Monday Injury Rounds: Week 12

Thoughts on Tua Tagovailoa. Analysis on Deshaun Watson, Marlon Mack, Jameis Winston, and Matt Breida. Updates on George Kittle, James Conner, Matthew Stafford, Jordan Howard, and others. Availability projections on injured players at every position.

Inseason injury coverage

Footballguys will again provide comprehensive injury coverage during the regular season.

My writing and podcast schedule will include:

Monday Injury Rounds > Published as soon as complete Sunday night and updated through Tuesday morning, this feature will review all the major injuries from the weekend's games, provide follow up analysis on injured players who have yet to return to play, and project when every injured player will return.

Waiver Wire Podcast > Tuesday morning release reviewing all injuries at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions with Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom heading into your weekly waiver run.

Midweek Injury Expectations > Published late Wednesday night after the first weekly practice participation report and updated through Thursday's practice report, this feature will detail the current practice participation of every listed player and project the likelihood each player will play in the coming week.

Thursday Live Audible podcast > Joining Cecil Lammey, Sigmund Bloom, and Matt Waldman at 900 ET every Thursday night for a comprehensive Q&A updating all player injuries.

Gameday Injury Expectations > Published Saturday, this feature will review the practice status of every injured player, provide analysis on player/coach/beat writer comments throughout the week, and discuss how likely and how effective each injured player will be on Sunday.

Sunday Live Gameday podcast > Joining Sigmund Bloom and Matt Waldman at 1000 ET every Sunday morning to discuss and interpret the week's practice participation reports and breaking weekend injury news.


Injury Rounds

Tua Tagovailoa | Right hip dislocation / acetabular fracture

Tagovailoa suffered a hip dislocation in Alabama's game on Saturday.

Briefly, the large bone of his thigh was pushed backward out of the hip socket when tackled. It's a painful injury and it is often difficult to reposition the hip without anesthesia. In Tagovailoa's case, the Crimson Tide medical staff was able to reduce the dislocated hip in the locker room. Unfortunately, part of the hip socket was fractured when this occurred. Tagovailoa will have surgery to stabilize the fracture this week, a procedure that could require as much as nine months of rehab.

There are two potential long-term issues of concern with this injury.

First, the blood supply to the hip socket is sometimes not sufficient to allow the bone to heal. When that happens, bone and cartilage loss occurs leading to pain, loss of range of motion, and arthritis. If this occurs, it's a career-threatening complication. It's difficult to estimate the likelihood of such a complication and Tagovailoa will be monitored carefully during the rehab process.

Second, any disruption of a joint surface can lead to cartilage loss and early arthritic changes. The extent of the cartilage degeneration would define the amount of short- and long-term limitations. While not necessarily career-threatening, this would be a career-shortening complication.

The Alabama medical staff released a statement stating they "anticipate a full recovery." That's hopeful but still uncertain. What is certain is a closely-watched and extensively reported pre-draft medical process for Tagovailoa, who was considered the possible top overall draft pick next April.

At any other position, this injury would be a devastating development for a prospect's draft stock. Assessing a quarterback may be different. Arm ability, intangibles, and the scarcity of talent at the position are important factors here. If Tagovailoa's early rehab and post-surgical imaging are favorable, he may not drop nearly as far as players at other positions. It's also possible Tagovailoa waits and enters the 2021 draft.

I'll continue to update Tagovailoa's progress throughout the offseason.

Monday Update: Tagovailoa's Monday surgery was said to be successful. Alabama orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lyle Cain told reporters he anticipates Tagovailoa to begin athletic activity in three months and resume throwing in the spring if rehab progresses as expected.

Deshaun Watson | Right high ankle sprain | Week 11 | Day-to-Day | Probable Week 12

Television angles showed an injury consistent with a low-grade high ankle sprain during the first half. Watson did not miss any snaps and did not appear to be significantly limited by the injury in the second half.

The severity of high ankle sprains is best defined by the stiffness and swelling that occurs after the game in the 24 hours following the injury. Watson's injury did not appear violent and there's reason for optimism. Watson told reporters he was "fine" and expected to "be ready to go."

Unfortunately, Watson and the Texans play Thursday night. I expect Watson to play but the injury may limit him more on Thursday than it did in Sunday's game.

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