NFL Injury Analysis: The Significance of Ankle Injuries
NFL Injury Analysis: The Significance of Ankle Injuries

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

A.J. Green

It didn't take long for the first impactful injury of training camp to occur, as the Bengals wide receiver crumpled to the turf after getting tangled up with a defender during the team's first practice. Green suffered a sprained left ankle on the play and an MRI later confirmed significant ligament damage.

While the injury is unfortunate, it does provide me the opportunity to provide fantasy owners with my annual refresher on the details regarding ankle injuries and how these types of injuries are graded.

The true ankle comprises three bones, the tibia and fibula of the lower leg and the talus of the foot. However, the functional unit that is the ankle actually comprises three different joints, the talocrural joint, the subtalar joint and the distal tibiofibular (tib-fib) joint.

The talocrural joint is the joint most people associate with the ankle.  It's formed by the tibia, fibula and talus, and is involved with the up-and-down movement of the ankle. The joint is stabilized by ligaments located on both sides of the leg and foot. On the inside, or medial aspect, of the ankle is the strong deltoid ligament that prevents excessive inward movement or eversion. Three additional ligaments are located on the lateral or outside of the ankle. This trio of ligaments is the most vulnerable to injury and is most commonly sprained when the ankle is forced into a direction known as inversion following an awkward step or when landing on the foot of another player. Most

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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