New Orleans Saints Featured articles

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2014 SUPER BOWL SPECIAL PICKS

Hey PICK fans!  I am back!  After a long, dreadful drought I am back and ready to have fun.  I was over 85% with my picks when I had my life thrown into a tizzy.  But enough about me it’s SUPER BOWL time and it’s here in New Jersey which is a place it will never, ever be again.

It was freaking cold this week.  No fun for anyone who wanted to go to any of the SB events.

I must admit I have live in both cities that are in the SB this year.  I lived in Federal Way WA and Boulder CO so I have a good understanding of the teams and their fan base.  First thing I have to say is enough discussion about the cold and wind affecting Peyton Manning.  Have any of these people ever even been to Denver.  There is wind there too.

Also, all the cold discussion will go out the window as it may be in the 50′s before game time and about 30 later at night but not the deep freeze, frozen tundra, ice bowl, Titanic Iceberg, mega-storm, doom and gloom, we are all going to die type of weather that will really affect the play on the field.  The fans will be cold but who cares about them, most are not even fans of either team.

So who is going to win the BIG GAME, the game of games, the battle to end all battles, etc. etc.

It is nice that the two best teams in each conference are in the SB.  Usually, that does not happen but it did this year.  So much for the Chefs coming in a close 2nd.  LOL Doom on you Andy Reid.

So who is going to win?

I have always said the DEFENSE WINS SUPER BOWLS but so do great QBs.

Both teams have both.

So who is going to win?

PRICELESS NFL SUPER BOWL XLVIII PICKS

THE CAPPUCCINOS WILL BE MILE HIGH!

You may have to live in Seattle to understand.

 

 

 

 

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013 WEEK 6

PRICELESS NFL PICKS off to go start on Thursday.  Ravens – Packers should be great game.

 

Week 6
SUN, OCT 13 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICKS LOCATION
Cincinnati at Buffalo 1:00 PM

CBS

Benny and the Jets Ralph Wilson Stadium
Detroit at Cleveland 1:00 PM

FOX

Detroit Rock City FirstEnergy Stadium
Oakland at Kansas City 1:00 PM

CBS

Dare I say 6-0 Arrowhead Stadium
Carolina at Minnesota 1:00 PM

FOX

Minnie Mouse Mall of America Field
Pittsburgh at NY Jets 1:00 PM

CBS

JETS JETS JETS MetLife Stadium
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM

FOX

What the Buc? MRSA ME 0-5 Raymond James Stadium
Green Bay at Baltimore 1:00 PM

FOX

Home team barely! M&T Bank Stadium
St. Louis at Houston 1:00 PM

FOX

First team from Texas to win! Reliant Stadium
Jacksonville at Denver 4:05 PM

CBS

You have got to be kidding  Mile High
Tennessee at Seattle 4:05 PM

CBS

Too Much D for T CenturyLink Field
Arizona at San Francisco 4:25 PM

FOX

Birds Don’t Like Fog Candlestick Park
New Orleans at New England 4:25 PM

FOX

NO NE Gillette Stadium
Washington at Dallas 8:30 PM

NBC

Second team for Texas to win! AT&T Stadium
MON, OCT 14 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICKS LOCATION
Indianapolis at San Diego 8:30 PM

ESPN

No Luck needed. Qualcomm Stadium
·Bye: AtlantaMiami

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013 – WEEK 4

Off to another good start at PRICELSS NFL PICKS as the Rams made Thursday night’s game just too easy.  Week 4 includes the first byes of the season and the first game in Wembley Stadium.  Of course America only exports the best games over seas as both teams are 0-3 and going nowhere.  Look for the tie there just to make sitting in the rain even worse than normal.

