Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Grant Far From the Tomb

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It’s rare we come across an injury that we haven’t seen lately. So even though Ryan Grant had blood in his urine last week, pardon us for being a little excited.

To help us get a better handle on Grant’s injury, we chatted with Brian Eckenrode, PT, DPT, MS, OCS and sports rehabilitation specialist for GSPP Penn Therapy and Fitness at the Penn Sports Medicine Center in Philadelphia. For more info on GSPP and the Penn Sports Medicine Center, head to

Injury: Bruised kidney
Status: Expected to practice in full and play in Week 5

Grant had blood in his urine but expected back two weeks later. Is a kidney bruise not as bad as it sounds?
The scary thing about it is it certainly can be a long-term thing if not taken care of properly. The severity of this can vary between a couple days, or something much more long-term, or potentially even life-complicating. But here, it sounds like they caught it, they knew what it was, and it was just a matter of letting his body rest.

How does one bruise a kidney?
In the human anatomy, the kidneys are protected by the rib cage. So you get bruising from a violent hit from the side or a violent impact straight on.

Will Grant be prone to aggravation? Is he in pain?
As he’s recovering he’s going to be little more susceptible to a lesser hit or a lesser shot. He might err on the side of caution a little bit. But his really sounds like it’s on the mild side. It’s not something to take lightly, but he’s obviously gotten every test done. He’s probably clear of the pain side of things.

ROTOWORLD OPINION: The Packers have expressed no public concern over giving Grant a normal load right away. But after he missed a week of practice and James Starks handled himself well once again, this looks like a “hot hand” situation at best. Despite Grant’s Week 3 performance, Starks remains the better player.

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Injury: Abdominal strain, leg strain
Status: Tentatively expected to play in Week 5

Any ideas as to what an abdominal strain actually means?
It can mean any number of things. We don’t know if it’s central abdomen, lower abdomen, is it an abdominal muscle, is it the dreaded sports hernia? Maybe they don’t know what it is yet. It could just be a normal muscle strain. 

How can an abdominal strain affect performance?

He likely just doesn’t have the same trunk control or stability in his core because of pain and because of the injury.

How could an abdominal strain lead to a leg injury?
The human body is kind of like machine. If something is not working properly, you’ll find a way to adjust, but whether that way to adjust is something ideal or not is another story.

Someone who has a weak abdominal or core on one side, then theoretically you can’t stabilize your trunk. Your core is the center of everything. It provides a stable base for your arms and your legs to work off of. If there’s something going on in that area, he could potentially be overworking his leg to compensate for the control in his trunk. Essentially it’s just that if you’re out of alignment, it can cause a lot of other problems. He might be overworking his calf in compensation.

ROTOWORLD OPINON: What can we do? Jackson appears to be about where he was last week in terms of health. He embarrassed the Dolphins for 18 minutes before shutting it down in Week 4, putting up 108 yards and a touchdown. If Jackson is active against the Broncos Sunday, we have to play him.

Injury: Left foot sprain
Status: Expected to play Week 5

A sprained foot has nothing to do with plantar fasciitis, right?
Not necessarily. A sprained foot could be a lot of things. Is it muscular, is it bone-related? You can sprain the ligaments of the foot itself. The ligaments support the bones and structures around the foot and ankle -- there are lots of little joints in there. If they get stressed beyond what they’re used to, it can be a source of pain.

How could Roethlisberger’s performance be affected?
It can affect one’s ability to push off, run, even weight bear on that leg. Obviously it’s not broken but sometimes even torn ligaments down there can eventually result in surgery. It’s a good thing it’s not broken, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of the woods.

What can the Steelers do to help him through the game?
They could potentially do something like taping or orthotics.  Depending on the severity, that could help.  

ROTOWORLD OPINION: This is shaping up as a perfect storm of misery for Roethlisberger. He’s playing with a bad foot that could affect his mobility and ability to push off. His offensive line is a wreck. He’s playing against the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL. And he probably won’t have Rashard Mendenhall. Big Ben owners need to explore other options.

There was no concrete news on Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) Tuesday, but the signs aren’t good. He’s not expected to practice this week and we have already seen how debilitating hamstring injuries can be for backs and receivers. The Steelers also revealed that third-down back Mewelde Moore suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 4 and is likely out this week.

So where does that leave us? Isaac Redman is a good bet for 15-20 touches against the Titans Sunday. The annual camp darling is nothing special, but you can’t do much better for a plug-n-play off the wire during a bloated bye week. Redman has a nose for end zone.

The Giants’ No. 2 wideout situation is really interesting and really messy. Mario Manningham got benched in Week 4 for running bad routes and dropping balls. We’ve all seen what Victor Cruz can do when given the opportunity on the outside. So what now?

Ideally, the Giants will keep running Cruz opposite Hakeem Nicks and kick Manningham into the slot. But they may want to give Manningham -- who was coming off a concussion -- one more chance to hold on to his job. I’m holding both guys on my bench until we see how the Giants install their game plan this week.

Editor’s Note: Sick of your team already? Get a new one and win cash with SnapDraft!

Andre Johnson (hamstring) is tentatively expected to miss three weeks after undergoing a procedure to speed his recovery. … Danny Woodhead (ankle) appears headed for a game-time call. … Chad Henne (shoulder) may be done for the year. The Dolphins are poking around at David Garrard and Jake Delhomme. … Dez Bryant (quad) worked out Tuesday even though the Cowboys are on a bye. He’s trying to get his conditioning right.

Still no word on a Cedric Benson suspension. For now, he’ll almost certainly be in the lineup again Sunday. … Curtis Painter is expected to continue to start. … Marques Colston played just 20 snaps in his return. That will rise quickly. … Dane Sanzenbacher saw just 13 snaps in Week 4, or less than Sam Hurd. … Donnie Avery played just one snap in his Titans debut. … It’s certainly possible the Broncos will turn to Tim Tebow in Week 7. Kyle Orton is an impending free agent and the Broncos will be 1-5 heading into a bye if they lose to San Diego this week. … Willis McGahee is locked in as the Broncos’ feature back.

Check out what Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had to say about his team's injuries.

Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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