Post-Season Injury Excuses are as Lame as the Injuries

Manning
Manning

Peyton Manning allegedly had a torn quad muscle. Do a little research and you'll find there's a little misinformation there.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had been eliminated from the 2014 National Football League Playoffs and within minutes afterwards, safety Mike Mitchell announced that he’d played most of the season with a torn groin.

Yes, I just reached for my crotch in pain as well…

Yesterday morning, news out of Denver was that Peyton Manning had played the last month of the season with a torn quad muscle.

Injuries in the NFL are as mysterious as aliens and Bigfoot himself. Tom Brady was once on the injury report every week for what seemed like a full decade. Whether or not anything was actually wrong with him is unknown but highly doubtful since amazingly he played in all of those games.

It’s always interesting to hear players suddenly start talking about injuries they’ve been fighting through because 99 times out of 100 the general public doesn’t know anything about the injuries until the season has ended and ended with a loss.

Mitchell

Mike MItchell announced following the Steelers' final game that he played with a groin tear.

In Mitchell’s case, the overwhelming response from the Steelers’ faithful was one of total doubt. Mitchell was supposed to be the team’s free agent gem when they signed him in the offseason to replace Ryan Clark who had worn out his welcome in the Steel City.

As it turns out, Mitchell wasn’t any better. His poor tackling and even worse positioning on the field left Steelers’ fans seriously questioning how this guy could even warrant a starting job. When the injury announcement was made, the collective “ya sure” from the fans was as loud as a football stadium on the opening kickoff.

Mitchell is however, small potatoes when compared to Manning. In both cases, I have no doubts that these men were probably hobbled by injury. When you play a full season of professional football it’s rare to find any player that is 100% healthy.

That said, I have a hard time buying Manning’s injury. A torn muscle, especially one on the top of your thigh is crippling regardless of how often you get shot up.

Did Manning have a strained quad? That I can buy just like I can buy that Aaron Rodgers has a strained calf. But a torn quad? C’mon!

What the Denver Broncos medical folks are not telling is whether this was a grade one, two or three tear. Both one and two will allow for some participation in normal daily activities but playing in the NFL is not “normal daily activity.”

The grade three tear results in total immobility so it’s safe to assume this was not a “torn quadriceps.” What would also be nice to know is whether this was just a tear, where the fibers of the muscle come apart or a full tear where the fibers tear in half.

We’ll never find out the exact diagnosis of Manning but it’s safe to say he certainly had some discomfort in his quad. For a quarterback, the only thing more important than his arm is his legs which he uses to drive the ball down-field.

It was obvious to even the novice among us that Manning was struggling to get the ball down-field Sunday. He had little zip on the ball and his accuracy was as poor as we’ve ever seen it.

I don’t believe Manning or Mitchell set out to have excuses for their poor performances but we as fans and viewers have to take these injuries with a grain of salt because more often than not, they aren’t as bad as we are told they are.

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NFL Week 14 Injuries: Cardinals Banged Up

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The NFL has entered Week 14. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Chicago Bears on Thursday and a full lineup of games will take place on Sunday and one on Monday night.

At this point in the season, injuries are a big concern for teams and one team banged up is the Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona was at 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS until a series of injuries decimated their offense. Over the past two weeks, the Cardinals have scored just a combined 21 points with both ending in straight up and against the spread losses.

Larry Fitzgerald the team’s No. 1 wide receiver who has been out with a bad knee will return on Sunday when the Cardinals play the Chiefs. He missed two games, which were his first since 2007.

Andre Ellington the Cardinals starting running back will likely miss Sunday’s game because of a hip pointer and hip flexor.

The Cardinals opened in a pick-em, but are now 1-point chalk, according to Bovada and betonline.

Arizona must have Fitzgerald in the lineup. If his hands touch any part of the ball, he makes the catch. He is the team savoir and one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Drew Stanton the Arizona quarterback needs to have Fitzgerald as his safety blanket.

Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger should start this weekend against the New York Giants. Mettenberger left the Titans Week 13 games at Houston in which they lost, with an injured shoulder.

However, according to data taken from topbet and sportsbook.com, he practiced both Thursday and Friday and should start Sunday.

