Articles by Jon Galamay

A listing of all the articles written by Jon Galamay for the RotoWire Blog.

College Football Injury Update – Week 3

College Football Injury Update- Week 3

Going into week 3 of the College football 2012 season, the biggest injury stories come from key injuries within the upcoming No.1 Alabama vs. Arkansas game this upcoming Saturday, along with the spinal injury suffered by Tulane safety Devon Walker.

1. Devon Walker, S, Tulane

Cranial and spinal cord injuries are the most frightening thing that could happen during football games. Not only are players at a very high risk of losing their complete physical health, but the recovery process from surgery and throughout rehab can be long, tedious, and costly. A recent event happened on Saturday, Sept. 8 during the Tulane vs Tulsa game when Tulane safety Devon Walker collided with a teammate and was taken away in an ambulance. Walker underwent surgery for the cervical fracture on Sunday, but several days later, doctors are still unsure whether Walker has suffered any paralysis. He is noted as “alert and responsive” and has been receiving tremendous support from the Tulane community and the college football nation in general. For continued updates, to donate, or to send a personal message to Walker and his recovery, visit this link here.

2. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

After receiving several hard hits last week at the ULM Warhawks game, Tyler Wilson was out in the first-half leading to a disappointing upset. What was thought to be a broken collarbone may now be a concussion (The injury is listed as an “Above the shoulder injury”). Wilson has missed practice all week and is looking for clearance by the Arkansas team physician. Arkansas plays No.1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at home this Saturday with Wilson’s return to play uncertain.

3. Jalston Fowler, RB, Alabama

Second string Alabama RB Jalston Fowler is “most likely going to be out for the season” according to coach Nick Saban. A backup to starting back Eddie Lacy, Fowler had key roles as a blocker and a relief to Lacy. Fowler will be undergoing surgery in his left knee for currently an undisclosed injury giving three healthy freshmen some open playing time. Fowler’s injury puts the Crimson Tide in a running back situation where starter back Lacy has been feeling some lagging injuries and limited carrying time. Lacy is still going through some injury management from a surgical turf toe injury, along with an ankle injury earlier in the year.

2012 College Football Injury Outlook

1. David Fluellen, RB, Toledo

Toledo’s most experienced running back David Fluellen has been fighting to recover from a broken bone in his foot since mid-summer. With the departure of Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams, the Rockets’ are sitting with sophomore Cassius McDowell, and true-freshman Damion Jones-Moore. If the bone in his foot doesn’t heal correctly, Fluellen could be left with nagging pain throughout the year affecting his performance.

2. Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh

Ray Graham of Pittsburgh is stated as “unlikely to play” according to ESPN.com. A senior starting running back, Graham is still recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee that he suffered on Oct. 26, 2011 against Connecticut. ACL tears typically take 7 to 12 months for proper healing through rest and rehab. If Graham does miss the season opener against Youngstown State, look towards seeing Graham missing the next game against Cincinnati. Keep Graham on your player watch, it isn’t rare for players to come back strong from ACL injuries. A big problem he could be facing is lateral movements, which could limit him to becoming an offensive specialist in a few plays. Graham could be a hit or miss in fantasy leagues.

3. Roy Roundtree, WR, Michigan

Michigan’s single-game receiving record holder (246 yards) Roy Roundtree is set to play the season-opener against defending national champion Alabama on Sept. 1. Just a little over two weeks ago on Aug. 10, Roundtree underwent arthroscopic surgery for a “twinge in his left knee during a practice session. “He had a little cartilage cleaned up,” stated head coach Brady Hoke of the injury. A senior receiver, Roundtree is looking to come back strong. A positive outlook from Brady Hoke and teammates should help to justify Roundtree bouncing back to pre-injury status.

4. Treyvon Green, RB, Northwestern

Northwestern sophomore running back Treyvon Green suffered a scare Aug. 10 after a hit to the chest by safety Ibraheim Campbell sent Green to the hospital immobilized in an ambulance. Green was later diagnosed with a concussion, yet his sudden loss of feeling in his extremities isn’t commonly found in standard concussions symptoms. “As I’m trying to open my eyes, I feel a numbness going down my legs, and I really can’t feel my hands. At this point, I’m terrified. I didn’t know if I was going to play football again,” Green told nusports.com. MRI and CAT scans came up negative for any brain trauma, and Green is expected to play this upcoming Saturday, Sept. 1 at Syracuse. The uncommon loss of sensation in the extremities leaves me weary of other causes than a concussion.

5. D.J. Coles, WR, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech receiver D.J. Coles is back playing from surgery to his right knee in January to repair a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) tear. On Saturday’s scrimmage game, Coles was cleared to play full contact and had two catches for 29 yards. Players and coaches are optimistic in his return to play the season-opener against Georgia Tech this Monday, Sept. 3. Although noted as still having some pain, it seems that Coles may see some playing time in the season-opener, but it should only be a few plays.

