This injury comes as a total shock. Rookie quarterback, for the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson tore his right ACL in practice on Thursday. He did tear his left ACL while at Clemson in 2013. His injury was a non-contact injury. In observing sports from afar, most ACL injuries are non-contact. This isn’t like Jason Peters’ torn ACL that I wrote about a few weeks ago.
The ACL connects the femur to the tibia. The function of the ACL is to resist anterior movement of the tibia. To a certain extent it also resists rotation of the tibia, varus/valgus stress to the knee, and assist in preventing hyperextension of the knee.
With his injury be non-contact, there are a variety of ways it could have occurred. It most likely occurred through one of the following mechanisms: a sudden deceleration (setting up to make a cut), landing (potentially when he was getting ready to juke a defender and made a little jump), or a pivot maneuver (cutting or change of direction with his right leg firmly planted in the ground). Whatever the actual mechanism of injury, one thing is for certain, the force his body generated at the knee joint was greater than what his ACL could withstand; which is the case for really any joint injury.
He is out for the remainder of the season and could potentially miss part of training camp. He’ll miss most of mini-camp but he should be running by the start of it and be in a non-contact jersey as he continues the rehabilitation. As of right now, he has only damaged his ACL. Which for him is very fortunate because ACL injuries are usually linked with MCL damage and medial meniscus damage as well.
What Could I do?
In the initial phases, there isn’t much I can do at all. I can help with restoring his initial range of motion and assist getting his knee to full extension and full flexion with doing a lot of soft tissue therapy and treatment. Once Deshaun is in the thick of his rehabilitation for his ACL, I could also help with just making sure the ankle, knee, and hip are stable and strong. You want to make sure when going through rehab that there aren’t any compensation patterns developing especially in his hip and ankle. Also, it’s important that not only the soft tissue around the knee are mobile and pliable but that muscles of the hip and ankle are also mobile and pliable. What you don’t want to have happen is that he starts to suffer from calf and hamstring strains and stiffness during training camp and during the season because there wasn’t enough soft tissue work performed.
Minor Setback for a Major Comeback, get better Deshaun!