Rashad Jennings the Giants starter at running back could play Sunday. Jennings left in the Jacksonville loss with an injured ankle and was out of practice both Wednesday and Thursday.

With Jennings injured earlier in the season, New York stared its slide downward.

Not having him in the backfield put additional pressure on Eli Manning.

Roddy White the wide receiver on the Atlanta Falcons did not play Week 13 and did not practice on Thursday heading toward the Falcons Monday trip to Green Bay.

Harry Douglas another wide receiver did not practice this week.

Matt Ryan will have a hard time staying with a red-hot Green Bay team without Roddy and Douglas.

Green Bay opened at -11 and was bumped to -12. It is expected to reach -13 before Sunday’s kickoff.

At this point Green Bay is definitely the team the public bettor is behind. Everyone is squarely on Green Bay and the OVER.

The line could go up to 13.5 but the sharps will likely keep from reaching two touchdowns.

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Injuries Move NFL Point Spreads

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Week 1 of the NFL kicked off with Thursday Night Football and continues on Sunday with 13 games, while two will be played on Monday.

As is the same every year, injuries can prove to be detrimental to teams and can influence the point spreads.

One example is Cam Newton the Carolina Panthers dual threat quarterback. On Thursday, Ron Rivera his coach said Newton would be a game time decision against Tampa Bay due to a rib problem.

Newton admitted himself he is human would prefer not to put the team in jeopardy if he cannot move as effectively as he normally can.

Close to the same time that happened, the spread dropped from -3 for Carolina to -1 for Tampa Bay.

There is good chance that Newton could miss the game and likely, the spread will drop even more over the next 24 hours.

Most observers feel Newton will play, but everyone knows he will not be 100% and has not done much work with his receivers.

This matchup said officials at Bovada and topbet is one-sided. The public is all over Carolina, while the professionals are on Tampa Bay.

More tickets said sportsbook.com and betonline are on Carolina, but over 90% of the money is with the Bucs.

Derek Anderson would replace Newton if Newton cannot go. However, Anderson has not started an NFL game in 4 seasons.

On Thursday, Tom Brady did not practice for New England. Brady is nursing an injured calf, but is expected to play in Miami on Sunday.

If there were a good chance Brady would miss the game, the current line of -4.5 for New England would instantly go to Miami laying about 2.5 points. The Patriots backup quarterback has yet to play a down in an NFL regular season game and that is why the line would move so much if Brady went down.

Another question mark for New England is tight end Rob Gronkowski. The tight end did not play a single down during the preseason. He is coming of two tore knee ligaments. Most observers are confident Gronk will play but he will play a set number of plays.

Most feel he will be only 50% of his normal self, but that is much better than a possible replacement.

Andre Ellington a running back for the Arizona Cardinals received a new injury on Thursday. He has a foot problem. That could spell trouble, as he is the team’s feature back this season, with him expected to get about 20 touches per game.

If Ellington is anything short of 100% the creativity in play calling by the Arizona coaching staff will be restricted.

The best thing to do is check out the latest injuries reports just prior to the kickoffs so a better determination can be made on where to place your wager.

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Random Sports’ World Thoughts for the Final Sunday …

Scott
Scott

Byron Scott returns to LA where he thrived as a player during the days of Magic Johnson.

The Los Angeles Lakers finally have their coach in Byron Scott. After three separate interviews and months of wavering, the Lakers finally decided on Scott. In the past couple of days, speculation had been growing that the Lakers were dragging their feet intentionally because there seemed to be a chance that Doc Rivers could be available.

While we might not ever know if there was that type of interest, it was thought that if Donald Sterling continued to drag out the Clippers’ saga then Rivers would quit. Whether the NBA would have allowed him to become immediately available is unknown but it would have been a very interesting situation.

As far as Scott is concerned, the former Laker is good coach but I can’t help but wonder if this has the touches of Kobe Bryant on it. Scott appears to be the perfect guy for Bryant to have influence over in his final few years. It’s a safe pick because Kobe can’t have much left so when he is gone Scott is a good enough coach to move forward.

Training Camp Injuries Already

Hunter

The 49ers lost running back Kendall Hunter for the season with an ACL injury.

