NFL Nation: James Andrews
In an interview Thursday with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network, Sanchez said doctors are "pleasantly surprised" by his "progress," and that he intends to "get back on [the] field" this season, according to several tweets by Eisen (see here, here and here).
Sanchez didn't deny there's a tear in his shoulder, telling Eisen, "I really can't get into that." Sanchez said he's frustrated by the injury because "I won the competition, no doubt." He was the presumptive starter until he hurt his shoulder against the Giants in the preseason. Jets coach Rex Ryan never actually declared a winner to the quarterback competition, naming Geno Smith the starter by default.
The Jets declined to comment before Thursday night's game against the Patriots. Sanchez may be available to speak to reporters afterward.
The organization has said little about the injury, calling it day-to-day. Still, it's likely that Sanchez has played his last game with the Jets. If the two sides disagree on the severity of the injury, it could lead to an ugly divorce.
Griffin won’t play in the preseason as the Redskins ease him back into the lineup following his surgery on multiple ligaments in January. Their goal remains the season opener against Philadelphia.
Shanahan said there’s nothing in particular that he needs to see from Griffin moving forward. He just wants to see more of the same from the past two days. Washington does not have another full-speed practice until Monday. Griffin will have two more practices next week, and then will be re-examined by Dr. James Andrews after the Aug. 29 preseason finale at Tampa Bay.
“It’s just about getting him through everything,” Shanahan said. “The play-pass, the movements, the drop-backs. It’s a little of everything and he’s been good so far.”
And he’s pleased with Griffin’s mechanics.
“He has very good technique,” Shanahan said. “It’s all about keeping your technique in the pocket when you’re under duress. That’s the challenge for guys when they can make plays with their legs – how do you stay a passer and how long can you stay a passer? Robert is as good a thrower as there is.”
"He didn't even let us look at him," Andrews said. "He came off the field, walked through the sidelines, circled back through the players, and took off back to the field. It wasn't our opinion.Griffin III
"We didn't even get to touch him or talk to him. Scared the hell out of me."
As Robert points out, this contradicts Shanahan's account of the events of that day. In a news conference the day after that Dec. 9 game, Shanahan told reporters that he'd asked Andrews if Griffin could go back in and Andrews said yes. Griffin went back in for four plays before coming out for good, and he sat out the next week's game in Cleveland before returning in Week 16 in Philadelphia.
You could make a good living in sports if you could figure out who's telling the truth all the time -- especially with regard to injuries. What happened that day was scary to anyone watching, and obviously either Shanahan, Andrews, Griffin or all three of them figured out pretty quickly that Griffin couldn't stay in the game. What's potentially more alarming than the way decisions were or weren't made in the heat of that moment is this from Andrews, a little bit further down in Robert's story:
"I've been a nervous wreck letting him come back as quick as he has. He's doing a lot better this week, but he's still recovering and I'm holding my breath because of it.
"He passed all the tests and all the functional things we do, but it's been a trying moment for me, to be honest with you."
The risky behavior and apparent cover-up regarding Griffin's knee injury is even more curious when Andrews described the team's responsibility toward the rookie quarterback — "to make sure he's OK for the next 15 years," Andrews said. "That's what you have to watch out for for players, because they don't know."
Indeed they do not, which is why the Redskins have Andrews around and why Shanahan has continued to insist that he's letting medical folks dictate decisions regarding Griffin's availability to play. If there were any dispute going on between the Redskins' medical people and the Redskins' coaching staff about Griffin's playing status, and if the coaching staff were overruling the doctors and putting him on the field, that would be disturbing. It's hard to believe, though, given the level of investment Shanahan and the Redskins have made in Griffin, that they would prioritize a one-year playoff run over the long-term health of their franchise quarterback. Especially since they have a viable backup option in Kirk Cousins.
Andrews could just be expressing the sentiments here of an overly cautious doctor who's worried because of the significance of the circumstances. He does say Griffin has "passed all the tests," after all, and why have the tests if not to alleviate concern? Griffin will continue to play with his knee brace on for the remainder of this Redskins season, however long that is. If Andrews really doesn't think he should be playing, he needs to be expressing that strongly to the Redskins' coaching staff. And if he is, and he's being ignored, then why would he continue in his current role with the team?
