Thursday, February 16, 2012
Slauson's shoulder damage extensive
By Rich Cimini
A week after the season, LG Matt Slauson had surgery on his left shoulder. We knew that. What we didn't know until Thursday was the extent of the damage.
Slauson revealed that he underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, a torn labrum and a torn biceps. This was open surgery, not a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure. He said the recovery time is five to six months, which puts him into the early June-to-early July range.
Slauson acknowledged that he'll be "pretty limited" in OTAs, but he expressed confidence he'll be 100 percent by training camp in late July. He said he hurt his shoulder in December, 2010, but downplayed it to the medical staff because he never felt it affected his performance. An MRI after the season confirmed the damage.
He gets kudos for his toughness, his willingness to play through "quite a significant amount" of pain. But let's be realistic here: Even though he said he expects the shoulder to be better in a month than it was at any point last season, it's always dicey when you're dealing with major surgery.
It changes the landscape a bit on the offensive line. You have a left guard rehabbing a serious injury and you have a Pro Bowl right guard (Brandon Moore) who will be 32, entering the final year of his contract. You also have uncertainty at right tackle, with the team looking for an upgrade over Wayne Hunter.
Suddenly, there's a real possibility the Jets could use their first-round pick (16th overall) on a guard or right tackle. Fortunately for them, it's a strong year for offensive linemen, with at least six projected to go in the first round.
TEAM BONDING: Slauson, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, CB Kyle Wilson and CB Donald Strickland attended the WrestleMania news conference Thursday at MetLife Stadium. (In case you're wondering, WrestleMania will be held at the stadium April 7, 2013.)
Based on the new CBA rules, the Jets aren't allowed to begin organized training until mid-April, but Slauson said he stopped by the team's facility Wednesday and met new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and new O-line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.
Slauson said he heard some players are "brainstorming" for ideas on "team-building" activities, ways to improve the chemistry in the locker room.
"Absolutely, it would be beneficial," Slauson said. "Everybody benefits from that."
Slauson didn't want to get into last season's well-documented issues (got the distinct feeling that players have adopted a turn-the-page edict), but he acknowledged the team learned a hard lesson about the importance of team harmony.
"Those chemistry breakdowns, those are things that can be extremely detrimental to your team," he said.
MO BETTER: Wilkerson sounded excited about new D-line coach Karl Dunbar, who was hired from the Vikings. He said he got a chance to meet Dunbar last spring during the pre-draft process.
"He coached guys like Jared Allen and those guys, who had great success in Minnesota," Wilkerson said. "I'm looking forward to great things with the defensive line we have here."
SAY CHEESE: Owner Woody Johnson attended the WrestleMania event, which got hokey when Johnson and Giants co-owner John Mara were presented with championship belts and were asked to pose -- with arms raised -- on the dais with wrestler Triple H.
Neither Johnson nor Mara stuck around to take questions from reporters.