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013 – Week 4
SUN, SEP 29 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICKS LOCATION
Baltimore at Buffalo 1:00 PM

CBS

Better get the Manuel Out! Ralph Wilson Stadium
Cincinnati at Cleveland 1:00 PM

CBS

Bengal Trap…Game? FirstEnergy Stadium
Chicago at Detroit 1:00 PM

FOX

Detroit’s Wins over 0-6 Ford Field
NY Giants at Kansas City 1:00 PM

FOX

4-0 better than 0-4 Arrowhead Stadium
Arizona at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM

FOX

Buc Buc Goose! Raymond James Stadium
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 1:00 PM

CBS

JAX IN A BOX EverBank Field
Seattle at Houston 1:00 PM

FOX

Home team! Reliant Stadium
Pittsburgh at Minnesota 1:00 PM

CBS

No Castle for Cassel Wembley Stadium
NY Jets at Tennessee 4:05 PM

CBS

Rocky Top! LP Field
Washington at Oakland 4:25 PM

FOX

RG IV L O.co Coliseum
Philadelphia at Denver 4:25 PM

FOX

Vick Vapor Rub Dub Sports Authority Field
Dallas at San Diego 4:25 PM

FOX

Boys love good weather Qualcomm Stadium
New England at Atlanta 8:30 PM

NBC

Brady Good Will Hunting Georgia Dome
MON, SEP 30 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICKS LOCATION
Miami at New Orleans 8:30 PM

ESPN

Double Bourbon Mercedes-Benz Superdome
·Bye: Green BayCarolina

 

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013 – WEEK 3

PRICELESS NFL PICKS was 12-16 in Week 3 (26-32 Overall) but I am off to a bad start in Week 3. 

Damn those Philadelphia Fraud Eagles!

Looking to rebound today.

SUN, SEP 22 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICK
Green Bay at Cincinnati 1:00 PM

FOX

GB is not a fraud!
St. Louis at Dallas 1:00 PM

FOX

Please win this one Tony!
San Diego at Tennessee 1:00 PM

CBS

32nd in passing not good enough
Cleveland at Minnesota 1:00 PM

CBS

Yo Adrian!
Tampa Bay at New England 1:00 PM

FOX

TB beats TB
Arizona at New Orleans 1:00 PM

FOX

Dancing on Bourbon
Detroit at Washington 1:00 PM

FOX

M-E-G-A-T-R-O-N
NY Giants at Carolina 1:00 PM

FOX

BOOK OF ELI
Houston at Baltimore 1:00 PM

CBS

Ravens one and done
Atlanta at Miami 4:05 PM

FOX

Birds love the Heat
Buffalo at NY Jets 4:25 PM

CBS

Can’t believe the Super Bowl being played there
Indianapolis at San Francisco 4:25 PM

CBS

Not Lucky enough
Jacksonville at Seattle 4:25 PM

CBS

JAX won’t even get a Safety
Chicago at Pittsburgh 8:30 PM

NBC

Not your Father’s Steelers
MON, SEP 23 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICK
Oakland at Denver 8:30 PM

ESPN

Anyone for 8 TDs

PRICELESS NFL PICKS – WEEK 2

PRICELESS NFL PICKS was 14-2 in Week 1 and is already 1-0 in Week 2.  I mean really, how could you pick the Jets.  Looking to improve upon last week.  There are some tough games to pick this week.  Enjoy!

PRICELESS NFL PICKS – Week  2
SUN, SEP 15 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS NFL PICK
St. Louis at Atlanta 1:00 PM

FOX

Birds Bounce Back
Carolina at Buffalo 1:00 PM

FOX

Even Buffalo can’t burn this wing.
Minnesota at Chicago 1:00 PM

FOX

Marshall has a plan
Washington at Green Bay 1:00 PM

FOX

Lambeau leaping
Miami at Indianapolis 1:00 PM

CBS

Fish out of H20
Dallas at Kansas City 1:00 PM

FOX

KC barbequed by ribs
Cleveland at Baltimore 1:00 PM

CBS

Run Ray Run
Tennessee at Houston 1:00 PM

CBS

2-0
San Diego at Philadelphia 1:00 PM

CBS

Greatest Show on Natural Turf?
Detroit at Arizona 4:05 PM

FOX

M-E-G-A-T-R-O-N
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 4:05 PM

FOX

NO
Jacksonville at Oakland 4:25 PM

CBS

Will anyone even care if the Raiders win one?
Denver at NY Giants 4:25 PM

CBS

The Manning will win?
San Francisco at Seattle 8:30 PM

NBC

Toughest call of week.  SF Treat
MON, SEP 16 TIME (ET)

TV

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 8:30 PM

ESPN

If you sit by the Ohio River long enough the dead bodies of your enemies will float on by.