Anyway, I can't tell you not to freak out when it comes to Griffin and the knee. I know how important he is to Redskins fans. But I also know how important he is to the Redskins, and I find it hard to believe they're playing fast and loose with his health against the advice of a doctor as significant as Andrews.
(Hold your jokes on that one.)
At that very moment, it turned out, Stafford was making final preparations to undergo surgery. As you've probably heard by now, Dr. James Andrews repaired Stafford's AC joint during a procedure Friday morning. In a statement, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said: "We have full confidence that Matt will be 100 percent before the start of training camp."
Stafford didn't play again after suffering the injury Nov. 7, and we could probably spend hours debating why he didn't have surgery right away. (Schwartz said in his statement that the initial plan to rehabilitate was on track but that Andrews decided "Matt's healing process could be enhanced by undergoing surgery at this time.")
But because of what might happen in the NFL over the next year, the debate is probably moot. Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com reports Stafford's recovery will take four months, which normally would spill into the Lions' offseason conditioning program and possibly spring practices.
Those programs will be canceled, however, if NFL owners lock out players as expected this spring. So if there were ever an offseason to be sidelined after major surgery, it's this one.
The big question is not when Stafford resumes offseason workouts, but whether or not he can stay healthy next season. He has ended each of his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve. An entire franchise is keeping its fingers crossed.
But owner Jim Irsay tweeted today that the wait is about to end and Sanders will go on injured reserve. The team can’t hold a spot for Sanders any longer because so many other injuries have made the roster spot a necessity for game day.
Sanders suffered a biceps injury in the team’s season opener against Houston and was to recently have visited Dr. James Andrews for a status update. Apparently he didn’t get an assurance that he could return anytime soon, and as the Colts sort through another 14 players on their injury report, they need the slot.
I’ve routinely told fans upset about the team waiting on Sanders that there was no reason to have a beef with the team’s approach.
A 53-man roster gets carved to 45 on game days with eight designated inactives. As long as the Colts had fewer than seven other injured players that had to be deactivated for games, there was no harm in trying to wait on Sanders and including him on that weekly list.
Now, apparently, that list is too long. If they’ll have eight inactives Thursday night in Nashville who are hurt, it’s understandable they can’t wait any longer on a fantastic but injury-prone safety who may have played his last game for the franchise.
(Or "Mystery Science Theater 3000," depending on your taste and interest in audience participation.)
For Act I, we had Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress saying once again that “sometimes you have to protect people from themselves.”
And so goes the unprecedented drama playing out this week at the Vikings’ Winter Park practice facility. Favre has an injury that almost certainly would mean a week or two off for any other player. But the man who has started 291 consecutive games, pushing through sprained feet and fractured thumbs along the way, expertly played the role of tragic hero Wednesday.
“My mental state has always been, after an injury, to give it a try,” Favre said. “It'd be easy to just go, 'Ah, I can't do it.' But once again, all the things that I've accomplished, so many great things that I've accomplished after injuries, and not necessarily the next week, but the whole year, it's basically to be willing to take it on. It's not that it doesn't hurt. And I can't say that this would hurt you more than it hurts me. I don't know that. But it would appear that way just based on what I've been able to overcome.”
Favre revealed that he spoke Tuesday with Childress and that “I wanted to address to him that I would like to play or at least have that mindset as the week progresses.” But will Childress allow him?
As we all know by now, Favre and Childress have a distant, at best, relationship -- one that was on full public display after Sunday night’s 28-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Favre threw three interceptions in that game, is tied for the NFL lead with 10 this season and has hardly resembled his 2009 self.
Of their discussion Tuesday, Favre said: “We’ve been able to talk about things but we don’t necessarily agree.”
So on one hand you have a quarterback who limps up to a podium and, one by one, ticks off the previous instances of his well-documented ability to heal quickly and compartmentalize pain. On the other hand, you have a coach who is livid about the quarterback’s on-field mistakes and hasn’t expressed much optimism about the condition of his ankle.
“I wouldn’t put it past him,” was the most Childress would muster.
The earliest Favre would practice is Friday, and Childress said he needs to see some “movement skills that indicate” he is ready to play before Sunday’s 4:15 p.m. ET kickoff.
