Editor’s note: Every week, our in-house medical expert, Aaron Borgmann, will share some notes on the injuries coming out of One Arrowhead Drive. Please note that Wednesday’s practice was a non-helmeted, 10-10-10 workout (What’s that?).
Full practice designation
Nothing to see here, just routine maintenance, of importance is that of Tyreek Hill, who went from limited to full, a clear sign that he is good to go for this game
Limited practice designation
Both Anthony Hitchens and Justin Houston fall into this category with questionable designations for the game.
Houston’s injury of the hamstring strain is fairly straightforward, as he has worked his way back to this point. Questionable designation here could mean that he is still a game-time decision or just being listed that way to use as a potential emergency backup given the fact that a doubtful designation would most likely prevent that. Either way, a good sign that he practiced this week moving forward regardless of whether or not he plays this week. If the athlete doesn’t play, he will be that much further ahead in his rehab for next week.
The interesting and more impressive note here is the Hitchens progress given the rough nature of the injury, as we all saw on Sunday. Injured ribs are awful for anyone, let alone football players.
If you have ever had this, you know it’s difficult to breathe, not even taking into account running or hitting something. This athlete has likely spent many, many hours with the medical staff working to this point. Emphasis here would most likely be on range of motion and just being able to move without pain. Strength work is completely secondary, as simply returning to baseline is the goal. Aquatic work here is crucial to returning the player back to full function, as you can do so many things earlier in the water than you can do on land. Shoulder deep water removes approximately 80 percent of your body weight and you can move/sprint/rotate so much more freely.
Many teams have full-depth pools even equipped with underwater treadmills to accomplish anything you may need to re-create. This is an invaluable tool for recovery. When and if this player returns to action this week or even the next, you can rest assured there will be extra padding involved. This now comes in many varieties and the most sophisticated of which even includes Kevlar that is very thin and form fitting. Regardless, if the athlete plays this week or not, he and the medical staff in charge of his care deserve a large amount of credit for even getting him to this point and in place to potentially play.
Not much to talk about here, as the injuries here we have talked about at length either on the website or weekly radio show already. Hopefully, all are making forward progress to return to practice field sooner rather than later.
Aaron Borgmann is the owner of Borgmann Rehab Solutions and a former 12-year NFL physical therapist and athletic trainer.