It has been reported that Ahmad Brooks was unable to participate in voluntary workouts because of lingering pains associated with his season ending groin injury. To refresh your memories, Brooks suffered an injury during the Cleveland shootout on September 16th, 2007. Questions regarding the return of Brooks surrounded the team for several weeks ensuing this game, ending with him being placed on the injured reserve. Now it is March 2008, and the injury is bad enough to keep him from working out with the rest of the team. These are the facts, but now I would like to move along to the speculation.
It has been almost 8 months exactly since the injury took place, which should be plenty of time for a healthy young man to completely rehab. Carson Palmer recovered from a decimated knee in less time than that (remember his miraculous recovery, and his domination of the Packers in preseason?) I only see a few possible reasons for Ahmad to be missing workouts:
- His injury was misdiagnosed and he tried to come back for a few weeks, only to injure himself even worse and prolong his recovery.
- There is some truth to his legal allegations, and Hobson was instructed to make up a reason for his non-participation.
- I am completely blowing this situation out of proportion.
If this issue continues, I am going to place all my chips on possibility #1. If so, this could be a huge issue problem. I would hate to see a guy who can do this have to spend another season on the sidelines.
Misdiagnosed injuries are not an uncommon occurrence with the Bengals medical staff. The players who
immediately come to mind are Chris Perry, Levi Jones, and Willie Anderson. All three were apparently misdiagnosed by the Bengals medical staff, which created even bigger problems for their physical well being. Perry actually underwent surgery on a misdiagnosed knee injury. Levi had issues with pain in his knee, which was completely ignored by the Bengals staff. He only found out the extent of his problems when he went to a training facility back in Arizona, leading him to claim that he lost 3 months of rehab time due to the Bengals staff. And Willie Anderson almost missed the beginning of last season because of a foot injury that was not identified until the end of the summer. This was no small matter, considering it caused Big Willie to snap his 116 game starting streak when he missed the Kansas City game in week 6 (which we very well could have won with a healthy Willie.)
To me this is a glaring problem that needs to be addressed regardless of the extent of Brooks' injury. Injuries are the one thing that can cripple a football team more than anything else. Having top notch doctors should be a #1 priority for any organization whose success depends on the physical wellbeing of its employees. Just as a reference, lets take a look at the medical staff of the Bengals and compare it to that of a successful organization. This is much more disturbing to me than lack of numbers in our scouting department:
- Paul Sparling - Athletic Trainer
- Nick Cosgray - Director of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Bryan Dykhuizan - Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Hunter Smith - Head Athletic Trainer
- Dave Hammer - Associate Head Athletic Trainer
- Erin Barill - Director of Rehabilitation
- Dave Walston - Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Bryant Baugh - Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Arthur C. Rettig, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon
- Gary Misamore, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon
- Tom Klootwyk, MD - Orthopedic Surgeon
- Doug Robertson, MD - Physician
- Pat Kersey, MD - Physician
- Stacey Conrad, DC - Team Chiropractor
Although we do have a little bit of depth and flexibility at the linebacker position, we still cannot afford to lose the size and speed of Brooks again. If this injury lingers into the season, we'd better pray to God that Rashad Jeantucky stays healthy or we will be in trouble for sure.
So let our voices be heard by Mike Brown and Katie Blackburn. Join the Who Dey Revolution and demand that they run this team like the professional organizations that it competes against.