Training Camps across the National Football League have only been in full swing a few days but already the injury bug has bitten several teams hard. Baltimore lost defensive back Aaron Ross to an Achilles’ injury while he was just running, noting else. He is gone for the season.

The 49ers lost back-up running back Kendall Hunter with an ACL tear on Friday and the Colts lost running back Vick Ballard to an Achilles’ tear as well. Also taking a hit in the backfield were the Carolina Panthers who have lost rookie running back Tyler Gaffney to a knee injury. He is expected to miss the season.

These injuries follow the season-ending ones to linebackers Kiko Alonso of Buffalo and Sean Weatherspoon of Atlanta. Sadly, I guarantee we’ll see more of these injuries as the preseason unfolds.

MLB Races Staying Tight

At the All-Star Break, five of the six divisions in Major League Baseball were extremely tight. As we get ready to head into the month of August even that one lone division has tightened a bit.  The American League Central has the Tigers leading by five games over Kansas City who has won six of ten. This division is the tightest in baseball.

The AL East has Baltimore leading both Toronto and the New York Yankees by three games and now Tampa has closed to within 6.5 following a nine-game winning streak. The Rays streak may cause them to re-think trading David Price.

Over in the AL West, the Oakland A’s lead the LA Angels by just two games. While Seattle is 10.5 behind the Athletics, they are in prime contention for the wild-card so keep an eye on them too.

In the National League, the East Division has seen the Washington Nationals re-take first as they lead Atlanta by 1.5 games. The NL Central is the most fascinating division in baseball because of the race going on there. Milwaukee has a three game lead over St. Louis, a four game lead over Pittsburgh and a six game lead over Cincinnati.

The Reds find themselves in a situation where they need to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline this week. The same could also be said for the Pirates who need to add a bat or arm desperately.

The NL West is the tightest race in baseball. The Dodgers are just a half game up on the Giants who seem to have survived their earlier swoon although they’ve lost three in a row.

Stay tuned because I don’t see these races changing much.

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Injury Report Week 15: Cowboys and Patriots Minus Key …

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The injury report for Week 15 is highlighted by two teams that will each miss a key player.

Adrian Peterson is questionable for the Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday due to a sprained foot, but he practiced on Friday.

However, if he were to miss the game his absence might not be as big a factor as some would believe. That however cannot be said for Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots or Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys.

Biggest Injuries

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots Tight End. Gronkowski suffered yet another injury last week against Cleveland. This time the talented tight end tore his MCL and ACL. Since coming back from two injuries that kept him out of the first six games of the season, Gronkowski has 37 receptions and four touchdowns in only six games prior to last week’s Cleveland game.

New England will now have to play with Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman more frequently since their star at tight is lost for the season.

Sean Lee, Cowboys Linebacker. Lee played last week following two missed games, but was injured again and doctors ruled him out of the Dallas game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Without Lee to stuff the middle, the Cowboys will have a huge hole as he is now considered one of the league’s best. Dallas will now be even more vulnerable on defense without the talented linebacker.

Michael Floyd, Cardinals, Wide Receiver. Floyd has emerged as one of Arizona’s best receivers. He has even, at times outshined Larry Fitzgerald. However, Floyd has a problematic ankle, but could play against Tennessee nonetheless. It is an important game with playoff implications for the Cardinals.

Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals, Safety. Mathieu is just a rookie but had played well all season and was one reason the Cardinals defense is so dominant. He played nearly every snap since the season start avoiding injury until now. However, he tore his LCL and ACL last week, which is a huge blow to the Cardinals secondary as they attempt to reach the postseason.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings, Running Back. Peterson sprained his foot in the snow against Baltimore last week, but could still play on Sunday. Although he is the best rusher in the league, he can easily be replaced by another back. Toby Gerhart will fill in for Peterson if Peterson’s foot is still too sore to play.

Justin Houston makes his return for the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. Houston is one of the league’s best pass rushers. However, he has missed two straight games with an elbow injury.

Some of the injuries mentioned will cause the players to miss their games this weekend, while others are decisions to be made during warm-ups prior to the game.

Make sure to check with Bovada, sportsbook.com, topbet and betonline before the start of each game to see what the final decision about playing has done to the point spread or point totals.

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