Childress did make clear, however, that sentiment will play no role in his decision.
“We’ll do what’s best for us to win a football game on Sunday,” Childress said. “That’s hands down what my motives will be.”
Favre said he is “very proud” of his streak but added it “probably should have ended a long time ago.” Still, it was a treat listening to him explain that his only goal is to play in order to help the Vikings win Sunday.
“I know it makes for good TV, talking about the streak and will it end, will this be the injury that stops him or whatever,” Favre said. “Whether it ends this week or it ends at the end of the year, it ends, and I will always be proud of it. In the game of football, every week, it's a crapshoot with injuries, and I've been able to overcome a lot. ... I'm thankful that up to this point I've been able to play with whatever, how many games in a row. It's all about being able to help this team win and getting us back on track. That's the only thing I'm concerned about.”
Favre sent X-rays of his foot to the office of Dr. James Andrews, who performed unrelated surgery on the same ankle this spring. According to Favre, one of Andrews’ partners -- Dr. Erik Nilssen -- told him there was no risk of further damage by playing on it. But in what I’m sure was an unintentional slip of the tongue – yeah, right -- Favre quoted Nilsson as saying: “You know, I'm not going to say you couldn't play with this. I don't know of any in recent memory, if any, that have played with it. But given the fact that you've played with a lot of different injuries I'm not going to say it can't be done.”
Will our hero heal with miraculous speed, returning just in time to save the day? Or will the coach get his way once and for all? Tune in next time…
Stafford is dealing with a second-degree sprain of his right shoulder and is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews this week for an examination. Surgery isn't expected, but there was never a question about his availability for this weekend.
What no one knows is how long Stafford's recovery timetable will be. Two weeks? Four? Six? Half of the season? That's the news we'll be waiting on. Stay tuned.
Mark Berman had a text exchange with Daniels who said: "scan and MRI say I'm 100%. Going to Alabama to see Dr. Andrews [Wednesday]."
If James Andrews gives a thumbs up, Daniels will be good to go, though the plan is to ease him back in. He’s unlikely to play in the remaining preseason games, targeting opening day against the Colts for his official return.
Daniels tore the ACL in his right knee halfway through the 2009 season.
His speed in and out of cuts is a huge part of his game. And while he’s come back from ACL injuries twice before, it will be a relief for the team to see him on the field doing his thing again.
In my book, FavreWatch always was scheduled to start today. We all knew there was no chance quarterback Brett Favre would join the Minnesota Vikings during their training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato. As we've been discussing for months, the earliest he might arrive is when the Vikings resume practice at their permanent Twin Cities facility. That workout is scheduled for Monday at about 1 p.m. ET.
I honestly don't know how Favre will choreograph his presumed arrival this year. He was scheduled to have his surgically repaired ankle examined last week by Dr. James Andrews, and if he got any unexpected news, it has yet to leak out. Internally, the Vikings believe Favre's ankle is a minor issue. They're simply waiting for him to say, "yes," and I can tell you for a fact there are some nervous Nellies in the organization at this moment.
Assuming he does return, I'm guessing Favre needs less preparation time than last summer after spending an entire year in the Vikings' offense. So does that rule out an arrival this week? Could he jet in next week, participate in the Aug. 28 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, and declare himself ready for the season? Or is he comfortable skipping the preseason altogether?
Even if he reports today, Favre will get less practice time because of the Vikings' early open to the regular season, Sept. 9 at the New Orleans Saints. That game is 25 days away.
Let the guessing and games begin. Now, it's for real.
As you recall, agent Bus Cook has said that quarterback Brett Favre would visit Dr. James Andrews this week to re-evaluate his surgically-repaired left ankle. And as ESPN's Chris Mortensen noted Thursday morning on ESPN Radio, Andrews usually uses his office in Gulf Breeze, Fla., on Thursdays and Fridays.
It hasn't been confirmed that Favre was aboard this particular plane. But if nothing else, we're reminded that Favre should have a good understanding about the progress and status of his ankle by the end of this week.
The Vikings, coincidentally, held their final practice of training camp Thursday morning and will travel Friday to their preseason opener at St. Louis. Practice resumes next week at their year-round facility in Eden Prairie, Minn.
