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2006 Off-Season Injury Report - IDP
Philip Gentles
July 17, 2006

Champ Bailey, DB, DEN
Chronic Glenohumeral Instability

Huddle Up: Broncos’ DB Champ Bailey, who will probably wear a harness for the entire season to protect what is being called chronic glenohumeral instability in his shoulder, recently told reporters that surgery to help stabalize the joint was never a consideration. However a source close to the medical staff has told The Huddle that several independent doctors recommended earlier in the off-season that Bailey undergo surgery to tighten the ligaments that support the shoulder. The reason he chose to forego the apparently necessary procedure was the fact that he would miss the team’s entire off-season program and there were no guarentees that he would be ready for the start of the regular season. Bailey actually admitted to reporters that with the level of contact associated with playing football his shoulder would not improve. It would either stay the same or get worse. So there is no way of knowing if he will be able to make it through the entire season without aggravating the injury. Despite his shoulder problems last season Bailey did record a career high 8 interceptions. So he has proven that he can play through injury. The only problem is that he can’t produce if he doesn’t play and based on what we have been told Bailey’s shoulder could end up costing him at least a couple games this season.

Gary Brackett, LB, IND
Off-season Surgery To Repair Torn Groin

Huddle Up: Colts’ LB Gary Brackett is still recovering from off-season groin surgery but team officials expect him to start practicing with the team in early August and he should be cleared to play in time for Week 1 of the regular season. Brackett suffered a tear in his groin muscle during one of the team’s voluntary workouts in May and the team’s medical staff felt that surgery was the best way to treat the injury. Brackett has not practiced since undergoing surgery in early June but the Colts’ medical staff believes that he will be ready work with the team early in training camp.

Keith Davis, DB, DAL
Surgery To Remove Bullet Fragments

Huddle Up: Cowboys starting safety Keith Davis, who is recovering from surgery to remove bullet fragments from his thigh, was released from the hospital on Monday and his agent told reporters that there is a good chance that he will be able to practice when training camp begins. Davis was shot while driving on a Dallas highway on the morning of July 16. He was able to pull over and his front passenger then took over and transported him to a nearby hospital. No motive has been established for the shooting. According to reports Davis was shot in the thigh and another bullet grazed the back of his head. Attending physicians expect him to make a full recovery and the Cowboys’ medical staff is optimistic that he will be ready to practice at some point during training camp.

Mike Doss, DB, IND
Off-Season Shoulder Surgery

Huddle Up: According to reports Colts’ safety Mike Doss should be ready for the start of training camp after undergoing minor shoulder surgery back in February. Doss reportedly had his shoulder scoped and has remained limited to individual drills and supervised workouts since the procedure was performed. The good news is that Doss is back to full strength and he should be cleared for contact at the start of training camp.

Rodney Harrison, DB, NE
Major Knee Reconstruction

Huddle Up: Patriots’ veteran DB Rodney Harrison has vowed to play this season despite undergoing what can only be described as major knee reconstruction last year. Harrison’s 2005 season came to a premature end after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) during an early regular season game. The team’s medical staff intially believed Harrison’s career was in jeopardy, however he has made tremendous strides in his recovery since the surgery and now the team believes there is a good chance that he will be cleared to return at some point prior to or during the 2006 season. Harrison actually took part in a celebrity gold tournament back in June and during a recent interview he said that he believes he will be ready practice with the team soon and play by Week 1. Unfortunately the Patriots’ medical staff doesn’t share his optimism and they aren’t expecting him back anytime before October.

Cato June, LB, IND
Off-Season Sports Hernia Surgery

Huddle Up: Colts’ LB Cato June, who had surgery to repair a sports hernia back in January, was held out of all team practices this off-season and while he continues to rehab with the team’s trainers and receive treatment he should be ready to go when the team begins training camp. According to reports June has made tremendous strides in his recovery and could have resumed team workouts as early as last month. But there was no reason to risk re-injury. So look for him to be completely healthy when training camp begins.

Jevon Kearse, DL, PHI
Off-season Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Eagles’ DL Jevon Kearse, who had arthrocopic knee surgery in the off-season, is very close to full strength and according to reports he should be ready to go when training camp begins. Kearse had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee after being hurt in a collison late last season. The procedure was reportedly a success and while he continues to work on his cutting and explosiveness the team’s medical staff believes that he will be fine for the start of the 2006 season.

