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2008 Off-Season Injury Report - Quarterbacks
Philip Gentles
July 23, 2008
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Jason Campbell, WAS - Strained Hamstring

The hamstring injury that slowed Redskins' QB Jason Campbell in May has now completely healed and he will be a full participant during training camp. Campbell pulled his hamstring while running during a workout in early May and he was held out of practice until June. According to reports he was monitored closely during the Redskins' OTA's in June, but the medical staff said that his hamstring was fine and that he was watched as a precaution. Campbell missed the last three games of the regular season and the team's playoff game last year because of a dislocated patella, but according to reports his hamstring and patella will be non-issues from here on out.

Jay Cutler, DEN - Diabetes

Broncos' QB Jay Cutler, who lost a lot of weight at the end of last season for no apparent reason, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes during the off-season. The good news is that with Cutler and the medical staff monitoring his blood-sugar level they feel it will not affect his ability to play football. Cutler started the 2007 regular season weighing 235 pounds but by the time the season was over his weight was down to just 202 pounds. He told reporters that he was "was eating six meals a day" and yet he still lost weight. There were times he felt he lacked energy at the end of games and he indicated that the condition affected his production during the second half of the season. Now that he has been diagnosed with Diabetes, the medical staff is confident that they can take the necessary steps to keep him healthy and playing at his best. Among those steps include daily insulin shots through a pump he will be required to wear during practices and pre-game warm-ups. Cutler will remove the pump during the game, but members of the medical staff will monitor his blood-sugar level in between possessions and during halftime and he will receive additional treatment and shots when necessary.

Jake Delhomme, CAR - Tommy John Surgery

Panthers' QB Jake Delhomme, who had Tommy John Surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow in October last year, has made a stunning recovery and it looks like he will be ready in time for training camp. Delhomme injured his elbow in Week 3 last season and at the Panthers said that an MRI revealed no structural damage. As it turned out Delhomme actually tore the UCL in his elbow and he was unable to play again in 2007. Tommy John Surgery is a procedure typically performed on pitchers in which the damaged UCL is replaced with a tendon from somewhere else on the body and the recovery time is typically 12 - 24 months. So there was concern that Delhomme wouldn't be available until after the start of the regular season. But members of the Panthers' medical staff were optimistic that he could recover in time for the start of training camp. He began throwing nerf footballs in February and progressed into real footballs in March. He was limited to a small quantity of throws consisting of short-yardage tosses only until late in April. According to reports he participated in several drills during workouts in May and he reportedly took a majority of the first-team snaps during practice in June. During an interview about a month ago Delhomme said that his elbow is completely pain-free and several teammates claim that his arm appears to be stronger than it was prior to the surgery. We will keep a close eye on him during training camp, but it looks like he will be ready for Week 1.

Matt Leinart, ARI - Fractured Collarbone

Cardinals' QB Matt Leinart has completely recovered from a fractured collarbone and he will be 100% when training camp begins this week. Leinart, who was placed on IR after fracturing his collarbone in his shoulder last season, was a full participant in the team's off-season conditioning program. He admitted to reporters back in May that his collarbone was still healing and that it would probably take the entire summer to heal. But since he didn't have to be involved in contact until the preseason he was able to run with the first-team offense in May without a problem. He looked solid during OTA's in June and the coaching staff feels that he is ready to play. Leinart actually has a lump of bone near his neck that is still visible, however the medical staff says that it is just scar tissue and additional bone at the fracture site and that it won't affect his ability to throw. Leinart will take the field with his teammates when training camp starts and he should be completely healthy when the regular season begins.

Peyton Manning, IND - Surgery to Remove Bursa Sac

Colts' QB Peyton Manning will miss training camp and possibly the entire preseason after undergoing surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac from his left knee on July 14, but the team still expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. According to reports Manning's knee had been a problem since February and he regularly complained of pain and discomfort after workouts in May and June. The pain in his knee progressively got worse in June and head coach Tony Dungy indicated that the bursa became infected thus requiring surgery to remove it. The medical staff has put his recovery time at anywhere from 4 - 6 weeks so he will definitely miss training camp. Dungy said that it wouldn't surprise him if Manning was back 3 weeks post-op and that he fully expected him back in time for Week 1 of the regular season. His recovery has gone as planned so far so at this point there is no reason to think he won't be ready to play in early September.

