Russell Wilson gave Seattle fans quite a scare today. Wilson was horse-collared by
49ers OLB Eli Harold. Replay showed an extreme valgus (collapsing inward) injury to his left knee. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that connect the thigh and shin bones along the inner part of your knee and this ligament is stretched in a valgus injury.
(Diagram courtesy of AAOS)
In the video below you can see his left knee bend inward, but notice that there does not appear to be any twisting of the knee which makes an ACL injury less likely. This is most likely an isolated MCL injury, but difficult to say for sure. An MRI will reportedly be done tonight to confirm.
Wilson says that his knee feels stable and that he thinks he was “lucky.” If this is an isolated MCL injury then return to play depends on the degree of stretch and/or tear of the ligament. A grade 1 MCL sprain (stretch of the ligament) can take 0-2 weeks and a grade 3 MCL sprain (tear + instability) can take 1-2 months. Given how relieved Wilson looked after the injury I’m hopeful he’ll be back on the field soon.
In the second play of Sunday night’s Cowboys-Bears matchup, Cowboys WR Dez Bryant also had what appeared to be an MCL injury to his right knee. Bryant had been breaking tackles for a few yards after the catch when this injury occurred.
Bryant returned to the game 6 plays later with his right knee taped. His ankle did not appear to be an issue despite it looking a bit gruesome on replay. He was relatively quiet after his return until the 4th quarter when Bryant caught a 20 yard pass and dove for a touchdown. Guess his knee is feeling okay. I expect that this is a mild MCL sprain that will impact his performance a bit but will not keep him off of the field.
Chargers LB Manti Te’o suffered a non-contact injury in the first quarter against Indianapolis when he attempted to push off his left foot and crumpled to the ground. He was helped off of the field and by the look of this video and reports after the game, his injury is concerning for an achilles tendon rupture. The achilles tendon is located in the back of the heel and connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). The achilles tendon is responsible for helping the foot plantarflex, the movement used to push off.
In the video you can see Te’o push off of his left foot to lunge forward before he falls to the ground (I read that in some replay footage, if you look closely enough, you can actually see the ghost of his fake dead girlfriend tripping him…ouch internet, just ouch). Athletes with Achilles injuries usually feel a tear or a pop and often know immediately what has happened. If this is a full-thickness tear then it will be surgically repaired and recovery can be 8-12 mos.
Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons left today’s game against the Eagles during the first half. He reportedly sustained an injury to his left shin. I have not been able to find good footage of his injury. He was transported to the hospital for evaluation and was seen leaving the locker room with the team in a leg splint. I’m not sure what to make of this one. The most important thing is that he’s walking. More on this one as the week goes on.
Follow me on Twitter @jessdeede for more sports injury updates and explanations.