Redskins free safety DeAngelo Hall tops the list of injury concerns early on Sunday. In the first half it appeared that Hall stepped awkwardly on his right knee and immediately pulled up and was helped off of the field. The injury was reported as a “knee sprain,” but an ACL tear unfortunately can fall into that vague report. The reason that I am concerned that this injury is a non-contact ACL tear is that on one replay you can see Hall step to decelerate and change direction on his right foot and that knee subtly but clearly buckles into a position that is common for ACL tears. This position is called “valgus” where the knee collapses inward. This position combined with deceleration and twisting (what happens when an athlete changes direction quickly) can result in an ACL tear.
This is a photo of Dion Lewis in the moment that he tore his left ACL agains the Redskins last year
This is a catch screen of DeAngelo Hall’s right knee injury earlier today
Both knees are bent inward in valgus and video shows Hall attempting to slow down in coverage of OBJ.
Here is a video from NFL Network of Tyrann Mathieu tearing his right ACL in a noncontact injury last December. This is knee valgus-twisting-deceleration in action.
I really hope that I’m wrong on this one, but unfortunately this is something I’ve seen way too often on the cellphones of my patients and their parents. A noncontact ACL injury most often doesn’t look like an awful injury on replay – just one awkward step. That’s why it’s so important for young athletes to participate in ACL prevention training, which on a most basic level teaches the knees not to land in that position or to buckle with changing direction with a focus on strengthening the muscles that can help the body to do this.
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