Within the first minute between the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon, another big-time player went down with an injury. He did not return. We are talking about Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry, one of the most durable and dependable players in the NFL. The 28-year-old wide receiver was injured on a screen pass that he took for a first down. Since joining the national football league out of LSU, he has only missed one game, last year in 2020.
In the video you can see, one of the two defenders made contact with Landry near his left knee. A direct blow to the lateral knee, cutting off a planted foot, hyperextension of the knee, and landing from a high position.
Jarvis Landry injured his medial collateral ligament (MCL) of his left knee. The medial collateral ligament is connective tissue that stabilizes the knee joint on the medial (inside) portion of the knee. It is one of the four primary [ligamentous] stabilizers of the knee. The MCL connects the Femur (thigh bone) to the Tibia (shin bone) on the medial side and primarily prevents excessive side to side movement of the knee. It also prevents internal and external rotation of the knee when the knee is in the extended position.
When the knee is in flexion (bent), the MCL is placed on slack and when the knee is in extension (straight), the MCL is in a taught/tight position to provide optimal stabilization.
The MCL is a flat-like band of connective tissue that blends directly with the medial meniscus of the knee. When damage occurs to a ligament, it is known as a sprain. Similar to strains, severity of a sprain is based off a graded scale. A sprain usually indicates a lower level of severity while a tear indicates a higher level of severity (I know it seems obvious). Diagnosis is based of an X-ray and MRI to determine pathology and severity.
- Grade 1: partial tear or stretch of connective tissue fibers. Pain and tenderness are expected but laxity of the knee is not expected.
- Grade 2: partial tear with stretch of connective tissue fibers. Pain and tenderness are expected
- Grade 3: complete tear and rupture of the connective tissue fibers. Pain, tenderness, swelling, difficultly bending the knee and laxity are expected. Surgery and bracing likely to allow for tissue repair.
Designated To Return.
With being placed on Injured Reserved, he is missing at least the next three weeks to recover. While he is one of the more durable wide receivers in the league, since arriving in 2014, missing only 1 game, I do believe there is a potential he misses more than the three games. The bye week for Cleveland is not until Week 13.
Some of the important factors for him to return to field? First and foremost, does he have pain with everyday activities and then with football. While he could be suffering from “low-level” pain throughout the season (1 out of 10 pain scale), is his pain tolerable for all football related moves. The next thing, how does he move in and out of his breaks with cutting, jumping, and route running.
Something else to keep in mind is if he sustained any medial meniscus damage since the two structures are intimately connected to one another. It is something that has not been reported but appears unlikely since reports have been optimistic Landry returns sooner rather than later.
While the team could be optimistic for a 2-3 week return, brace yourself for potentially more games missed.