NFC South Beakdown

Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: 1st in division (13-3 overall)

Strengths: Offensively, they have so many weapons. Two top ten receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. Addition of Steven Jackson will be huge. Matt Ryan is a top 10 QB. Defense is pretty solid as well.

Causes for concern: Not too many causes for concern in Atlanta. Only concerns would result from injury.. Not a lot of depth in the offensive line or linebacking core.

X-Factor: Matt Ryan. Hardly a X-factor because it has become clear that this guy can play. And that’s all he needs to do for this team to be successful. He has weapons around him, a defense that can keep them in every game, and a coach that knows how to win. If Matt Ryan plays the way he has played in recent years, the Falcons are a lock for the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints

Prediction: 2nd in division (9-7 overall)

Strengths: Offensive firepower. One of the best pocket passers in the league, maybe of all time, and he has great targets to throw to. Secondary isn’t bad with Jabari Greer and Keenan Lewis on the outside.

Causes for concern: Running game.. No clear favorite to take all the carries. Mark Ingram is yet to prove his Heisman worth, Darren Sproles is a better pass-catcher than runner, and Pierre Thomas has never been consistent. Other than the secondary, the defense has some question marks. Defensive line and linebackers aren’t very intimidating. This team could get run all over.

X-Factor: Sean Payton. Back on the sidelines after a year-long suspension, it will be important for him to bring back that same competitive edge he once dominated the league with. Payton knows how to win, he taught his guys how to win, and they will certainly need that extra motivation this year after last season’s disappointments.

Carolina Panthers

Prediction: 3rd in division (8-8 overall)

Strengths: I would expect a huge year from Cam Newton this year. Also, defense looked good late last season and Luke Kuechly is just a stud at middle linebacker.

Causes for concern: The running game is not looking bright. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are both fragile and inconsistent. Also, will Steve Smith stay healthy? And will Brandon LaFell and Ten Ginn step up as other options for Newton?

X-Factor: Cam Newton. He has proven he can run the football. He has proven he can throw the football. He needs to do both this year and he needs to do them really well. This team isn’t strong enough on defense for Cam to struggle at all. He needs to be solid in the red zone. He needs to be smart in the 4th quarter. Cam can take this team to a wild card spot if he wants to.. But I believe Carolina is one more year away from that.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction: 4th in division (6-10 overall)

Strengths: Doug Martin is a stud, there’s no doubt about that. But defenses will be gameplanning for him this year, that is for sure. Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson are threats on the outside. Defense is good, not great but still good.

Causes for concern: Doug Martin may hit a sophomore slump which will cause this offense to sputter significantly. Josh Freeman was so inconsistent last year and that’s always a concern. Like I said, defense is good but not great. Not good enough to keep them in some of the games on their tough schedule.

X-Factor: Josh Freeman. He needs to be consistent. If Freeman is consistent, he will keep them in every game. But when he gets trigger happy he starts forcing throws and turning the ball over. He has what it takes but he needs to keep it all together. If Freeman plays consistently, the Bucs could find themselves fighting for second in the division and avoiding the cellar. But, this isn’t a playoff team just yet.

Atlanta is the clear favorite to take this division. The Falcons are one of the better teams in the whole league and I don’t see any of these three threatening them for the division title. New Orleans, Carolina, and Tampa Bay all have question marks but plenty of potential. They will all battle for second in the division but don’t see them grabbing a playoff spot. Atlanta should have this one locked up early, not as early as last year, but still early. Stay tuned!

