Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Mid-foot misery

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Darren McFadden’s face said it all on Sunday. He emerged from the locker room in full pads after testing showed no structural damage, but still had a long look on his face. That’s probably because he knew he couldn’t push off or accelerate on his mid-foot sprain the way he needed to.

To help us get a better handle on McFadden’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: Right mid-foot sprain
Status: Raiders hopeful McFadden will be ready after Week 8 bye

What exactly is a mid-foot sprain?
A sprain simply refers to a stretching of the ligaments. You have three major subgroups in your foot. There’s the forefoot, the mid-foot and the rear-foot. The mid-foot is the center, keystone, or arch of the foot. So a mid-foot sprain is when you damage the ligaments in that area.

Is this worse than an ankle sprain?
It’s all relative to exactly where the pain is and how bad it is. Some people have pain even from walking. As your foot hits the ground, you’re relying on the ability of the foot and arch to propel you forward. If he’s unable to push off, he’ll be ineffective. Until that resolves and he has less pain, he shouldn’t be back out there.

If McFadden has a mild case, how long would you suspect he’ll be out?
I’d hypothesize anywhere from 2-4 weeks for a mild sprain. They can tape it and use orthotics to support the arch. The things is we don’t know as much about the mid-foot sprain as we do about the ankle sprains. We just don’t come across them as often.

Certainly some guys have required surgery when things are really torn. A partial tear guys can manage -- usually a couple weeks off to a couple months off depending on the severity.

ROTOWORLD OPINION: McFadden has a reputation as a somewhat slow healer and someone that doesn’t play well at less than 100 percent. That’s why Michael Bush was one of the most important handcuffs in the league way back in August. All we can do now is keep him reserved and play him when he’s active. And pray.  

Injury: Fractured fourth metacarpal (ring finger) on right hand
Status: McGahee underwent surgery and is out anywhere from 1-4 weeks

Is it a red flag that McGahee needed surgery instead of letting this heal on its own?
The surgery depends on how bad the fracture is. It depends on how much it’s displaced, if it’s displaced at all. If it’s too far out of alignment, that’s when they do the surgery.

Could he just get a cast on there and get back out there?
They’ll probably put a pin or plate in it to help stabilize, which is better than a brace or cast. Still, he’s not going to be able to do a whole lot the first week or two. After that he can pad it and brace it, but if he has to throw a block he might not have the power or strength he needs. Also, if he falls on it, he has to put his hand out.

ROTOWORLD OPINION: McGahee’s value had already taken a hit when Tim Tebow became the starter because he would be losing goal-line work. Now he’s in even more trouble as Knowshon Moreno is getting a chance to seize some kind of role here. There’s a chance that when McGahee gets back, he’ll have to share some of the early-down work.  

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What’s the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah, it’s the Titans’ running game. Despite a league-worst running game, they plan on making no changes. Chris Johnson is staying as the feature back and all the offensive linemen are keeping their jobs.

“We are not running the ball the way you’d like,” coach Mike Munchak said per the Tennessean, “but when you change the offensive line, it can’t be a one-week thought. You may mess up more things. … In the passing game, those five guys are doing a really good job.

“So, is it worth sacrificing if maybe we get 10 to 20 yards more rushing if the quarterback gets hit three or four more times because you have communication problems? You have to account for all the factors, and sometimes it is not worth the risk.”

OK then, let’s just keep everything exactly the way it is. I’ve taken Chris Johnson off my “buy low” list. At this point, he’s just somebody else’s headache.

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Hines Ward (ankle) is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. If he sits, Antonio Brown is a good bet to back up last week’s breakout. … Redskins placed Chris Cooley (finger) on injured reserve, ending his season. … Matt Moore is dealing with bruised ribs. … Matt Ryan (ankle) said he would have been able to practice this week if the Falcons weren’t on a bye. … Mohamed Massaquoi and Ben Watson are both unlikely to be active after suffering their second concussions within the last year. … There’s no update on Jahvid Best (concussion) as the bye looms in Week 9. … Tashard Choice slightly dislocated his shoulder last week, but says he’ll play through it. Regardless, this is DeMarco Murray’s backfield.

Terrell Owens worked out for exactly zero NFL scouts. No one wants a 37-year-old locker room cancer that is off ACL surgery. … The Dolphins dumped Sage Rosenfels (illness) in favor of J.P. Losman. … The Raiders waived K Dave Rayner. Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) will be fine. … Roy Helu played 33 snaps last week while Ryan Torain played three. Whenever the Redskins are in catch-up mode, Helu will be the man. … Lance Moore played just 26 snaps in Week 7, fewest among Saints wideouts. … The Vikings mercifully waived Bernard Berrian. … Antonio Gates played 40 snaps last week. He’s good to go. … Alfonso Smith will lead the Cardinals’ committee while Beanie Wells is out.

Adam Levitan is in his sixth 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.
Email :Adam Levitan

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