Odds and Ends

Posted: July 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 15 Comments »

We found out today that DE Brandon Graham had microfracture surgery to repair his torn ACL back on December 21.  I’m confused as to why this seems to be such a huge deal.  We knew he had a torn ACL.  We knew he had surgery.  It was only today we found out it was microfracture surgery.

Maybe I’m confused.  I know there are different types of surgeries.  I was under the impression that microfracture surgery was done in hopes of a quicker recovery.  Everyone in the Twitter universe now seems all doom and gloom.  I checked out the Wiki page for microfracture surgery and it doesn’t give a clear answer.  The page does list athletes who’ve recovered well from the procedure and some that haven’t.

The Eagles would have either advised Graham to have this particular surgery or given him the “OK” if he told them it was the type he preferred.  The team still believes in Graham and expects him to be a key contributor in 2012.  They know 2011 is a huge question mark.

If anyone out there is an expert on microfracture surgery, please speak up and let us know how/why it is worse or more risky.  Or if that is a mis-conception.

* * * * *

Nnamdi Asomugha update #237.

Dallas says he’ll be too expensive.  Ditto for Detroit.  Houston has said they have doubts about signing him.  The Raiders are out of it.  Washington reportedly will be too busy signing 37 other guys.  We know the Eagles don’t expect to be landing his services.

So who is the front runner?  Maybe Nnamdi and his agent need to get with teams and let them know that it won’t take $15M or $19M a year.  If he lowers his price down to the $12M range, that could make a huge difference.  Then again, all it takes is one suitor.  Tampa might have to spend money to reach the Salary Cap floor.  If so, Nnamdi might be a great fit for them on the field and in the business ledger.

* * * * *

Sponsors are starting to come back to Michael Vick.  That’s okay with me.  I do have some worries about Vick having a sudden cash boom.  Money was a major problem for him in Atlanta.  Too much of that brought in a bad crowd that at the least kept him distracted off the field and at the most got him in serious trouble with the Feds.  I think Vick is a very different person now, but money is still money.  It has been known to change people over the years.

My favorite money story ever involves former Penn State LB Brandon Short.  He thought about going pro after the 1998 season, but decided to stick around another year.  He hoped to win the National Title in 1999 (damn you Minnesota Gophers! and Tom Brady! and TJ Duckett!).  Someone asked Short about why he didn’t leave for the NFL since he came from a poor family and could have used the money.  Short responded that he’d been poor his whole life.  One more year without money wasn’t going to be a big deal.  I wish all players thinking of leaving early could talk to Brandon and get his two cents.

* * * * *

I love all the complaining from media types about the problems of the MLB all star game.  Cry me a river.  You guys have the best all star game around.  The Pro Bowl is a joke.  Ditto for NHL and NBA.  I do miss the days of the MLB all star game being awesome, but that’s before we watched all baseball teams all the time.  I’ve never sat down and watched a Pro Bowl from start to finish.  I barely watch 5 plays a year at this point.  I just don’t care.

15 Comments on “Odds and Ends”

  1. 1 Name said at 5:45 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    I have no idea if micro is worse but Everyone is acting like it is so much worse. I know that BG made big contributions last year for a rookie. I know he didn’t have a ton of sacks and he struggled against the run a little but he got a lot of pressures (37) and was getting better against the run. You take him out of the mix for this year and that worries me. We couldn’t get much pressure from our dends at the end of last year.

    BG finished #1 of rookie dends as far as QB pressures, even though the kid from cincy had more sacks. He was 2nd among all rookies, first was obviously SUE. That’s pretty good considering he didn’t finish the season. I really hope he makes it all the way back

  2. 2 ian no 2 said at 6:09 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    * I’m under the impression that the Eagles need to spend some dough to get to the Salary Cap floor. That may be a rationale to go for Nnamdi.

    * Even with these endorsements, it will take Vick years to get out of bankruptcy protection. He is currently living on an allowance that he and his creditors have agreed on. If he signed a monster contract it would be a few years into it before he could settle the debts and actually live large on his salary.

  3. 3 mcud said at 7:33 PM on July 13th, 2011:


    I’m no expert, but my understanding is that microfracture surgery has a much longer recovery time. Its not like an ACL, where there should be an aggressive rehab. Rest is a key component long after the point a typical ACL surgery would require.

    It’s main purpose (again, to my limited understanding) is to replace normal cartilage with what basically amounts to a large blood clot, called fibrocartilage. The problem in recovery is that you’re never the same. Many guys come back from ACL injuries with no ill effects. Microfracture robs nearly everybody of significant athletic “explosion”.

    Take a look at the athletes that have successfully come back…Jason Kidd, Zach Randolph, John Stockton, Kenyon Martin, A’mare Stoudamire, etc. With the exception of A’mare and Kenyon, none of those guys played “above the rim” or relied on their athleticism. Martin has never been the same (the guy used to jump out of the gym), and while Stoudamire is back to being a terrific NBA player, I think his athleticism has been compromised as well.

    Guess what I am saying is that I’m skeptical that Graham can ever be what he was athletically. I can’t think of anybody who has come back from this surgery and been the same athlete as he was pre-surgery.

    Perhaps the commenters can enlighten me with better examples.

  4. 4 Mac said at 7:47 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    Why is it now we know the Eagles don’t expect to land Aso? At this point everything is speculation, they still very well could sign him. To say we know anything about who the Eagles will really get at this point is premature. We won’t know until free agency actually starts.

  5. 5 Arby said at 7:55 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    After reading the wiki page, ……..Ray Edwards, welcome to the Philadelphia Eagles!