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013

PRICELESS NFL PICKS is back for the 2013 NFL season.  This is the 4th season of PRICELESS NFL PICKS and we have established a solid record of predicting winners of NFL games.  Way better than those so called experts at ESPN.  The best part is that we do not take ourselves too seriously and we like to have fun with it.  Isn’t that what football is all about.  

The fun part is trying to figure out who I picked to win.

ENJOY THE 2013 NFL SEASON and come back each week to see who is going to win that week.

PRICELESS NFL PICKS 2013 WEEK 1

Week 1
THU, SEP 5 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS PICK
Baltimore at Denver 8:30 PM

NBC

Manning still pissed about January loss.  Starts revenge tonight.
SUN, SEP 8 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS PICK
New England at Buffalo 1:00 PM

CBS

They are going to murder them.Did he really say that?
Cincinnati at Chicago 1:00 PM

CBS

Old Soldiers never die.
Miami at Cleveland 1:00 PM

CBS

It’s week 1 and still nobody cares.
Atlanta at New Orleans 1:00 PM

FOX

Who Atlanta
Tampa Bay at NY Jets 1:00 PM

FOX

Say good-Bye to Sanchez.
Tennessee at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM

CBS

Bruce replaces Ben for win
Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 PM

FOX

2500 why not 3000
Oakland at Indianapolis 1:00 PM

CBS

Luck has nothing to do with it.
Seattle at Carolina 1:00 PM

FOX

Long way to travel not to win.
Kansas City at Jacksonville 1:00 PM

CBS

Reid gets 1
Arizona at St. Louis 4:25 PM

FOX

Dome Team
Green Bay at San Francisco 4:25 PM

FOX

Tough to lose Super Bowl.
NY Giants at Dallas 8:30 PM

NBC

My Boys
MON, SEP 9 TIME (ET)

TV

PRICELESS PICK
Philadelphia at Washington 6:55 PM Can RG ReGenerate a knee?
Houston at San Diego 10:15 PM Yates Yikes!

2013 NFL Draft Round 15 – New Orleans Saints

With the 15th selection of the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select Kenny Vaccaro, Safety out of Texas.

This is a player that can have an immediate impact for the Saints.

His freshman year he appeared in all 13 games, both as a safety and on special teams. He made 19 tackles, blocked 1 punt and also forced a fumble in a game vs. Texas A&M.

In his sophomore year, he saw more playing time in all 12 games with 6 starts: two games started as a safety and the other 4 as anickelback. His best game of his career was against Oklahoma State where he caught his first college career interception. He had 9 tackles (8 solo), 1 tackle for loss and 2 pass breakups before the game was over. When the season was over, Vaccaro had amassed 54 total tackles (42 solo), one interception, 4 tackles for loss, one forced fumbles and 8 passes broken up.

Vaccaro started all 13 games as a safety his junior year and finished the season as a solid starter for the Texas Longhorns. He had 82 total tackles with 8 for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 8 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. In the Holiday Bowl Vaccaro and his defense held the California Golden Bears to 7 rushing yards and 195 yards of total offense. He had 5 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and a sack.

As a senior in 2012, Vaccaro was named an All-American by Pro Football Weekly.

Securities Broker Banned For Life After Defrauding Over 30 NFL Players Out Of $40 Million

Statistics show that after just two years of retirement 78% of NFL players are “financially stressed”…in other words broke. This is a fact that is sadly disturbing, and often occurs due to poor spending habits and lack of long-term planning, but another major component to this financial instability is getting and making poor investment choices.

