September 1, 2013

A new age in ACL recovery

After Adrian Peterson's astounding comeback from injury, others hope to follow.

By DAVE CAMPBELL The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Adrian Peterson
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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had ACL surgery after the 2011 season, but he was ready for the start of the 2012 season and rushed for more than 2,000 yards.

The Associated Press

Robert Griffin III, Kyle Shanahan
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Robert Griffin III didn’t play for the Redskins during the preseason while recovering from ACL surgery, but he expects to be on the field for the season opener.

The Associated Press

"The more we throw the football, the more collisions," said former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. "So, 700 passing attempts for some teams, there are going to be 700 more opportunities for big collisions."

With the league hyper vigilant about head injuries, and stiffer punishments being levied to help limit concussions, tacklers have been trying to reteach themselves to hit ball carriers low instead of high. So guess what body part might become even more vulnerable?

Yes, the knee.

The sample size is small, but since training camps began there has been no shortage of ACL injuries.

Eagles wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn. Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga. Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander. Giants free safety Stevie Brown. Broncos center Dan Koppen. Saints wide receiver Joseph Morgan. Colts defensive tackle Brandon McKinney. Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller. They're the leading men on the list of the latest to go down with season-ending ACL tears -- before the preseason was even over.

"We all have to remember that football," Gruden said, "is live full-speed tackling."

Peterson, Griffin and other members of the "ACL family" know that won't change. The MVP isn't worrying about it.

"I'm too focused on trying to help my team win, doing what I have to do," Peterson said, "but of course you're going to hear in the media about what's going on with these guys. And I wish them all the best."


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