THE INFIRMARY – Last season, you knew the law of injury averages would catch up to the Falcons, but you never thought it would happen all the very next season.
Tight end Justin Peelle, a part-time starter depending on formation, will be the latest member to miss a start this season.
He suffered a “head” injury against the Eagles. The league’s shifting policy on concussion injuries is designed basically to protect players from themselves. So he’s down for the Saints game.
There will some news later today on the progress of quarterback Matt Ryan’s turf toe injury and Michael Turner’s high right ankle sprain. Also, looking forward to the update on Todd McClure’s knee. Ol’ Mud Duck is probably just fine and you know he’s going to try to keep his streak of 2,346 starts going.
In the sports writing game, sometimes you have to state the obvious. So here goes: Ryan and Turner are needed if the Falcons are going to spoil the Saints’ undefeated season.
Both are tough and determined athletes and are going to do everything they can to get on the field. Last week, Turner said if he gets cleared and is breathing, he’s going to play.
Ryan, while he’s hasn’t done any interviews since his injury, played most of the 2006 season at Boston College on a broken foot. He also came back fast from a sprained ankle that season and only missed on game. Hope he’s in the open locker room today to share some thoughts with the media so we can pass them along to you all.
Two doctors told me if his turf toe sprain was mild enough, the Falcons could put a steel insert or a carbon fiber plate under the bottom of the big toe to force it to stay in place. He might still have some trouble pushing off his back foot while throwing.
Both injuries are two or the hardest to fight back from. Turf toe is really wicked and normally takes eight to 12 weeks to
heal, according to Dr. Steven Weinfeld, the chief of foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
“A lot of these types of injuries can become chronic,” said Dr. Weinfeld. “If the player feels better, he might not be all better and then will aggravate the thing throughout the rest of the season. Then it becomes a chronic condition until the offseason when you can stay off of it and rest the foot.”
The Falcons will have to some key medical decisions this week. While Coach Mike Smith told us that the “Sky is not falling,” the playoffs are on the line. But how wise will it be to rush Ryan and Turner out there against the Saints and risk long term/chronic issues?