Last week, Florida financial advisor Jeffrey Rubin was banned from the securities industry for life after putting a group of current and former NFL players in an extremely risky investment that ultimately resulted in over $40million in losses. The group of players cheated out of millions included: Santana Moss, Plaxico Burress, Samari Rolle, Greg Olsen, Devin Thomas, Terrell Owens, Santonio Holmes, Fred Taylor, Jevon Kearse, Kyle Orton, and Clinton Portis many of whom by coincidence or not were represented by NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Rubin, who operated Pro Sports Financial a “concierge service” that offered everything from investment advice to bill payment services, steered the players to invest in an Alabama entertainment and casino project as he in return received more that $500,000 in kick backs for players he conned into putting money into the doomed venture. This casino, which despite the over $40 million in capital invested, never lived up to it’s lofty expectations and was raided by Alabama state authorities after is was found that housed illegal gambling devices.

Rubin, who coincidentally got his claim to fame by saving players from the same fraudulent actions he in return did to them, has lived a scandal filled life complete with drug arrests, a fiance’ who died from an overdose, and questions about unethical real estate transactions. He now, even after agreeing to being barred from the industry for life in a settlement with financial regulatory agency FINRA, still lives in his $2.8 million dollar home in lavish Lighthouse Point, FL.

Jeffrey Rubin is the classic case of what happens more than we know in the sports entertainment industry. A lot of these financial advisors know that these young athletes, who have little to no financial literacy, have been thrust into a situation that makes them venerable to fraud and corruption and they capitalize on it. Unfortunately, people like Jeffery Rubin will never get the type of punishment they deserve…extended jail time. Instead, they will get a banned (a slap on the wrist) and find another industry that will allow them to cheat their way to the top. I don’t know if the disturbing 78% statistic will ever change, but in order for it to change, players have to take more care in their own financial literacy.

Check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

The Dynasty Doctor

Editor’s Note: We’ve received messages for years asking for coverage of medical issues facing the NFL and fantasy football owners.  We’re excited to unveil this article today and also to introduce a new mailbag of sorts.  ”The Dynasty Doctor” will be a series we run on an as needed basis.  If you have any questions in regards to concussions, ACL procedures, recovery times from specific injuries or anything else related to medical science, submit your question here and it may be featured in an upcoming article with our own resident M.D., Dr. Scott Peak. He’s a board certified neurologist, neuro-oncologist and is the Director of Neuro-Oncology in the Department of Neuroscience/Neurosurgery for a large health care system.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has received a lot of attention recently, both in the NFL and in fantasy football. Years ago, a torn ACL was a career-killer for an NFL athlete. More recently, we have seen several athletes return from an ACL tear and perform at a high level. Wes Welker. Willis McGahee. Adrian Peterson. The question then becomes, how are these athletes able to overcome such a previously devastating injury? Peter G asked this question in our first installment of the Dynasty Doctor column, and it is a great one. In this article, we will discuss an ACL injury, describe what an ACL is, how it is repaired, and lastly rehabilitation for it. We will also compare and contrast it with Achilles injuries for NFL players.

The ACL is a ligament that helps stabilize the knee joint against anterior and internal rotational force. The ACL is about 3 to 4 cm long and 5 to 10 mm thick. The exact size and angle of an ACL varies in subtle but important ways for each person, and that can impact surgical results. The ACL is in the middle of the knee, and attaches to the femur (upper leg) and tibia (lower leg). The insertion points can also vary in size, anywhere from less than 14 mm to more than 18 mm on the tibia. The ACL is made up of two parts, an anteromedial (AM) and a posterolateral portion (PL). The AM part helps stabilize anteriorly directed force on the tibia, while the PL part stabilizes internal rotational force in the knee joint.

An ACL injury is diagnosed on examination and with imaging. There are two common tests done to examine a patient with a torn ACL:

  1. Anterior Drawer’s Test: The patient lays flat on a table, knee bent at a 90 degree angle, the examiner places his/her hands behind the lower leg, and pulls forward. If the leg moves forward more than 5 mm, a torn ACL is suspected.
  2. Lachman’s Test: The patient lays down flat or sits up, the knee is bent to a 30 degree angle, and the lower leg is pulled forward. If the lower leg shifts forward farther than the uninjured lower leg, that is a positive test result and suspicious for a torn ACL.

