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Preparing for Tre White to never be the same post-injury


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Posted (edited)

This post may draw some knee-jerk reactions of anger, but please know that it wasn't written to make anyone upset. Unfortunately, the topic is naturally upsetting - We all love Tre White and want him to return to his typical dominant play. To that end, I've done some research on ACL injuries in NFL players. The common refrain from NFL fans is that ACL injuries are no longer the career-ender they once were, and I wanted to see if that was true. Unfortunately, research on players returning post ACL surgery is not optimistic, even in the modern era.

 

One study, Return to Play and Decreased Performance After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Defensive Players published in the The American Journal of Sports Medicine (2017), shows that:

 

  • After the season of surgery, athletes in the ACLR group who returned to play decreased to 57% games started and 2.38 ± 1.24 solo tackles per game, while their matched controls suffered no significant decreases. (link)


And the result of the study indicated rather succinctly:

 

  • Players who successfully returned were above-average NFL players before their injury but comparatively average after their return.

 

Another study, this one published in 2022, titled Return to Play and Performance After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Players shows similar results. Published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, the results stated:

 

  • Of the eligible players, only 28.5% (n = 59/207) remained in the league 3 years postinjury. Within the first 3 years postinjury, players played in fewer games (8.7 vs 13.7; P < .0001), started in fewer games (3.0 vs 8.3; P < .0001), had lower AVs (1.5 vs 4.3; P < .0001), and had decreased snap counts (259.0 vs 619.0; P < .0001) compared with preinjury. (link)

 

The conclusion of the study is no better:

 

  • The study findings indicated that NFL players are severely affected by ACL injury, with only 28.5% still active in the league 3 years after the injury. Running backs, defensive linemen, and linebackers performed the worst after injury. v

 

Lastly, a 2019 study that examined ACL tears in Wide Receivers (I used this study because the WR position requires similar impact on the ACL). This study is titled 

Decreased Performance and Return to Play Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Wide Receivers. Published in The Arthroscopy Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation issue, the study found that:

 

  • When we compared the tear group with the matched control cohort, players with ACL tears ended their careers on an average of 1.9 seasons earlier (2.2 vs 4.1 seasons, P < .001) and also played less than half the number of games (25.5 vs 56.6 games, P = .001), respectively. Those that RTP also saw decreased performance statistics in targets (353.6 vs 125.2 P < .001), receptions (208.0 vs 74.4, P = .001), receiving yards (2691.0 vs 987.9, P = .001), and touchdowns (17.4 vs 6.2, P = .002). (link)
  • One potential good tidibt: "no significant differences were present between preinjury and postinjury in-game in all in-game statistics for the wide receiver"

 

Overall Conclusion? Concern.

 

There is a legitimate chance that Tre never returns to the level of play he showed in 2021 and prior, and there is a potential that his career will be shorter than we once thought.

 

 

Edited by Einstein
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And there also is a chance that he does return to form.

 

Every player is different, so the only thing we can do is wait and see.

 

This year I am prepared for him to be average since it usually takes a year to get back to where they were.

 

After that, I am more in a wait and see mode.

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8 minutes ago, Einstein said:

This post may draw some knee-jerk reactions of anger, but please know that it wasn't written to make anyone upset. Unfortunately, the topic is naturally upsetting - We all love Tre White and want him to return to his typical dominant play. To that end, I've done some research on ACL injuries in NFL players. The common refrain from NFL fans is that ACL injuries are no longer the career-ender they once were, and I wanted to see if that was true. Unfortunately, research on players returning post ACL surgery is not optimistic, even in the modern era.

 

One study, Return to Play and Decreased Performance After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Defensive Players published in the The American Journal of Sports Medicine (2017), shows that:

 

  • After the season of surgery, athletes in the ACLR group who returned to play decreased to 57% games started and 2.38 ± 1.24 solo tackles per game, while their matched controls suffered no significant decreases. (link)


And the result of the study indicated rather succinctly:

 

  • Players who successfully returned were above-average NFL players before their injury but comparatively average after their return.

 

Another study, this one published in 2022, titled Return to Play and Performance After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Players shows similar results. Published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, the results stated:

 

  • Of the eligible players, only 28.5% (n = 59/207) remained in the league 3 years postinjury. Within the first 3 years postinjury, players played in fewer games (8.7 vs 13.7; P < .0001), started in fewer games (3.0 vs 8.3; P < .0001), had lower AVs (1.5 vs 4.3; P < .0001), and had decreased snap counts (259.0 vs 619.0; P < .0001) compared with preinjury. (link)

 

The conclusion of the study is no better:

 

  • The study findings indicated that NFL players are severely affected by ACL injury, with only 28.5% still active in the league 3 years after the injury. Running backs, defensive linemen, and linebackers performed the worst after injury. v

 

Lastly, a 2019 study that examined ACL tears in Wide Receivers (I used this study because the WR position requires similar impact on the ACL). This study is titled 

Decreased Performance and Return to Play Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in National Football League Wide Receivers. Published in The Arthroscopy Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation issue, the study found that:

 

  • When we compared the tear group with the matched control cohort, players with ACL tears ended their careers on an average of 1.9 seasons earlier (2.2 vs 4.1 seasons, P < .001) and also played less than half the number of games (25.5 vs 56.6 games, P = .001), respectively. Those that RTP also saw decreased performance statistics in targets (353.6 vs 125.2 P < .001), receptions (208.0 vs 74.4, P = .001), receiving yards (2691.0 vs 987.9, P = .001), and touchdowns (17.4 vs 6.2, P = .002). (link)

 

Overall Conclusion? Concern.

 

There is a legitimate chance that Tre never returns to the level of play he showed in 2021 and prior, and there is a potential that his career will be shorter than we once thought.


