Injuries in football are a regular occurrence. As fans, it’s important to understand the nature of an injury because it gives us more insight into what the future might hold for certain players.
With that in mind, I decided to reach out to sports medicine doctor, Jessica Flynn, for a casual discussion about injuries to three Steelers players. These injures were suffered by JuJu Smith-Schuster, Senquez Golson, and Maurkice Pouncey.
Flynn is a certified sports medicine doctor at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, MA, and owner of her own sports medicine blog. You can find her work at her website — docflynn.com. It’s important to note that I didn’t conduct an official interview with Dr. Flynn, but a casual discussion to get her insight on each player’s health issues.
Nature of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Bone Bruise
Me: Good afternoon Dr Flynn. I wanted to ask if you knew what it meant when someone has a bone bruise? There was a player for the Steelers that recently suffered a bone bruise in his knee.
Dr Flynn: About the Smith-Schuster injury, a bone bruise often happens when 2 bones hit each other, and bleeding occurs in the bone. It's very painful. Occasionally there's fracturing in the bruised bone that has to be protected. If there’s no associated fix, then the player’s return is dictated by the pain level.
Discussion of Senquez Golson’s hamstring
Me: Dr. Flynn, I have another question for you concerning hamstring injuries. The Steelers have a player, Senquez Golson, that sustained a hamstring injury on August 1st and he hasn’t practiced since then. What's strange is that another player sustained a similar injury (Cameron Sutton) and he came back only a few weeks later. Golson, though, is still sidelined.
Dr. Flynn: It has a lot to do with degree of injury and the player’s history of previous hamstring strains. Every athlete heals differently. Rehabbing the injury can range from one week to multiple months.
Me: Well, in 2016, he was out for the year with a Lisfranc injury, is there any connection, or could it be that he heals at a different pace?
Dr. Flynn: No connection; just a different degree of hamstring injury probably.
Me: Hmm. I find it unusual that a player who had literally no injuries in college ends up becoming injury prone all of a sudden. In 2015 it was his shoulder, last year it was a Lisfranc injury, this year it's his hamstring.
Dr. Flynn: Yeah, hard to know. The NFL is obviously a different world than college football. There’s no common theme in injuries though.
Nature of Maurkice Pouncey’s Injury
Me: I wanted to ask you about another player who took a cleat to the leg and required stitches. His name is Maurkice Pouncey. Because of the nature of his injury, he wasn’t cleared to play but he’s said that he wants to play.
Dr. Flynn: It’s possible that swelling is an issue or concern about the wound site. It’s hard to know for sure.
Although these remarks are only generalities, this specialist’s observations give fans a glimpse into some factors that might have caused the aforementioned players to miss as much time as they have.
We’re hoping to stay in contact with Dr. Flynn and consult with her in a more formal setting when members of the Steelers suffer injuries that keep them out of the lineup.