By Tom Keppeler, Knee1/Body1 Staff
The start of regular-season football seems to have left National Football League players weak in the knees, as the Boston Globe pointed out Tuesday. In only the second week of official play, five NFL players are sidelined from leg injuries.
What’s more, the Denver Broncos seem to be leading the wounded-knee brigade. Running back Olandis Gary (above)went into surgery Monday to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament. Broncos’ offensive lineman Trey Teague will also be wheeled into surgery soon to repair the rip in his right ACL that he suffered in Sunday’s game. Teague is the fifth Broncos player in 14 months to injure his ACL. Others include: fellow offensive lineman Lennie Friedman, running back Terrell Davis and linebacker John Mobley, who were all injured last season.
“[Teague] just planted, and it gave out,” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan told the Associated Press. “It was one of those kinds of freak accidents that happens.”
The league’s athletic trainers may take a closer look at their strength-training regiments after Sunday’s match-ups sidelined four other players with knee injuries. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Brian Simmons tore cartilage in his right knee and will miss a minimum 10 weeks. Dallas linebacker Dat Nguyen sprained his left knee, grounding him for at least two games. Qadry Ismail, who plays wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens, sprained his left medial collateral ligament. Finally, Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook is out for the season with an unspecified ligament tear in his left knee.
There are numerous preventative measures you can take to avoid a knee injury, including strengthening your hamstrings and quadriceps and wearing a knee brace. Additionally, avoiding contact with 230-pound linebackers may keep your knees in better shape than the knees of the NFL.
Photo courtesy of DenverBroncos.com