Designated To Return: Jerry Jeudy

It was a busy opening weekend for injuries this NFL season. There are several season-ending injuries and several injuries that are going to sideline players for several weeks. So I’m going to write about as many as I possibly can and find new ways to build off of repetitive injuries. But lets start with Alabama alum, 2020 NFL First round draft pick for the Denver Broncos, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

He was injured in Sunday’s game against the New York Giants midway through the third quarter and left the field on a cart.

To be completely honest it reminded me a bit of Dak Prescott’s ankle injury from last season. He got his ankle rolled up on him and there was a lateral force that was so great it caused a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. He underwent two surgeries to fix his ankle.

It was reported later that evening that X-rays were negative for a fracture and dislocation and that he likely suffered a high ankle sprain. All things considered I’d say he’s fortunate.

So as I was writing this it had been reported he’s going to miss at least four to six weeks which was going to be my initial prediction since it is generally used as a timeline for return in the sports realm.

Anatomy Review:

The tibia and fibula are the bones of interest when discussing high ankle sprains. The tibia is the weight bearing bone of the lower leg and the fibula is primarily used for muscle and ligament attachment sites for the hip, knee, and ankle muscles and ligaments. When discussing high ankle sprains we are looking at the lower portion/distal portion of the tibia and fibula bone articulation. At the distal tibiofibular joint, the articulation is reinforced by the anterior and posterior inferior tibiofibular ligaments (ligaments attach bone to bone) and the interrosseous tibiofibular liagment.

An interosseous membrane is a thick ligamentous sheet known to provide extra stability and minimal motion between the two bones.

Theses three ligaments provide exceptional stability not only to the tibia and fibula but also the ankle as well. When these ligaments are damaged they are either stretched or torn, which is determined by an MRI.

Picture 1. Anterolateral view of left ankle, showing AITFL and interosseous membrane. (Williams 2015, pg 92).
Picture 1. Anterolateral view of left ankle, showing AITFL and interosseous membrane. (Williams 2015, pg 92).

A syndesmotic sprain or high ankle sprain is an injury to the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis with possible disruption of the distal tibiofibular ligaments and interosseous membrane. Traditionally these specific type of injuries occur due to severe inversion or dorsiflexion of the ankle. Also associated motions can be associated with sudden twisting, cutting, or turning motions. But as you can in this video, the type of sprain seen in the video was an eversion sprain. So you have to wonder if there was also damage to the medial ankle ligaments (also known as the Deltoid ligament).

Designated To Return:

As Jeudy stated on his instagram he’s going to come back soon. That “soon” is looking like four to six weeks and could be shorter or longer depending on his pain tolerance with sprinting, cutting, and jumping. As I stated above, given how his ankle was turned in the video, I do wonder if he also sustained medial ankle ligament damage which could also delay his ankle rehabilitation. I do believe he will return later this year but I think the four to six week time frame could be generous.

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