Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Waiting for the Sun

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Darren McFadden isn’t deaf. He can hear the whispers, he can hear people saying he’s soft and a slow healer. But is he?

To help us get a better handle on McFadden’s long recovery, we chatted with Brian Eckenrode, PT, DPT, MS, OCS and sports rehabilitation therapist 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: Sidelined since Week 7

We talked with Eckenrode about McFadden back on Oct. 26, just a few days after the original injury. Bang it here for those thoughts.

It’s been more than five weeks since McFadden went down. Any ideas or guesses as to what is taking so long here?
Well, the severity of the sprain was worse than what they thought originally. Or, he’s just not responding to some of the treatments as quickly as they want him to. At this length of time, it’s probably a moderate to severe type of injury.

Is there such a thing as a “slow healer?”
Typically what we know from science is that there is an ideal length of time for tissue to heal from an injury. For example, a fractured bone takes 6-8 weeks to heal. I know if you talk to Terrell Owens he would say he’s a fast healer. But McFadden is such a high-level athlete that I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that he‘s a slow healer. I just think it’s more severe than they originally thought. It’s hard to compare people, it’s kind of like apples and oranges.

When McFadden does get back, how quickly can he regain form?
My guess is that he’s probably lifting weights, he’s probably running in the pool, trying to keep the cardiovascular up. But if he just started walking this week, he’s probably been on crutches for much of the last month. His timing will be a little off, his strength and power is going to be a little off.

ROTOWORLD OPINION: Finally doing some walking at practice, McFadden appears to be targeting Week 14 for his return. But with Michael Bush as their starter, the Raiders have gone 3-1. He’s racked up 593 total yards and is fantasy’s No. 1 running back during that span. In other words, expect a committee kind of attack even when McFadden gets back. Bush has earned 10-12 touches per game.

Injury: Fractured ribs
Status: Return Week 14?

We’ve seen quarterbacks like Tony Romo play through rib injuries. Why can’t Vick?
He’s in quite a bit of pain. From what I understand the fracture is on his left side which is his throwing side. So any time you get your arm over your head you’re going to feel pain.

Andy Reid said that Vick still can’t torque his body without pain. How bad of a sign is that?
Just to get his arm extended over his head and then get the rotation that has to happen at his trunk, there is some stress that occurs on the ligaments and the bones at the ribs. He can’t throw with the same power, the same velocity.

If you look at the last game he played with the rib injury, he was off target, he just didn’t have the power behind it. He wasn’t his usual self out there.

ROTOWORLD OPINION: With the Eagles at 4-7 and virtually eliminated from the playoffs, there’s no reason to rush Vick back at less than 100 percent. The Eagles made a $100 million investment in him before this season. Owners that handcuffed Vince Young can keep trotting the backup out there as a borderline QB1.
Editor’s Note: For early rankings, projections, the Running Back report, the top-200 going forward list and much more, check out the Season Pass!

Coach Andy Reid isn’t going to hold grudges. Even though DeSean Jackson went all alligator-arms on his team last week and ended up benched, he’ll be back in the starting lineup Thursday. Still, he’s a track star trying to play football. I’d consider Jackson a risky WR3.

Meanwhile, the schedule makers aren’t doing the Eagles’ hurt folks any favors. We already discussed Michael Vick’s status above -- he’ll be back Week 14 at the earliest. Jeremy Maclin is still dealing with his hamstring strain and is likely out, giving Riley Cooper another start as a sneaky WR3. And LeSean McCoy has a little toe sprain, but it’s not turf toe. He should be fine.

Frank Gore has just 16 catches all season, and it’s not a coincidence. Coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that his scheme has limited Gore’s chances in the passing game. Simply put, the conservative offense asks running backs to block instead of catch.

Harbaugh obviously isn’t going anywhere, so Gore is stuck in this offense after signing a four-year deal in August. He’ll also be 29 in May and has shown declining breakaway speed. This has the makings of a wall getting hit very soon. And in the short term, Gore faces the elite run defenses of the Steelers and Seahawks in Weeks 15 and 16. Not good.

Sidney Rice (concussions) isn’t going to play Thursday. Doug Baldwin is the desperation option. … Matthew Stafford has resumed practicing without gloves. … Kevin Smith (ankle) did not practice Tuesday, putting Maurice Morris in line for the start. … The Falcons did not report any injury to Julio Jones coming out of Sunday’s airball. … Jerry Jones said he expects Miles Austin (hamstring) to return Sunday. We’ll see. … Michael Jenkins (knee) is done for the season. Yawn.

The Texans signed Jake Delhomme as insurance in case T.J. Yates faceplants. … Colts president Bill Polian confirmed that he thinks it’s financially reasonable to have Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on the same team. … The Jaguars’ interim coach, Mel Tucker, confirmed he’ll keep rolling with Blaine Gabbert. … Dan Orlovsky has replaced Curtis Painter as the Colts’ starter. It can’t get any worse. … The Ravens say Lee Evans will start playing in more two-wide sets. … Brad Smith will remain the starter opposite Stevie Johnson, leaving David Nelson in the slot.

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

Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days

Video Center

    MLB On The Bump: Friday

    MLB On The Bump: Friday

    Beer's MLB 6-Pack: Friday
    Short: MLB Fantasy Mailbag

    Short: MLB Fantasy Mailbag
    Short: Strasburg

    Short: Strasburg's slow start

    Beer's MLB 6-Pack: Wednesday
    MLB On The Bump: Wednesday

    MLB On The Bump: Wednesday

    Beer's MLB 6-Pack: Tuesday
    MLB On The Bump: Tuesday

    MLB On The Bump: Tuesday