Saturday, August 9, 2008

He's a Fast Healer. Right?

Reggie White was always rumored to have some sort of miraculous self-healing ability that repeatedly took him from "doubtful" to "probable" within a week's time. It is apparent that Brett Favre has somehow also developed this amazing trait.

Mike McCarthy reported that when Favre took his physical and conditioning test on August 4th, he had a lower abdominal strain that would have kept him off the practice field and doing rehab.
(What do you do with him if he is on the roster but not of the right mindset?)
Technically, in his physical, he had a lower abdominal strain. Our plan for practice today was for him to go through rehab, so that was actually his plan for today. But then it went to the business direction, which I like to refer to, because it didn't have to do with practice. That would have been the plan. He would have been day to day for us as far as a practice structure. link
So, day-to-day on August 4th with an abdominal strain. However, four days later, Brett Favre passed his physical and conditioning test with the New York Jets and is able to begin practicing immediately.
The regular guy with the rock-star appeal passed his team physical and conditioning test Friday and will make his practice debut at 1:30 p.m. today at Hofstra. link
Passed the physical? But what of that abdominal strain? What happened to day-to-day? What about rehab and holding Favre out of practice?

According to FootballRescue, even the least severe of abdominal strains should be given two to three weeks of rest before returning to even "normal" activities.


During the occurrence of abdominal strain injury, it is important to immediately place ice pack on the muscle to relieve pain and minimize tissue bleeding. Make sure that ice is wrapped before directly placing on to the skin to avoid burns. Injured individuals should rest in order to avoid further muscle damage. It is advised that first degree patients rest for 3 weeks, second degree patients for 4 to 6 weeks and third degree patients for 3 months or more. link

So, what's up with this? How did Brett Favre go from injured and unable to practice to fully healthy and ready to go in just four days?

We have three possibilities:

1) Brett Favre is a walking miracle.

2) The Jets are overlooking an injury that is potentially serious. Abdominal strains have the potential to become something quite a bit worse if they are aggravated.
The goal of exercises and medicines is to return you back to your sport or activity as soon as possible and as safely as possible. But, if you try to return to your sport or activity too soon, when the injury has not even cured properly you may worsen your injury, and may damage your muscle permanently. Every person has a different recovering rate from an injury. link
So, it is quite possible that the Jets are risking Favre's health by overlooking an abdominal strain in order to get him on the practice field and orient him as quickly as possible into the offense. It's not beyond comprehension, as managers and coaches have run their horses into the ground many times in sports history, but that's a pretty big risk to take when you just let Chad Pennington sign with the Dolphins.

3) There really was no strain of note to begin with. This certainly reeks of conspiracy theory, but given Favre has had no time for rehab between the two physicals, it doesn't seem like there would have been any time for that to heal.

It also does stand to reason that the Packers wanted to keep him off the practice field as long as possible, away from the locker room and away from the players. He was not permitted into the locker room or team facilities until after his conversation with Mike McCarthy, which certainly had to not sit well with a guy on the 80-man roster. In fact, according to reports, a security guard was assigned to Favre upon arrival and ordered to keep Favre out of the locker room.

McCarthy drops a hint when he says
(Given the way he feels, are you better served to move on without him?)
Well, given his mindset, why would I let anybody of a negative mindset in our locker room? I don't want to classify him as a negative mindset; it's very personal. I'm talking about what we're trying to accomplish.
If the physical was falsified, exaggerated, or interpreted in such a way to keep Favre away from the practice field and the locker room as long as possible, it is a pretty shady move on the part of the Packer brass. Certainly, while they wanted to know what they had in Favre before letting him enter the inner sanctum, had Favre chosen to press this by continuing to stay in Green Bay, the NFLPA may have had gotten involved.

So, either Favre is a self-healer, the Jets are fudging their report to hurry him out on the field, or the Packers were fudging their report to keep him off.

Now, while these options are still complete conjecture on my part, here are the facts:

* On August 4th, Brett Favre's physical with the Packers showed an abdominal strain that would have kept him out of practice day-to-day in rehab. The Packers did not want him on the practice field at the time.

* On August 8th, Brett Favre's physical with the Jets showed no injuries that would prevent him from taking the practice field. The Jets wanted him on the practice field.

My three possible explanations are all without evidence and purely based on observation and a little bit of research.

It's up to you to read between the lines.

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