So unless Favre receives unexpected news from Andrews in the next day or so, I think we'll finally be able to start the clock on his still-expected arrival in Minnesota.
- When team drills began during the morning practice, these players were part of the first-team offense: Receiver Greg Lewis, center Jon Cooper, guard Chris DeGeare, tight end Jim Kleinsasser and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. I wouldn't expect any of those five players to be in the starting lineup in the season-opening game Sept. 9 at New Orleans. Injuries, family death and indecision are all to blame.
- Nose tackle Pat Williams, 37, and linebacker E.J. Henderson, who has a titanium rod in his leg, have each participated in more practices than receiver Sidney Rice, receiver Percy Harvin, center John Sullivan and quarterback Brett Favre combined. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe has been added to the injury list with what coach Brad Childress called a strain, and he missed both of Monday's practices.[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Andy KingE.J. Henderson has made strides in his recovery from a fractured femur.
- I plan to write more about Henderson soon, but for now you should know that Monday was the best day yet in his recovery from a fractured femur. For the first time, Henderson participated in all of the defensive repetitions for his group in the morning practice (first team) and afternoon practice (second team). "It felt good," Henderson said. "No pain. No worries. Ready to keep it moving."
- DeGeare, a fifth-round draft pick in April, was filing in for injured right guard Anthony Herrera and appears on his way to winning a roster spot as a backup who can play both guard spots and perhaps tackle in a pinch. With DeGeare and Cooper on the roster, you wonder if the end is near for center/tackle Ryan Cook -- the player drafted in 2006 with the choice acquired from Miami in the Daunte Culpepper trade.
- I thought the Vikings looked pretty sharp defensively. The best play I saw was linebacker Chad Greenway's diving tip of a pass intended for Kleinsasser.
- Count me in agreement among those who have already observed that rookie quarterback Joe Webb is struggling. I counted three ducks on basic go routes and got the sense he has hit the rookie wall of training camp. Even offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell admitted that Webb's head is "swimming" with terminology and added: "There's been times out here where he's flashed some great plays, but there's been times where he's flashing that he's definitely a rookie."
- Here's an interesting wrinkle to the Harvin situation we discussed earlier: Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune reports that in addition to dealing with the death of his grandmother, Harvin might be suffering from the migraine headaches that plagued him for parts of last season. Childress reiterated Monday afternoon that he isn't certain when Harvin will rejoin the team. "I'm kind of flying in the dark a little bit," Childress said.
- The Vikings have a full-pads practice scheduled for Tuesday morning. It will include some live scrimmaging and probably be their last real contact until Saturday's preseason game at St. Louis.
- I made it almost a full day without addressing the elephant next door. Childress said he texted with Favre as recently as Monday morning but had no information on Favre's scheduled visit this week with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the routine surgery on Favre's ankle.
Isn't that what we've always thought?
Look, I am very certain that Favre sent text messages to teammates earlier this week suggesting that his ankle wasn't at the point where he would feel comfortable playing. He did the same thing last summer as he recovered from arm surgery, and that's why I cautioned everyone against drawing any final conclusions from it. Newsflash: Favre's decision making process is unique and it changes minute-to-minute.
We had some fun in the interim. Obviously, there are no guarantees that Favre will play. If nothing else, this episode was a reminder of the tightrope the Vikings agreed to walk when they stood pat at quarterback this offseason. I think they made a pretty decent bet, but they had to go all in to do it.
They're squirming a bit, as we suggested they might. They haven't gotten an "absolutely, yes" and the start of the regular season is a month away. Now I think we can all agree that no matter what the Vikings might say publicly, they realize the fate of their 2010 season depends on Favre's health (and relatively timely) return.
That's why it took only 24 hours after the latest barrage of text messages for the Vikings to offer him a nearly 20 percent raise for 2010, with incentives that could make it a 35 percent raise. If they were as comfortable with Tarvaris Jackson as they claim to be, they wouldn't be so quick to open the vault.
You can believe what you want about the events of the past few days, but in the end this is all part of the deal you make when you decide you want Brett Favre, circa 2010, to be your starting quarterback. It all happened, and it all leads to the same conclusion: The odds remain strongly in favor of Favre returning to Minnesota for the 2010 season.
