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September 11, 2012 @ 1:33 pm
Current rating: 4.75 Stars/4 Votes

The Blount Injury – Or Non-Injury – Mystery Continues

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount was injured in the second quarter of Sunday's 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers. Since the game ended Sunday night, there have been conflicting stories on the nature of Blount's injury. Head coach Greg Schiano did little to clear up the mystery surrounding Blount's health on Monday.
The mystery circumstances surrounding LeGarrette Blount’s injury on Sunday continued Monday at One Buc Place when the third-year running back was unavailable during the open locker room session. Head coach Greg Schiano was also vague when asked about Blount during his Monday afternoon press conference, creating more confusion.

“LeGarrette could have gone back in the game, so let’s make that clear,” Schiano said. “I don’t know if we’re all certain on what’s ailing LeGarrette. He came out of the game and we thought it was his leg. Now we’re not sure. We’re just keeping an eye on him to make sure it’s nothing more serious. I think he’s okay, but I’ll let you know Wednesday. [Tuesday] they’re off but he’ll be around and we’ll let you know if there’s any more to it."

Obviously, Blount was shaken up in the Panthers game and was attended to by team trainers after a helmet-to-helmet collision with Panthers defensive tackle Dwan Edwards in the second quarter. Blount initially bounced up, then appeared wobbly before falling down and favoring the inside of his right leg.

After spending a few minutes on the turf, Blount was helped up and made his way to the sideline. If Blount had some sort of concussion type injury – as some have suggested – why would he clutch his leg? Perhaps it was a stinger that hit the nerve all the way down his leg led him to grasp his lower extremity. Blount never returned to the game.

In the fourth quarter, as the Bucs were trying to preserve their lead, it was third-string runner D.J. Ware who came in and spelled Doug Martin. Most assumed Blount had re-injured his groin that was hurt during the second preseason game against the Titans.

As the media was under the stadium following the game and the players were leaving the field, Blount hurriedly made his way to the Buccaneers locker room, and before the media was even allowed in for interviews, Blount showered, dressed and raced out of the stadium towards the player parking lot – running – not walking.

Sources have told PewterReport.com that Blount doesn’t have a health issue. Yet on Monday, Schiano alluded to some type of injury, then in the same quote, made it clear Blount could have gone back in the game. PewterReport.com was also told Sunday following the game that Blount was "fine."

A member of the agency that represents Blount didn't want to comment when reached via telephone on Monday night, asking that PewterReport.com call back on Tuesday. Repeated calls Tuesday have were not returned.

NFL teams are notorious for withholding injury information, even the previous Tampa Bay regime of Raheem Morris. Defensive tackle Roy Miller – who had a sub-par season in 2011, drawing scrutiny and criticism from the media and fans – finally revealed he played part of last season with a herniated disc in his back. At no point last season did the Buccaneers reveal the significance of Miller’s injury. Perhaps NFL teams feel like if they are completely forthcoming with injury specifics, opponents would target those players and take advantage of the weakness.

In the case of this new coaching staff, the vagueness – and what some would call deception about injuries – has been prominent. When wide receiver Arrelious Benn and cornerback E.J. Biggers were hurt in training camp no one from the organization would get into the specifics of the type of injuries. Until Biggers was seen in a boot, and Benn in a knee brace, the media could finally get a take on what was actually wrong with the players.

Last week, PewterReport.com was denied access to interview Biggers even though he was present during the open locker room period. A Bucs public relations member alluded to the reasoning being Biggers has yet to practice since his injury.

Earlier in training camp, tight end Luke Stocker was injured at some point and missed several days of camp. The Buccaneers were very non-specific when asked about the status of Stocker’s health during the days Stocker was held out of practice.

After the Titans preseason game Schiano did open up just a bit about Stocker.

“He wasn’t feeling well,” Schiano said. “We sent him to the doctors and he’s okay. Whether that’s concussion or whatever it was, I don’t know why that was said.

“Again, I stay away from that 'C' word unless the doctor tells me that’s what it is. It is a physical game. We hit into each other. If I guy doesn’t feel well, sometimes it is that, sometimes it isn’t that. We take it very, very seriously. So if a guy has any kind of he doesn’t feel well, we’re going to err on the side of caution. As an organization, we’re committed to that. They are people first. You only got one of those (gestures to brain). We’re going to be extra careful. And [trainer] Todd [Toriscelli] and the doctors, they know how I feel.”

Certainly in today’s NFL the term “concussion” word is a hot-button issue and teams are trying to follow the league-mandated concussion treatment plan. But fans – and the media – deserve more transparency when injuries take place. Even the players deserve it, as the secrecy and withholding of factual information hurts the perception of the player in their own town and even nationally. The cat-and-mouse game about injuries with opponents and the media has been going on for years and there is most likely no end in sight.

