- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert is wearing a brace on his left knee.
“Oh yeah, something catastrophic happened,” he told Jacksonville media, joking, according to comments distributed by the team. “No, it’s just all precaution. That’s kind of the trend in the NFL right now because the piles do come back, there’s a lot of rollups. You’ve seen that with Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, a bunch of the guys have had that happen so coach Del Rio just thought it would be the best idea for us to wear that.”
The lightweight brace just arrived and it appears it will be a regular part of Gabbert’s on-field wardrobe.
If it doesn’t bug him, it may be a good habit to form early.
ESPN’s resident physical therapist Stephania Bell, who’s about to join me at Colts camp, said there is no real downside to wearing one for protection. But they aren’t bulletproof. she points out that Palmer was wearing one when he got his knee rolled and ripped up in that Bengals-Steelers playoff game in the 2005 season.
Lots of colleges mandate their offensive linemen wear braces on both knees in games to help prevent injuries. Some of them carry over the habit to the NFL. But most players at any position are eager to shed anything they feel like limits or restricts their motion or chips away at their speed.
Gabbert didn’t wear one in Saturday’s scrimmage because the team was still waiting on them to arrive.
“It’s a pretty high-quality brace,” Gabbert said. ‘It’s light … You really don’t notice it until somebody rolls into you and hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
Gabbert sounds ready to be a spokesman for them.
When veteran beat writer Vito Stellino asked about it being custom made, the quarterback said: “Yeah, you can get one too. Just see (head trainer) Mike Ryan. Maybe you need two. Yeah, they make them for you, so it fits your leg perfectly.”