. Born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dr. Morse grew up watching the Larry Bird led Boston Celtics, the Wade Boggs and Pedro Martinez led Boston Red Sox, and then the Tom Brady led Patriots win multiple championships. Dr. Morse has served on the medical staff of multiple professional teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Miami Marlins. In his spare time, Dr. Morse loves exercising, sports cars, and playing fantasy sports/DFS.

NFL Injuries

NFL Week 8 Injury Review

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As week eight comes to a close, unfortunately we saw several big-name players again go down with injury. The San Francisco 49ers continue to be ravaged by injury, as they likely lost both George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo for the remainder of the season. Kittle fractured a bone in his foot, and Garoppolo re-injured his high ankle sprain. Add in Tevin Coleman, who was recently activated off IR due to a knee injury, re-injured the same knee and is awaiting additional imaging.

On Thursday night football Teddy Bridgewater suffered a potentially serious neck injury, but thankfully got lucky and no significant injury was done. He should play in week nine. In that same game, unfortunately Falcons elite wide receiver Calvin Ridley suffered a midfoot sprain which would likely keep them out a couple of weeks.
Week nine should finally see the return of elite running back Christian McCaffrey. Fellow running backs Miles Sanders, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Mark Ingram and Aaron Jones are all likely to miss at least one more week with their respective injuries.
The Packers play on Thursday night, and Aaron Jones’ calf injury likely has not had enough time to heal to allow him to play on Thursday.
We found out that Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Gardner Minshew has been playing with multiple fractures and a ligament injury in his throwing thumb. Whether or not he needs surgery, he is likely to miss the next 2+ weeks.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold re-injured his throwing shoulder, as he was dealing with an AC sprain and is questionable to play in week nine. Jamison Crowder is still dealing with a groin injury and has missed the past several weeks. Breshad Perriman also failed to play in week eight secondary to not clearing the concussion protocol yet.
The Colts saw Michael Pittman return after suffering that crazy injury where he had to undergo emergency surgery on his calf. Parris Campbell should not be too far behind him. Unfortunately T.Y. Hilton suffered a groin strain and is likely to miss at least a week, maybe a couple. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, who has disappointed so far, at least based on expectations, suffered an ankle injury and his week nine status is in question.
The Rams Darrell Henderson Jr. re-injured his thigh, but appears to be able to play after the bye. Cooper Kupp, fresh off of a monster game, appears to have injured his wrist. Expect additional imaging to rule out possible fracture.
The Seattle Seahawks backfield was really banged up going into week eight, as Chris Carson, dealing with a midfoot sprain, and Carlos Hyde, dealing with a hamstring strain both missed the game. Travis Homer, who is dealing with a bone bruise in his knee, and DeeJay Dallas both saw carries.
The Steelers Diontae Johnson seems to be injured more than he has been healthy. He injured his hamstring early in the game, but still managed to run the most routes on the day, but only managed to catch one pass on the day.
The Lions Kenny Golladay suffered a hip injury, that looks like it may keep them out a couple weeks, and he is a possible temporary IR candidate.
The Tennessee Titans Adam Humphries sustained a scary back and neck injury, but thankfully managed to avoid any life-changing injuries other than a concussion after being carried off on a stretcher.
Surprisingly the Eagles activated Dallas Goedert, less than a month after sustaining a non-displaced fracture in his ankle, only one week before their bye week. He was not very effective in his first game back. Jalen Reagor, also activated, flashed his potential and reeled in a touchdown. Miles Sanders should return after their bye, possibly Alshon Jeffery too.
The majority of these injuries were covered in this injury review video: https://youtu.be/nCl4eS3lh0Q
Top Recent Videos: Jimmy G (Dr Morse): https://youtu.be/iNSRre6r-So Jimmy G (surgeon take): https://youtu.be/jenxfNnMoXU George Kittle (surgeon take): https://youtu.be/4OSOCGdLssM George Kittle: https://youtu.be/M8oEGsMfcl4 Kenny Golladay: https://youtu.be/dbOnzinDz54 Jonathan Taylor: https://youtu.be/RfLqHeqjjjk Darrell Henderson Jr.: https://youtu.be/CoBf9hOL7U8 Cooper Kupp: https://youtu.be/GmhWoqjdaIo T.Y. Hilton: https://youtu.be/Zoi3aX8GQko Trent Brown: https://youtu.be/bs8KXfRmXtA Tevin Coleman: https://youtu.be/xy8TMbk24dI Adam Humphries: https://youtu.be/C9xfje_pnNA Diontae Johnson: https://youtu.be/tv7EBloVsfU Tua Tagovailoa: https://youtu.be/C0m6yvw5Tw8 Saquon Barkley update: https://youtu.be/-hTXuA4mv8w Allen Lazard: https://youtu.be/Iwaku9w_jHQ Calvin Ridley: https://youtu.be/-klAQFP69HE Gardner Minshew: https://youtu.be/f3WKeFT9Vw0