Ray Lewis, LB, BAL
Surgery To Repair Torn Hamstring

Huddle Up: According to reports Ravens’ LB Ray Lewis should be at full strength when the Ravens open training camp and the end of this month. Lewis, who missed 10 games last year with a torn hamstring, had the tear in his muscle surgically repaired prior to the end of the season. He has been held out of specific team drills and has for the most past remained limited to individual drills throughout the off-season. But the team’s medical staff doesn’t want to rush him back and they have gone on the record to say that they are pleased with his progress. Lewis is reportedly running and cutting at full speed so now it is just a matter of him regaining confidence in his leg. Keep a watchful eye on his performance during training camp but at this point there is no reason to believe that he won’t be completely healthy for the start of the 2006 season.

Deltha O’Neal, DB, CIN
Off-Season Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Bengals’ DB Deltha O’Neal continues to make steady progress in his recovery from off-season arthroscopic knee surgery and according to reports it looks like he will be cleared for all activity at the start of training camp. The exact nature of his injury has not been revealed and while head coach Marvin Lewis called the surgery a minor procedure the team’s medical staff has kept a very close eye on his progress and he has reportedly seen at least two independent physicians during his recovery. O’Neal actually took part in several practices in June but was limited to individual work most of the time. Team officials say that things have gone well and that they expect him to be ready for the start of the regular season but we will know more about his status when training camp begins.

Joey Porter, LB, PIT
Off-Season Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Steelers’ LB Joey Porter had arthroscopic knee surgery back in May after complaining of pain and swelling following an organized team activity and according to reporters he has made a quick recovery and he should be ready to participate in all team drills when training camp begins at the end of the month. Porter told reporters that he began to experience discomfort and noticed swelling in his knee after a team practice in early May. An MRI performed several days later was inconclusive and after waiting a couple of weeks to see if the swelling would subside the team’s medical staff decided to scope Porter’s knee. The good news was that his ligaments were in good shape but surgeons did find minor cartilage damage and some loose tissue within the joint, which they took care of immediately. By all accounts the arthoscopic procedure was a success, his rehab has gone to plan and the team expects him to be completely healed by the end of this month.

Antrel Rolle, DB, ARI
Off-Season Knee Surgery

Huddle Up: Cardinals’ DB Antrel Rolle recently told reporters that his knee was 100% healthy and that he expects to take part in every drill when training camp begins at the end of the month. Rolle, who missed most of last season after tearing cartilage in his knee, had off-season arthroscopic surgery on the same knee to remove problematic scar tissue. Now Rolle claims that he is completely healed however at the team’s last minicamp he was held out of team drills and he was limited to supervised workouts with the athletic trainers. In fact he is reportedly still rehabbing his knee, which indicates that he still not back to full strength. However the good news is that the team’s medical staff expects Rolle to be cleared for contact when training camp begins and they believe that he will be ready to play in their first or season pre-season game.

Lito Sheppard, DB, PHI
Off-Season Ankle Surgery

Huddle Up: Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid recently told reporters that DB Lito Sheppard is very close to full strength and that he expects Sheppard to be ready for all drills when the team begins training camp on Sunday July 23. Sheppard had a torn ligament in his ankle surgically repaired in the off-season and he was limited to individual drills during the team’s June OTA’s. According to reports the veteran DB is running and cutting at full speed and he is beginning to look sharp in his supervised plyometric exercises. So at this point it looks like Sheppard will be more than ready for the start of the 2006 season.

Takeo Spikes, LB, BUF
Torn Achilles Tendon

Huddle Up: According to reports Bills’ LB Takeo Spikes has made tremendous strides in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles’ Tendon and it appears that he will be ready to practice when training camp begins. Spikes tore his Achilles’ Tendon at the beginning of last season and has since made steady progress. By all accounts he is physically very close to full stength but the medical staff isn’t sure if he is regained his confidence. So while it looks like Spikes will be cleared to participate in training camp he will likely be limited to one practice and a day and the Bills could hold him out of contact drills for the first couple of weeks. The plan is to have him ready for the start of the regular season so don’t be surpised if the team keeps him limited thoughout training camp and the pre-season.

Zach Thomas, LB, MIA
Off-Season Shoulder Surgery

Huddle Up: Dolphins’ veteran LB Zach Thomas appears to be ready for the start of training camp after spending the entire off-season recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his shoulder. According to reports Thomas was still very involved in the team’s off-season program and while he was held out of a number of team drills head coach Nick Saban told reporters that Thomas demonstrated full use of his shoulder during June OTA’s. By the looks of things he should be full go for the start of training camp so don’t expect his shoulder to be an issue.