Pretty sobering.

 

my only response would be to hope that these stats reflect more of the “average” NFL player. A lot of the NFL “elite” tore their ACL’s and went onto have productive careers. Von Miller and Darrell Revis both come to mind. 

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I've also  pounded this drum for a while because I feel a lot of fans have White penciled in as the starter on day one come September and/or don't understand the nature of his injury relevant to the demands of his position. I think realistically he's not going to be ready until midseason best case assuming no setback and given this teams overcautious nature in terms of how they handle injured players I would be surprised to see anything different even if White insists he's ready.

 

This is also why I remain perplexed with Beane/McD's current thought process of not bringing in a viable veteran option. Yes we drafted another talented player with our 1st pick but it's silly to put that kind of pressure on him and expect him to be a true starter out of the gate when so many DB's typically struggle early. White himself was somewhat of anomaly in terms of how solid he was his rookie year.

 

Still time to add to the roster but as we get closer to training camp the concern will go stronger that DB may still be a glaring hole on this team.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, NewEra said:

I’m preparing to watch him win a super bowl.  

 

That’s not NEARLY negative enough! Some people go to such great effort to find the dark side of everything. 

 

This is not Robert James having his career ended by a knee injury. They get better at the surgery and rehab every year. Any old stats (full disclosure: I read very little of the OP because I didn’t see the point) are not relevant today. My mother had her hips replaced two years apart, and the second one was a piece of cake compared to the first. My son was playing high school basketball 5 months after his ACL surgery. Tre has the best of the best available for surgery and rehab. He’s working hard, I’m confident he will be fine. 

 

I expect him to come back cautiously and wisely. I fully expect him to be the same player he used to be given adequate time. I’m not going to create problems in my mind that don’t actually exist. To say only 28.5% are still active in the NFL three years later is pure BS and intentionally misleading, with the average NFL career only being 3-4 years. 

 

 

.

Edited by Augie
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12 minutes ago, Augie said:

They get better at the surgery and rehab every year. Any old stats (full disclosure: I read very little of the OP because I didn’t see the point) are not relevant today. 

 

I understand not reading a post that you're not interested in. 

 

I do not understand not reading the post, but then still commenting on it.

 

The studies are from 2022, 2019 and 2017. All recent. Nothing old. All relevant today.

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I would start the transition to FS if he struggles this year. He was never a super fast CB, his anticipation and film study sets Tre apart. I fear that the loss of speed and agility from the injury will turn Tre into a better than average CB.

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Just now, Call_Of_Ktulu said:

I would start the transition to FS if he struggles this year. He was never a super fast CB, his anticipation and film study sets Tre apart. I fear that the loss of speed and agility from the injury will turn Tre into a better than average CB.

 

As do I.

 

A previous poster mentioned their N=1 sample of their son playing high-school basketball after an ACL injury. Unfortunately, the NFL DB position puts a bit more strain on the ligament than high school athletics.

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6 minutes ago, Einstein said:

 

I understand not reading a post that you're not interested in. 

 

I do not understand not reading the post, but then still commenting on it.

 

The studies are from 2022, 2019 and 2017. All recent. Nothing old. All relevant today.

 

 

This was already covered here not long ago...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Einstein said:

 

I understand not reading a post that you're not interested in. 

 

I do not understand not reading the post, but then still commenting on it.

 

The studies are from 2022, 2019 and 2017. All recent. Nothing old. All relevant today.

 

I read enough, in my opinion.  How do we know how injuries from 2022 are going to turn out? Useless data. They are much better at the surgery and PT than just 5 years ago in 2017. 

 

It’s a legit concern that he might not be ready early, but it took an Eyore to start a thread implying he might be out of the league or never be “himself”. He will be back, it’s just a matter of when. 

 

.

Edited by Augie
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7 minutes ago, Einstein said:

 

I understand not reading a post that you're not interested in. 

 

I do not understand not reading the post, but then still commenting on it.

 

The studies are from 2022, 2019 and 2017. All recent. Nothing old. All relevant today.

 

I understand both... it's a very emotional subject. Not the sort of speculation we want to see even if it is based on studies. We want to be as positive as possible going into the season, so a post like this won't be popular. and you knew this the moment you started it.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Augie said:

 

I read enough, in my opinion.  How to we know how injuries from 2022 are going to turn out? Use less data. They are much better at the surgery and PT than just 5 years ago in 2017. 

 

It’s a legit concern that he might not be ready early, but it took an Eyore to start a thread implying he might be out of the league or never be “himself”. He will be back, it’s just a matter of when. 

 

Your sentiment seems to be that an opinion that is negative in nature can not be rooted in fact or reality and that the positive side of the possibility must be the correct answer. I guess we differ in that respect. I follow whichever way the evidence points me. 

 

2 minutes ago, EasternOHBillsFan said:

 

I understand both... it's a very emotional subject. Not the sort of speculation we want to see even if it is based on studies. We want to be as positive as possible going into the season, so a post like this won't be popular. and you knew this the moment you started it.

 

Agreed. Thats sad.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Einstein said:

 

As do I.

 

A previous poster mentioned their N=1 sample of their son playing high-school basketball after an ACL injury. Unfortunately, the NFL DB position puts a bit more strain on the ligament than high school athletics.

 

Totally agreed on the bold, it’s not the NFL. But he was playing in FIVE months, and could have gone on to play college football or soccer but decided to focus on his future. He wasn’t the fat kid playing keeper, he was POY. He played against current NFL players post-surgery, and did quite well. 

 

I’m concerned about WHEN he comes back, and how long UNTIL he gets back to at least 95% of his old self, but I have no real concern over the IF. 

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