With so much attention on Matthew Stafford and his 900 million injuries, no one really had time to consider the possibility that other Lions were getting hurt last season too. At least not me. I admit, I never focus much attention on who’s bruised and battered during the season, unless it means they’re going to miss a few games. Yeah, I’m selfish.
But if anyone knows injuries like Stafford, it’s Jahvid Best. Because apparently having a turf-toe injury means your “injury prone.” Granted, during his years at Cal, Best suffered myriad injuries. But, I wouldn’t be so quick to label him “injury prone” just yet.
Regardless, despite a productive and encouraging rookie season, the Lions running back suffered turf-toe injuries for much of the 2010 season — injuries Jim Schwartz admits slowed him down mid- to late-season. But, fear not, Schwartz isn’t even a little worried about Best and whether or not these injuries will slow him down again in the future.
“Whatever we need him to do, he can do it,” Schwartz said. “Obviously, his toes didn’t allow him to be able to do that for about eight or nine games in the middle of the season, and obviously he wasn’t the player that he can be and that he is.
“But I think it says a little bit about him. If you do some research on turf toes, you look around the league, there’s a lot of players that missed a month with a turf toe.”
Schwartz says if they were to have sat him for a month during the season, there would have been a chance he would re-injure his toes when he returned. So instead, the Lions were OK with playing him at half his ability. Makes total sense. Yeah, complete sense. I’d much rather see someone not playing to their full potential, than watch a healthy backup RB fill his shoes for a month. Can you sense my sarcasm yet?
“The way those work, you shut him down for three or four weeks and then all of a sudden, he comes back and tweaks it again and then you say, ‘Geez, we could have had a couple carries out of him or a couple plays for those other games,’ ” Schwartz said.
Or, I don’t know, you could have gotten those same carries — maybe better ones — from someone else.
Why on earth would you want to play someone if they aren’t 100 percent? It makes little to no sense to me. I bet with the right conditioning and stretching, turf-toe injuries can be pretty easily rehabilitated so it doesn’t occur again. But, I’m not a doctor.
“Jahvid could still do his job. He wasn’t as good as he can be, but could he still contribute to the team? Yeah, and I think that’s sort of what we tried to balance. Could we have gotten him back a little bit faster? Maybe. Would it have lasted just as long? Maybe.”
Look, I know turf toe is probably very common. And I’m sure this is the same philosophy for most coaches, but it just seems stupid to me. I don’t understand the reasoning behind playing injured players. Regardless of how good they play with an injury, or how much it helps the team at the time, I think it just creates more problems in the future. But, then again, I’m not a football coach either, so what the hell do I know?