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NFL Injuries

Podcast: NFL Week 8

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QB/TE:

 

RB:

WR:

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NFL Injuries

NFL Injury Review-Week 7

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Heading into week seven of the 2020 NFL season there were a ton of injuries to keep track of.

Thursday nights game saw a couple injuries that bear monitoring. The New York Giants Devonta Freeman suffered an ankle injury of unknown severity, possibly a high-ankle sprain. Eagles DeSean Jackson suffered a significant ankle injury similar to teammate Dallas Goedert, likely a combination of non-displaced ankle fracture as well as high ankle sprain, and should likely miss at least six weeks. However there is some good news, and that Jalen Reagor is expected to be activated off IR and should play in week eight.
Several of the consensus top 20 running backs were injured in some capacity, and Miles Sanders, Mark Ingram, Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones were all added to that list over the past week.Aaron Jones suffered a calf injury late in the week and was inactive for Sunday’s game.

In the early games Dak Prescott’s replacement, current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton suffered a head injury secondary to a dirty hit that knocked him out of the game. He was diagnosed with a concussion.

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock appeared to have suffered a knee injury, however this was only a minor concern and he didn’t miss any time.
Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay sustained a concussion.
The San Francisco 49ers ran all over the New England Patriots, but 49ers got even more injured in the process. Losing Deebo Samuel to a hamstring strain for a couple weeks, as well as fill in running back Jeff Wilson Jr., shortly after scoring his third touchdown of the day, suffered a high-ankle sprain, and is likely going to short term IR. On the opposite side of the ball Patriots’ wide receivers Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry both struggled, Edelman with a knee injury, and Harry appear to have sustained a concussion.
The most significant injury of the day belonged to Odell Beckham Jr., who unfortunately suffered a season-ending torn ACL after trying to track down an opposing defender who just intercepted a pass.
Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook appears to also have sustained a torn ACL. The Jets finally got to active stud rookie Denzel Mims after suffering double-hamstring strains early in camp, but were without Jamison Crowder due to a groin injury and then Breshad Perriman sustained a concussion.
The Steelers Diontae Johnson, who has struggled with injuries, was targeted 15 times, scoring two touchdowns but unfortunately suffered what appears to be a minor ankle injury.
The Chargers Virgil Green in the middle of catching a touchdown pass suffered an ankle injury and possible fracture.
The Sunday night game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks was a shootout. Unfortunately many of the running backs in this game sustained injuries. Kenyan Drake suffered a high-ankle sprain and is likely out at least 3 to 4 weeks, and will go to temporary IR. It’s Chase Edmonds time.
Three of the four Seattle Seahawks running backs sustained injuries. Stud Chris Carson sustained a mild midfoot sprain, commonly described as a LisFranc, that should keep them out at least two weeks, possibly longer. His back up Carlos Hyde sustained a hamstring injury, and third string running back Travis Homer sustained a knee injury. Both Hyde and Homer are questionable for week eight.
In the Monday night game, the Los Angeles Rams were without tight end Tyler Higbee who is dealing with a hand injury. Running back Darrell Henderson was also dealing with a thigh injury, but played well and Robert Woods a groin injury but managed to play. Bears stud wide receiver Allen Robinson was being evaluated for a concussion at the end of the game.
Here is a video injury review:
Several individual videos of players injuries are listed below as well:
Until next week!

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