The reason why both tests can diagnose an ACL injury is that, at both a 90 degree angle in the Anterior Drawer’s Test or a 30 degree angle in the Lachman’s test, the ACL should be tense and resist forward motion of the lower leg. The ACL will stabilize the knee joint in this position, and if the ACL is completely torn, the lower leg will shift forward more than it should. Not surprisingly, this can result in significant instability in the knee joint when athletes attempt to play a sport like football.

An MRI can be done, and is able to detect the injury in 90 to 95% of cases. Advances in imaging have definitely improved diagnosis of an ACL injury, as MRI machines were first available in the 1980’s. Before 1980, clinical examinations were the best means of finding it.

Surgery is the first step in the treatment of a torn ACL.

An important tenet of orthopedic surgery is to reconstitute normal anatomy as much as possible. After all, our bodies are a system of levers, and movements depend on precisely located muscles, tendons and ligaments. If ligaments are replaced in a manner that is not as close as possible to normal anatomy, movements after surgery will not be precise. An athlete will have their own unique ACL size and angle of insertion in the joint. It is important for an orthopedic surgeon to replace the torn ligament in a manner that closely replicates the original position of the ACL.

So, how have surgical techniques come along to improve ACL recovery for athletes?

In the recent past, torn ACLs were replaced in a ‘non-anatomic’ manner. As early as 2003, such surgeries were being performed using this technique. A non-anatomic graft is when an orthopedic surgeon inserts the new ACL in a position that does not precisely match original anatomy of the ligament. These grafts tend to be more vertical in orientation, and this changed the normal movement in the knee joint. The results were often meniscal tears, arthritis or a re-rupture of the graft after surgery.

A graft is the replacement ACL tendon, and can come from two sources. An autograft is a tendon that comes from the patient, usually taken from the patella or hamstring tendons. An allograft is taken from a cadaver. Autografts are generally preferred for athletes, as they are associated with a faster recovery and lower re-rupture rate compared to cadaver grafts. This is an advance that has helped improve recovery from a torn ACL.

Surgical placement of grafts has evolved considerably, and within the past decade surgical technique has improved quite a bit. Surgeries are now done using an ‘anatomic’ approach. This basically means that grafts are placed in a manner that replicates the original location of the ACL, specifically for each patient. This results in joint movements that are more natural, and hence lower risk of arthritis, meniscal tears or re-rupture of the graft. Even the grafts themselves are becoming more advanced. There are now ‘double-bundle’ grafts, and these more closely replicate the anatomy of an ACL, with AM and PL components. Thus, ‘double-bundle’ grafts, according to recent studies, may improve joint stability with both anterior and internal rotational force compared to single ‘non-anatomic’ grafts.

Surgical skills have also improved given the sheer number of cases. There are 50-60 torn ACLs per year in the NFL, and 200,000 ACL injuries per year in the United States, the majority of which are associated with athletic activity. Compare that to only five torn Achilles tendons per year in the NFL. NFL players benefit even more, as they are referred to famed orthopedic surgeons like Dr. James Andrews, who has performed over 40,000 surgeries in his career. Surgical skills are honed, and complications reduced, with more cases. NFL players benefit because they get the best possible surgeons with the most experience, and that helps them recover faster.

Once surgery is finished, rehabilitation becomes the next important step.

Rehabilitation techniques, like surgery, have improved over the years. Players used to be immobilized, non-weight bearing for 4 to 6 weeks or longer after an ACL surgery, but things have changed. Players will now be on crutches with an immobilizer two or three days after surgery. An immobilizer is basically a very large brace that prevents the knee joint from moving, but is removable to allow for gentle physical therapy. Players are typically off crutches at four weeks, running in 2-3 months, and may even return to play in six to nine months. It is important to get players mobile soon after surgery, as muscles can atrophy if kept non-weight bearing for too long. NFL players who were non-weight bearing for long periods of time, in the old days, had to overcome disuse atrophy in surrounding leg muscles, and this added to their list of problems, complicating their recovery.

