Week 9 NFL injury spotlight is Daniel Jones, QB1 for the New York Giants, who tore his ACL in his week 9 game.

So why is the ACL so important?? Well the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a huge stabilizing ligament for the knee. It helps prevent severe forward translation of the tibia on the femur and vice versa.

ACL injuries commonly occur during high impact and high force sports. Usually during quick changes in direction, sudden stopping and running, and high impact jumps and landing. Common athletes who tear their ACL are downhill skiers, soccer, football, and basketball players.

Signs and symptoms of an ACL tear are:
⁃ Hearing a “pop”
⁃ Swelling
⁃ Unable to put weight on leg
⁃ Severe pain
⁃ Feeling of instability

How does this affect Daniel Jones? Well Jones will be out for the rest of the season and undergo ACL reconstruction surgery. Return to sport for athletes of Jones stature may be quicker due to the caliber of physicians and medical staff he has available to him, but still rehab will take at least 6-12 months.

Rehabilitation for ACL reconstruction is based off of time of healing of the ACL. Everyone’s time of healing is different, but in general you start off progressing activities and exercises in 6 week increments. First, start off with getting normal knee mobility, then you move to gentle stability and muscle strengthening and balance, and then more linear dynamic strengthening activities. As patients progress, PT’s will introduce more lower extremity strengthening, more twisting motions and light jogging. Ultimately, as time progresses, PT will introduce running and sport specific activities with return to sport in mind.

ACL reconstruction is a lengthy surgery and rehab time, but with PT’s help and pt progress, the end goal of return to sport is attainable especially for players like Daniel Jones.

Published November 13, 2023 | Posted in NFL Injury Spotlight.