6. David Sims, RB, Georgia Tech

On Sept. 3, Georgia Tech will be playing Virginia Tech yet are still up in the air with their running back situation. Georgia Tech starting running back David Sims is still recovering from surgery to repair a shin stress fracture and is labeled questionable for the game. With the big move by sophomore Zach Laskey to second (behind Sims) on the depth chart, the Georgia Tech coaches could give Sims some extra rest and recovery time to try out the potential Laskey.

Pre-Season College Football’s Biggest Impact Injuries – Aug. 5- Aug. 12

1. Chris Pantale, TE, Boston College

Fifth-year senior TE Chris Pantale is looking to miss “significant time” after X-rays showed a broken bone in his right foot. A recently chosen co-captain, Boston College football head coach Frank Spaziani was quoted, “He’s a tough kid and he pushes himself through a lot, but you can’t push yourself through a broken bone.” Coach Spaziani is right about that, foot fractures usually take between 4-6 weeks to heal! Given the undisclosed type of fracture, a significant time on a broke bone could mean up to two months from last Thursday, August 9th. BC loses big on leadership, experience, and offense for the start of the season.

2. Chris Black, WR, Alabama

Freshman WR and the nation’s No.2 four-star prospect out of Jacksonville, FL is forced to redshirt the 2012-2013 season due to a shoulder injury that will keep him on the sidelines until mid-November. Showing early signs of immediate playtime, Alabama head coach Nick Saban had said Black “was doing extremely well” and “had a really good spring and a great summer.” Shoulder surgery (possibly by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, AL) should leave Black to the University of Alabama medical staff for a 3 to 4 month recovery.

3. Tyler Evans, G, Oklahoma

After losing senior center Ben Habern to a career-ending decision that neck and back injuries weren’t worth the inherent risk and freshman Dylan Dismuke to an unplayable injury, Oklahoma took another blow by losing senior starting guard Tyler Evans. Evans suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the first day of practice with news saying he would be unable to play for the season. Evans has been noted as the “most experienced lineman left after starting center Ben Habern” by NBC Sports. Evans has had a solid college performance having 29 starts since winning the starting job his freshman year.

4. Steven Chase, LT, Wake Forest

The Demon Deacon’s offensive line took another hit when junior LT Steven Chase’s MRI came back a “surprising” positive for an ACL and medial meniscus tear, adding to an already dwindling offensive line with Daniel Blitch, Ramon Booi, and Dylan Heartsill out on various reasons. Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe commented that the injury “was a shock, I watched him walk off the field and he looked fine. Don thought he maybe sprained his knee and the doctors thought he had a stable knee.” ACL surgery following rehab takes approximately 8-10 months until complete recovery to playtime.

New College Football Rules Focus on Improving Player Safety

With the increased media coverage and science-based evidence on concussion and its relation with traumatic brain injury (TBI), measures have been taken to create a safer game in the college football arena. The NCAA Football Rules Committee’s main focus has been on the kicking game: Kick-offs will be moved from the 30-yard line to the 35, similar to the NFL; and touchbacks will now come out to the 25-yard line, not the 20. The main thought for this rule is to decrease the number of kickoff returns in favor of touchbacks, and to minimize the running start of the coverage teams. This is more of a conservative approach to the recommended rule change to completely abolish kickoffs altogether by Greg Schiano in 2011, Rutgers football head coach from 2001 to 2012.

Schiano was the head football coach to Rutgers player Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers player who was paralyzed in 2010 while covering a kickoff return. The other rule change is in regards to headgear. If a player loses their helmet during play, the player will be treated as if injured by being led off the field by the team physician or athletic trainer. This rule should increase the awareness of the helmet being snugly fitted on each player according to National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) standards.

The new rules are a great step towards safety of student-athletes in wake of immense media coverage of athletes in all levels of sports suffering with TBI, which may lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain condition that is linked to long-term repetitive head trauma, and is speculated to be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gherig’s Disease, and even sudden suicides amongst players such as Junior Seau of the NFL. In a study performed at three football colleges, there was an increase from 23 concussions during 2009-10 season to 42 during the 2010-11 season.

With these new rule changes setting the standard to creating a safer game, we won’t really know if it has done its job until the NCAA football 2012-2013 statistics unfold. Football concussion rates have risen within the past couple years, whether due to increases in reported concussions or to the overall strength and speed of athletes. What these new rule changes presently show is that the sport of football is evolving. We see it in the recent changes to youth football that will reduce the amount of contact allowed during practice, and in professional play with the new requirements that players are required to wear protective knee and thigh pads beginning the 2013 season.