The league suffered a nasty rash of serious injuries yesterday. Torn ACLs. Torn Achilles tendons. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the good -- for all teams actually -- and tending to some injury business here. My mom is having a shoulder scoped, so I'm not hitting camp until Wednesday.
In the meantime, here are two headlines which have intrigued me.
1. The possible value of Matt Stewart. His name floated under my radar, until I saw that he's long snapping. Then I understood -- if he's good at it, he can make the two kicker project work. Stewart is a special teams linebacker, in the Justin Rogers/Bobby Carpenter mold. He's surely battling a guy like Rogers for a spot. If he can snap on punts and extra points, he could also replace L.P. Ladouceur, and create that extra special teams spot for the extra kicker.
He'll have to be good however. L.P. is an awfully good snapper. Stewart gets extra attention this week.
2. This injury report seems fishy. The Redskins are downplaying a Synvisc injecton new DT Albert Haynesworth took in his left knee. Haynesworth said he could and would play if the regular season was underway. Head coach Jim Zorn described the procedure as a preventative, saying,
"[Synvisc is] like a brace," Zorn said. "It's like a cushion. It gets you through two-a-days, basically. It doesn't stay in there forever. It dissipates. It helps cushion your knee if you got any abrasions or any kind of grinding going on. . . ."
The Synvisc site is pretty clear about its purpose:
In knees with osteoarthritis, the joint fluid (called synovial fluid) can break down and not provide the cushioning your knee needs. Synvisc-One supplements your knee fluid to relieve the pain and improve the knee joint’s natural shock absorbing abilities.
I asked a surgeon if Synvisc injections were something a healthy player would get as a preventative? He told me, "no. If you make an injection into a healthy joint, there's always the risk of infection or bleeding. You could actually cause damage where there is none."
Haynesworth was a worthy foe last year. He should again be the run-stuffing, pocket-destroying force the Redskins envision. We'll see when the games start. I know I would rather not have the word osteoarthritis hovering around my shiny, new, big-ticket signing.