Renowned orthopedist James Andrews tells Brett Favre he needs surgery on his left ankle if he wants to play in 2010.
Call me cynical. But does anyone believe the next few months will play out any other way?
Look, I have no doubt Favre has a legitimate injury. Anyone who saw New Orleans defensive end Bobby McCray twist the ankle during the NFC Championship Game, or saw the pictures of the ensuing swelling, knows it’s real. And it’s also true we haven’t been told the exact nature of the injury.
I spoke this morning with ESPN analyst Stephania Bell, who acknowledged that serious ankle surgeries do exist -- reconstruction among them -- and said it’s difficult to extrapolate Favre’s prognosis without more information. But Favre has had ankle surgery before, in 2007 to remove bone spurs, and I don’t think we’re making a dangerous assumption in suggesting the surgery is more likely to be routine than it is significant.
I suppose it’s possible Favre will retire rather than have surgery. Maybe this will provide him cover for a decision he’s already made not to return to Minnesota. But knowing his history, don’t you think it’s much more likely the opposite is true?
Favre spent three months “testing” his surgically repaired throwing arm last summer, and if he plans to replicate another post-training camp arrival this year, I think he’s now identified his avenue.
I will say this: If the Vikings were either caught off-guard by this revelation or if they’ve miscalculated his intentions, then they’re guilty of gross negligence at the most important position in sports.
As we’ve documented many times, they haven’t lifted a finger this offseason to add anyone at the position. Returning to a competition between two quarterbacks who flopped last summer in training camp, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, would be indefensible in my opinion.
If there was any doubt about it before, I’ll be heading to Minnesota’s rookie minicamp Friday afternoon. I’ll pass along any information I glean -- including whether R.J. Archer or Ryan Perrilloux looks like a viable starter this season.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- In a miracle of modern transportation, I managed to make it from Detroit's practice facility to Minnesota's in less than five hours. Thanks to a bit of a delay while Brett Favre and Brad Childress got their stories straight -- er, took care of some last-minute business -- I made it on time for the biggest news conference in recent Vikings history.
AFC West pal Bill Williamson and I will be churning out a steady stream of posts as the evening continues. But for those of you who are impatient, here are the highlights of what we heard:
- The deal apparently came together quickly. Childress said he called Favre on Monday to gauge his interest. Favre immediately jumped at the opportunity. Although he had previously ruled out re-recruiting Favre, Childress said he always considered the situation "fluid" and decided he had a "small window" to make one more run.
- Favre didn't have a solid answer for what had changed in the three weeks since he turned the Vikings' contract offer down. But he did admit that Dr. James Andrews found an old rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder during surgery on his biceps tendon this spring. Andrews did not repair the injury, and both Favre and Childress said they are confident he can continue playing with the injury. That was a bit of a head-scratcher, but so it goes for now.
- Favre's response to those who have grown tired of him changing his mind: "Don't watch." Favre went on to quote former Green Bay teammate Frank Winters, who often said: "Dude, it's America." As in, it's a free country.
More to come.
This falls under the "If you want it, it's here" category. Minnesota coach Brad Childress spoke extensively Friday on KFAN-1130 AM in the Twin Cities, rehashing his interest in signing retired quarterback Brett Favre. You can listen to the audio by clicking here for Part I and here for Part II.
Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune reviews the appearance, which was highlighted by Childress' assertion that Favre's arm is "pain-free" several weeks after surgery to release a partially torn biceps tendon. Childress implied that any discomfort Favre is now feeling can be attributed to routine soreness rather than a lingering structural problem.
Childress also addressed recent comments from defensive end Ray Edwards, who said Thursday on ESPN's "First Take" that he would be upset if the Vikings allow Favre to use a private locker room. Childress said he spoke to New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson about Favre's interaction with teammates last season and said: "I think he'll be a great locker room guy."
Childress: "[Favre is] probably one of the better practical jokers out there over the course of 16 years, and he's not afraid to give it to anybody. I think he'll be a tremendous teammate as well."
Note the present tense.
Childress said Favre likely will consult with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, at some point before making a final decision about playing in 2009. So as we have discussed many times, it remains clear that Favre will sign with Minnesota unless his recovery takes an unexpected twist.
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