Despite being listed as having a shoulder ailment, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts is dealing with pain near his chest. Shorts sprained his sternoclavicular joint, the junction between the clavicle (collarbone) and the sternum (chest). This is an incredibly painful injury, but the key to how much -- and how long -- the athlete is compromised depends on stability. If there is excessive motion (instability), the sensitive structures in the region of the joint, and the proximity to the neck, make it potentially unsafe to engage in a contact sport.
It was an injury to this area that forced Patriots (then Rams) wide receiver Danny Amendola to miss multiple weeks last season. In Amendola’s case, he suffered a posterior subluxation, an unusual and potentially very serious injury, which required a procedure to reposition the clavicle, followed by a period of soft-tissue healing for the surrounding ligaments.
In Shorts’ case, the injury is stable, indicating there is less damage to the ligaments. However, it does not minimize the pain associated with the injury. The pain makes it difficult to raise the arm and reach forward or backward (hence the description of the injury as a “shoulder” injury, since the joint constitutes part of the shoulder girdle), much less absorb contact.
Despite not practicing this week and acknowledging the injury’s high level of pain, Shorts is stoically holding out hope he will be able to play Sunday. It appears as if a decision won’t officially be made until game time. However, fantasy owners should make other plans, given how limited Shorts is late in the week.