Lots of information has been flying around last couple of days given the variety of injuries that Kansas City Chiefs fans have been hearing about.
I wanted there to be the one place where you could get it all where it was concise and explained correctly. So here we go — starting with the injury report from last week:
What we know is that he had core muscle injury repair after the Oakland Raiders game. We have seen many outlets say 4-6 weeks, and I agree that that is the typical recovery timeline for this injury in football offensive linemen. There is no reason at this point to assume anything different than that.
Hill suffered the S/C dislocation Week 1. He hasn’t played since, but has been seen everywhere practicing. While we don’t know the level of contact he has taken on yet, he looks great in what we have seen. I noted the day after the injury that this injury was rare enough to have a small sample size of players to draw from — but that missing a month would be about the minimum and that has come to be true. I don’t know if he plays this week, but something to consider in the formula is a quick turn to the Thursday night away game next week. Recovery after first game back could be a consideration here.
The linebacker missed this last week with a hamstring strain — and more concerning was that he was unable to practice at all last week. Typically, these are 1-2 week injuries if they are on the mild side; hopefully we get to see him back in some capacity this week at practice.
Okafor missed the last part of the Detroit Lions game and saw limited participation all week with a hip flexor injury. We know that he had a hip injury in training camp, but we do not know if this is the same side or re-occurrence of same injury. With limited practice all last week, that is encouraging for this week obviously. Hope to see full participation going forward.
Watkins was initially on injury report (with full participation) last week with an unknown shoulder injury, and then popped up late with a hamstring limited practice on Friday. He attempted to go in the game on Sunday, but clearly was unable to after seeing live action. Given that he essentially didn’t play, hopefully the time combined with more work yesterday and today will be able to get back to practice this week in some capacity as well.
All other concerns that we know about from the injury report last week were all full participation and will be considered maintenance or normal football.
Now let’s move on to the new injuries this week.
While this isn’t a new injury per se, he continues to get his ankle re-aggravated. This happens frequently with this injury — which I still believe (given the mechanism) has some high-ankle component to it. This time he was stepped on, but it re-created the original mechanism. Unfortunately, these incidents are hard to avoid. What we do know is that he continued to play and has done so throughout this injury. I do not expect him to miss time since he has not from the beginning.
What we now know per reports is that he has a “badly sprained high ankle” injury. New reports on Tuesday have actually indicated that a 4-6 week timeline is a possibility which can be consistent with the more severe types of this injury. Consider it the same injury as Chad Henne — and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif last year without the associated fibula fracture. Injured reserve has been said as a possibility here. Lineman do tend to come back quicker than skill position guys with this as a whole, but with limited details not much else to go on here.
We were told in game that he had a groin strain. We then saw him on sideline which led me to believe that he may been being held in an emergency usage capacity, but then he was ruled out later. We haven’t heard much about this one in the days since the game so I am going to be hopeful and lean toward the mild side on this one — albeit without anything to go on. If mild, hopefully we can see him return to practice this week in some capacity. We know he will play through injuries as he did last year with a known painful rib condition.
Wylie was stepped on/kicked from behind by friendly fire and suffered an inversion-type basketball sprain of his ankle. Reports have noted that he avoided serious injury. As stated previously, these are easier for offensive linemen to play with — and the possibility exists for this player to practice this week based upon what we currently know. The key here is swelling control and early motion/strengthening to regain normal function.
Left the game (and sideline) quickly with a groin injury as well. While not much can be seen from the replay — other than the player clearly in pain — we were told again by national outlets that his is the “most significant” of the Chiefs injuries from Sunday night — and he will miss some time. A designation from the same outlets have said “week-to-week.” While we do know that this isn’t severe enough to warrant a surgical intervention a la core muscle repair, it sounds as if it was more on the moderate scale of strains. Truly appears that he is going to struggle this week — and perhaps longer based upon this report.
For once and for all, let me be clear: a strain is a tear, and a tear is a strain. Any time you strain a muscle, there is microscopic tearing that occurs. People use these terms incorrectly all the time and assume that if a muscle is not torn it isn’t bad. These terms are synonymous to a point. That’s why we grade muscle injuries based on the level of damage, inflammation and tearing.
As always, Wednesday and Thursday are our key practice days, so watch for practice designations and updates.
Aaron Borgmann is the founder of Borgmann Rehab Solutions. He spent 12 years in the NFL as an assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist before joining Arrowhead Pride.