  6. 6 Big Don said at 8:03 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    I’m also no expert, but my impression of microfracture vs. ACL pretty much echoes what “mcud” described. Also, I believe that microfracture surgery offers more mixed results than an ACL surgery which has been more and more consistent over the last several years (sorry, Cornelius). Many players have returned and still had careers but rarely at the same level to which they played prior, although there are exceptions to the rule as previously mentioned.

  7. 7 Midnight Greenville said at 8:06 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    I’m a physician, but not an orthopedic surgeon, so here is my best explanation at microfracture surgery and why it’s a bigger deal than just an ACL repair. Cartilage, especially in the weight-bearing joints like the knees, is basically the cushion between the ends of the bones and does not heal very well once it is injured. Without adequate cartilage, the ends of the bones would basically grind against one another.

    There are very few options for trying to get cartilage in the knee to heal when injured. In older individuals, significant degenerative disease in the knee is usually treated with a knee replacement, but that’s not really an option in an athlete who expects to keep playing at a high level. The microfracture technique basically causes abrasions to the surface of knee where cartilage is supposed to be, in the hopes of stimulating some new growth of the cartilage.

    So, what I take away from the news that he had this procedure in addition to the ACL repair is that there was a significant injury to the cartilage in the knee in addition to the ligament. He could recover well from the injury, but it’s clearly not optimal and it suggests to me that his recovery is more in doubt than it would be with just a simple ACL.

    And no, I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  8. 8 MoneyDavid said at 10:17 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    Prior to the Doc’s response, my big question is if he only had an ACL then why have the micro? I was thinking exactly what he said ….. there must have been some major damage beyond the ACL and why did it take so long to disclose this ? That’s like a player breaking a fibula, then 7 months + later saying, “Oh yeah, by the way, he also broke his ankle and tibia, no big deal.” Performing a micro on such a young player is an incredibly desperate move. NO ONE is ever close to the same after a micro. Many times players are much stronger 2 years removed from an ACL if it is done correctly. We might as well have picked Clemson’s DE Bowers(sp?). At least you are getting an explosive player with bone on bone grinding. With Graham we have the grinding and probably Mahe speed. Ugh ! I feel bad for Graham and worse for the Eagles. Can anyone say Abiamiri ? (Medical bust). Babin, Edwards …. please

  9. 9 Jernst said at 10:52 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    Like the doc above I’m a physician, but not an orthopedic surgeon. Being an anesthesiologist though, I’ve seen enough of these micros to know theyre a bigger deal than just the standard acl repair. Essentially, you are drilling into the bone to stimulate cartilage and ligamentous growth. So after you drill the holes the body heals however it heals with no real gaurantee on what the outcome will be. The literature sites that these days, about 80 to 90% of acl repairs are successful in the sense that the athlete returns to full strength, in micro fracture surgery 60 to 75% of players make a full recovery. So, basically, medically speaking we just found out that his injury was worse, the surgery was more extensive and he has about a 20% less chance of making a full recovery. One quick direction to above tho, is that recovery times are not drastically different between the two procedures.

  10. 10 Stephen said at 11:32 PM on July 13th, 2011:

    We have freakin terrible luck when it comes to drafting LDE’s. *glum face*.

  11. 11 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:20 AM on July 14th, 2011:

    Who knew we had so many smart readers here?

    Thanks for the comments from our medical friends. Much appreciated.

  12. 12 ATG said at 4:11 AM on July 14th, 2011:

    What worried me when I heard the news was the timing. This happened in December. Why are we hearing now? It feels like a step along the road to IR for the season.

    Reading the wonderful explanations above, I am more concerned that it sounds like a question of “if” rather than “when” he can return. Wow, poor kid.

  13. 13 TheMadElf said at 11:35 AM on July 14th, 2011:

    I imagine the extent of Graham’s surgury had not been disclosed because the FO did not want to let on that we may be in the market for a DE either in the draft or FA or trade.

    If BG returning sometime this year is likely, the addition of a top DE would be a luxury but now it seems more of a necessity, which is never a powerful negotiating position.

  14. 14 Fran35 said at 9:43 PM on July 14th, 2011:

    I really don’t know what to say.

    I am starting to think that this team has the Reggie White curse. We cannot seem to consistently draft good/reliable defensive line players with our hig draft picks. When you draft a guy in the front part of the 1st round, you kind of expect an impact player or at the very least a good starter. It really is not all the front office’ fault either; some of these injuries were surprises.

    As for my feelings of doom and gloom, I think the other posters said it best: Graham had so much degradation of the cartilage that he required this surgery. This guy is a young man who does not have a power game. He relies on speed and quickness to be effective, which really could suffer from this condition.

    So, it is not so much the surgery that causes concern, it is the fact that he needed it.

  15. 15 D3Keith said at 6:16 PM on July 16th, 2011:

    Have long though that Nnamdi’s deal might be more in line with what Revis signed, a 4-year, $46 million extension with $22 guaranteed. At 4/48, Nnamdi is making 12 a year, and at 4/60, he’s making 15.

    Maybe they’ll want a 5th or 6th year, but in that case, I think the only number that matters is the guarantee. If the guy is 30 playing a position that relies on his speed and quick-twitch, personally I think he can still play another four years, but I’m not sure how many teams are going to want to pay big bucks to a 34- or 35-year-old corner. The deal itself might be backloaded so the number sounds big — although Nnamdi seems a little too smart for that — but really the guaranteed number and any roster bonuses the first two years are what matters most, no?

    The Eagles can get NA if they want him badly enough, IMO.

    Also agree on the Pro Bowl being unwatchable.