Josh McCown, MIA - Lacerated Finger

Dolphins' QB Josh McCown lacerated his right index finger during a firewood-chopping incident three weeks ago, but according to reports his finger has nearly healed and it will not affect his ability to throw when training camp begins. According to reports McCown was accidentally sliced while holding a piece of firewood while his brother QB Luke McCown attempted to chop it. The laceration on his finger required 6 stitches, however team officials felt at that time that the injury was minor and that he would be able to return to the field quickly. McCown spoke with reporters shortly after the incident and said that he "could have played the day it happened" and in a recent interview he said, "it's like it never happened." Holding firewood as it is being chopped is not the smartest thing in the world to do, especially if you are a QB. But at least this moment of poor judgment won't cost him practice time during training camp.

Donovan McNabb, PHI - Shoulder Tendinitis

Eagles' head coach Andy Reid recently told reporters that QB Donovan McNabb's shoulder was fine and that he would be ready to go when training camp opens today. McNabb complained of soreness and fatigue in his throwing shoulder at the start of passing camp in June and after being diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis the medical staff decided to shut him down as a precaution. The local media in Philadelphia immediately began to speculate in regards to the severity of the injury. However both McNabb and Reid said on a number of occasions that the injury was simply tendinitis, similar to the injury McNabb dealt with during the off-season in 2004. His shoulder ended up being fine then, and the Eagles expect his shoulder to be fine now. Sounds like things were blown out of proportion. We will know for sure after training camp practice finishes today, but it looks like he is going to be OK.

Philip Rivers, SD - Torn ACL / Partially Torn MCL

Chargers' QB Philip Rivers is way ahead of schedule in his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery and it looks like he is healthy enough to participate in training camp, which opens this week. Rivers, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medical collateral ligament in his knee at the end of last season, had the ACL surgically repaired in February and according to reports he has progressed extremely well. He began jogging in the middle of March and running by early April. He was able to participate in certain drills during May workouts and he was leading the first-team offense on almost every snap during OTA's in June. Things were going so well in late June that Rivers told reporters that if he had to play in a game at that time he could. He went on to say that while his knee isn't back to full strength, he no longer thinks about the injury and that his knee has gotten to the point where it wouldn't be an issue on gameday. This is amazing to hear. It usually takes a football player at least 9 months before he is able to return to action and anywhere from 12 to 18 months before he is back to full strength. The Chargers' medical staff did say after the surgery that they expected Rivers to be back in 4 - 6 months. Obviously we won't know how his knee is doing until we see him in game action, but it appears that the team is preparing for him to be their starting QB in Week 1.

Matt Schaub, HOU - Surgery on Dislocated Shoulder

Texans' QB Matt Schaub, who had a significant amount of damage in his left non-throwing shoulder surgically repaired in January, was an active participant in team drills during workouts in May and June and the team expects him to participate in every practice during training camp. Schaub dislocated his left shoulder during a regular season game last year and according to reports he injured his rotator cuff and labrum. Both were repaired during surgery and he underwent several months of extensive treatment and rehab. Head coach Gary Kubiak indicated that Schaub would likely be held out of contact drills for at least another two weeks as a precaution. But he believes that Schaub will be cleared to play during the preseason and the team expects him to be at full strength for Week 1 of the regular season.

Alex Smith, SF - Shoulder Surgery

According to reports the 49ers' expect QB Alex Smith, who had reconstructive surgery on his right (throwing shoulder) back in December, to take part in training camp when it opens at the end of the week and he should be completely healthy for the start of the regular season. Smith damaged ligaments and tendons in his shoulder and chest after separating his shoulder during a game on September 30 of last year. He tried to return to the field 2 weeks later however he began to experience severe pain and discomfort in his shoulder and arm and he was held out for the remainder of the season. Smith wore a sling for 6 weeks after the surgery after which he began a very extensive rehab program. He regained complete range of motion in his shoulder by March and he progressed to short throws three times a week in April. Smith practiced on a limited basis with his teammates during minicamp workouts in May and June and the medical staff is reportedly pleased with his progress to date. Smith spoke with reporters prior to the end of June minicamps and he said that while he hasn't started "gunning it yet," he was feeling pretty good and he believed that he would be full go at some point during training camp. Shaun Hill, who filled in for Smith when he was hurt last season, will push him for the starting job. However it appears that Smith is the favorite to be the team's starter in Week 1.

Vince Young, TEN - Strained Quadriceps

According to reports Titans' QB Vince Young spent a large portion of the off-season recovering from a right hamstring strain that he said originally happened during Week 6 and that he aggravated prior to the start of the playoffs last season. There was no report of a surgery to correct the injury so it's strange it took him so long to recover. But the good news is that his leg appears to be fine. Young ran at full speed during June OTA's and team officials expect him to be at full speed when training camp begins this week.

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