Rehabilitation also includes modernized techniques to essentially retrain the athlete on how to use their repaired knee joint properly. Proprioception is a complex sensation, and it is the ability for a brain to understand where its body is in space. For example, if you close your eyes, extend your arms out, then touch your nose, that can be done because of proprioception. The way athletes land from a jump is an automatic function, almost like a reflex. Athletes who tend to use ‘valgus landings’ are at higher risk for ACL tears. A valgus landing is when the knee is bent inward, like being ‘knocked-kneed.’ For some athletes, this is how their body reacts to jumping, and unfortunately for them, it places them at higher risk for ACL injuries. If the knee is in a valgus position upon landing from a jump, the leg is extended fully, and this places a huge stress on an ACL, possibly tearing it. This is also why 70% of torn ACLs are non-contact injuries. Biomechanical testing with video taping can help an athlete visually see how their knees are positioned upon landing, and they can now be retrained, with intensive rehab, to change high-risk landing styles.

Other factors that improve recovery from ACL tears include greater knowledge on pain control, and also player dedication is huge. There is a reason why Adrian Peterson recovered quickly, and that is intense dedication to his craft. Ryan Broyles is already running, just two months out from his torn ACL. Meanwhile, Kenny Britt’s recovery has been slower, and that’s not a surprise.

I wanted to briefly contrast injured ACLs from torn Achilles tendons. Torn Achilles tendons are much less common in the NFL. One study from Thomas Jefferson Hospital evaluated 406 cases over ten years, while there are 200,000 ACL injuries per year in the United States. Less common injuries mean fewer cases for surgeons and that will slow down progress in the field. A torn Achilles tendon usually occurs when the lower leg is extended, and the foot is dorsiflexed (the heel is flat on the ground, while the toes and arch of the foot are pointed upwards). This position stretches the tendon too much, and it can tear, particularly with sudden force and rapid changes in position. There is an excellent study from Duke, published in 2009, that describes recovery rates for NFL players with a torn Achilles tendon between 1997 to 2002. In total, 31 NFL players were evaluated and 36% were unable to return to play at all after surgery. The remaining players had a substantial reduction in performance, measured by variables such as receiving yards, passing yards, rushing and receiving touchdowns. The average reduction in production, and therefore fantasy football points, was 50%. Running backs and wide receivers had up to an 83 to 88% drop in production in this study. NFL players also missed more games, as these players averaged 12 games per year before surgery, and six games per year after surgery. Worse yet, their post-surgery performance got worse over the following three years. Sorry Kendall Hunter owners (that includes me). Surgery to repair Achilles tendons can be challenging, as the tendon is about six inches long, and the surgeon must repair it in a way that maintains the exact tension necessary for each patient. If the tendon is too loose, calf muscles will stretch it over time, the tendon is elongated, and this reduces power to push off. This complication impacted Dan Marino’s recovery from a torn Achilles. The other issue with Achilles tendon injuries is a more conservative rehabilitation process. Athletes are placed in a cast, and are non-weight bearing for six to eight weeks or longer. Again, this makes recovery of strength in lower leg muscles a more laborious process. There is a trend, however, to advance mobility and exercise for athletes recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles tendon, so in time this might improve the outlook for athletes with reconstructed Achilles tendons.

The moral of the story for dynasty owners? ACL injuries are not as bad as once feared, whereas a torn Achilles tendon is still a very bad thing for a dynasty player and owner. Owners of Broyles can sleep well tonight. But, for owners of Mikel Leshoure and Hunter, it is more like a nightmare.

References

1. Parekh SG, Wray WH 3rd, Brimmo O, Sennett BJ, Wapner KL. Epidemiology and Outcomes of Achilles Tendon Ruptures in the National Football League. Foot & Ankle Specialist, 2009 Dec; 2(6): 283-6.

For more great articles, check out Dynasty League Football.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our FeedVisit Us On Google Plus