BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 7 ON OCTOBER 21
► THE DOCTOR IS IN…
THE NFL TODAY’s medical consultant, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, discusses some of the injuries around the league and artificial turf fields versus grass fields. Click to view: http://cbsprt.co/PKx50Z
(On Ray Lewis’s injury)
DR. ELATTRACHE: Well, the triceps tendon attaches the triceps to the elbow. And that is responsible for the ability to extend the elbow against resistance…When that has to be repaired usually it takes about three or four months until you can add significant resistance to that repair without risking re-damaging it. That would take you to early-February. So I think that at that point you may end up seeing Ray Lewis come back. If you saw the game, he played several plays after he tore his triceps. My bet is if the Ravens are in the mix in early- February, you may see Ray Lewis back.
(On a 10-year study of injury rates affected by an artificial field turf versus natural grass fields)
DR. ELATTRACHE: The NFL sponsored a study that looked at injuries over a span of 10 years looking primarily at the two main injuries that cause the most game-time loss in the NFL, that being knee injuries and ankle injuries. And the findings were rather significant. You saw a 67% higher incidence of ACL tears on artificial field turf compared to natural grass. You saw over a 30% higher rate of high ankle sprains on field turf compared to natural grass.
BOOMER ESIASON: There have been 17 ACL injuries, some contact, some non‑contact. What is the difference between of two of those?
DR. ELATTRACHE: The contact injury is when another player propels himself into another player’s knee. Those that I see that are contact injuries generally involve more than one ligament, often times more tissue damage within and outside the knee. The non‑contact injury is the most common mechanism that the ACL is torn in the NFL. If you look at the difference on field turf compared to natural grass, there is no significant difference on the contact injury between the two surfaces. But there is a significant difference on the non‑contact ACL as you saw with Lardarius Webb, for instance, on the field…
(On eliminating artificial turf)
BILL COWHER: I’ve always been a firm believer (against it)…Right now the answer is the shoes. We always thought about that as coaches. They should take a shoe and standardize it to that specific venue, because every artificial turf is different. And make sure the shoe companies mandate players to wear that particular shoe because that is a degree of safety.
BOOMER: This turf is so much better than the turf we played on. I played at the Vet, Three Rivers Stadium, Riverfront, the Houston Astrodome. They were terrible. This is a much better brand of product, and certainly the shoe is going to play a big part moving forward. But I think a lot of these players are wearing soccer shoes now.
BILL COWHER: They change rules. They should mandate the proper shoes being worn.
JAMES BROWN: Doc, your thoughts on field turf?
DR. ELATTRACHE: In talking with Jim Bradley, one of the senior authors of that study, he’s actually the Steelers orthopedist, he says the NFL is working with the shoe companies and the turf companies that are making the turf to try to match‑up the friction created by those two surfaces to get it as natural as possible. Clearly to try to decrease these injuries.
► “INSIDE INFORMATION”
(On a team in Los Angeles)
JASON LA CANFORA: All the owners were updated on progress this past week at an owners meeting in Chicago. They were told don’t even think about moving your team to L.A. in 2013. It will be 2014 at the earliest. There were four sites they were given updates on. The one I hear the most buzz about is Chavez Ravine around Dodger Stadium. Some sources told me that is the league’s preferred site, though we haven’t heard as much about it.
(On more changes for Philadelphia Eagles)
SHANNON SHARPE: I believe there will be more changes. I said it at the time when Andy Reid hired Juan Castillo for his defensive coordinator, it was a mistake. It was a mistake in two-folds. You’re taking a quality offensive line coach and taking him away, and we know the offensive line has struggled since then. Then you put a guy in a position that he wasn’t qualified to have in the first place. The next guy I believe to go will be Michael Vick. I believe he’ll be benched. You look at Vick in his last 19 starts, 10‑9, 31 turnovers. You’re not running LaSean McCoy. Why not put Nick Foles in there, a guy that can take care of the football and maybe give McCoy more opportunities?
DAN MARINO: They will absolutely be desperate if they do that right now. I don’t disagree he’s been struggling. But you can’t take him out because he gives them still the best chance to win. Until they’re out of the playoff run, which they may be at some point, you don’t take Michael Vick out of the game.
(With 11 teams being 3-3, who is the best)
BOOMER: I still think New England is the best offensive football team in the entire NFL. They can do so many different things. The problem with them is their defense isn’t that good. So I’m going to say most balanced (overall) in the AFC would be the Houston Texans.
► SHANNON SHARPE SITS DOWN WITH MEMBERS OF BALTIMORE RAVENS
THE NFL TODAY’s Shannon Sharpe sat down with members of the Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh, Ray Rice, Ed Reed and Joe Flacco to discuss how they will attack the rest of the season without Ray Lewis on the field. Click to view: http://cbsprt.co/TJtuvS
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