NFL teams – and the Buccaneers, in particular – should consider how silly it appears when they say they don't know what is wrong with a player. You can be assured the coaching staff and front office are clued in on any injury – however small or significant if might be – immediately. To suggest 24 hours after an injury occurs that the team simply doesn't know isn't being honest with the media or Buccaneers fans.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 October 2013 16:17

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  • avatar

    As a tabloid once said, "inquiring minds want to know." Of course we Buccaneer fans want to know everything we can about our favorite team and it's the job of the media to try to did up every last morsel of news. But, by telling us, they tell the world because goodness knows few of us can keep a secret. Perhaps Schiano will tell Scubog if I pinky swear not to tell the rest of you blabber mouths.
  • avatar

    The only ones who gain by knowing player injury status are 1. The upcoming opponent 2. Fantasy football players 3. Bookies. I think the Bucs should use the NFL designated catagories of Out, Doubtful, questionable and probable and leave it at that. After bounty gate we know that too much knowledge of injuries by an opponent is like putting a bullseye on the affected body part. Football is a violent sport. The desire to win causes some teams to at least bend the rules some in terms of player safety and fair play.
  • avatar

    Mark, just to let you know, I COMPLETELY stand with you and PR about asking questions of the Bucs, even though they obviously don't want to answer them. Criticisim of you for that is ridiculous, IMO.
  • avatar

    I think its pretty obvious Blount had a concussion. He just pretended it was his leg because he wanted to be able to play later in the game. New rules state that if you have a concussion you cant re-enter the game. Therefore Blount was just hiding the true nature of his injury.
  • avatar

    Man, it's got the be frustrating for PR to b criticized by its own readers for asking legitimate questions about a borderline star player. No Schiano has no obligation to answer but i think we, as fans, demand that the questions be asked. I'm glad they asked about Roy Miller and i'm glad they didn't answer at the time. That being said, there seems to be more to this story than just an injury kept close to the vest to protect a player. I bet we find out soon enough... thanks to PR asking good questions.
  • avatar

    Thanks for the link. After watching, my first reaction is scary. Made me feel for the guy but if you notice not a single teammate stands by to see if he's ok. Josh stands there momentarily but then runs off. Not saying I believe this was a flop on LGBs part but his teammates seem to think so out they'd have been standing by. They're must be something going on at least that's what my gut is telling me. Didn't seem to be much respect from the coach or other players towards Blount. If I'm correct we all know LGB won't see another snap in Tampa. Best case scenario he was injured but will be ok. I agree though Mark, something is fishy here. If he could have played and coach wanted to make that clear, then why didn't he?
  • avatar

    And I respect coach Schiano's decision to run his team any way he sees fit. However there are two stories, one he is hurt, the other is he isn't hurt. It is our job to determine what the truth is. Schiano himself said, Blount could have played, then said he has an undisclosed ailment. So if he could have played, but chose not to put him in the game, then it runs much deeper, right? And if you are a fan of the team, wouldn't you want to know what it is? Our job in the media is to report about the Buccaneers, from the starters to the practice squad guys. And if everyone is going to simply believe everything that comes direct from the organization then they could just read Buccaneers.com and there would be no need for the Tribune, Times, PewterReport, the Ledger, JoebucsFan Channels 8, 10, 28, 98.7The Fan, WDAE and Brighthouse. For the most part the fans want to know. We get message board posts frequently asking about the health of players. And we catch a lot of heat from time to time from readers wanting more in-depth info who claim they can read the same stuff in the local papers. Then when we provide a different take than our competitors we catch heat. Not sure what the answer is. All we can do is what we feel is the best journalistic approach to the news, including finding stories. To me it is very much a news story. And I don't think this entire situation has been revealed. I would bet there is more to it and it will eventually come out. As far as a distraction, the one thing I do know is if Schiano determines this to be a distraction, Blount or any player that creates headaches for that matter, will be gone. Winslow wasn't traded because the Bucs wanted a 7th round pick or because they didn't think he could contribute. He was traded because of his inability to fit into what Schiano wants for his team. Same with Tanard, Dez, and Price. You buy in, or you say goodbye. If Josh Freeman became a distraction he would be gone. No one is bigger than the team in Schiano's eyes. That is a fact. I totally get that and respect that. It is a core principle that hasn't been at One Buc since the Dungy days. MC
  • avatar

    Thanks Mark for staying on top of this story. Great job of staying on top of the situation. Hopefully, info will be forthcoming soon. The #2 RB is invaluable in the NFL, as we found out last year when LGB and EG got hurt we went from 3-1 to 4-12 in a hurry.
  • avatar

    I don't think we deserve to know.I think the less known the better advantage for the team and player.Every player will play if they can.that's how they make there living (and most love it).Coach's surely want them to play as much as possible.If they weren't hurt they would play.Who knows what's up with Blount. Im worried about wins not accurate injury report info that could jeopardize a player to more injury which hurts the team.Like with Miller,we will find out eventually even if it is the next year but we find out. GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar

    1bucfanjeff, you are correct. What I watched was the result of a concussion. This is the first time that I have read that Miller had a problem with his neck. No wonder he looked so bad. I feel like an idiot criticizing him in the past. I apologize to you Mr. Miller.
  • avatar

    I appreciate the reporting, but I do not believe the media or the fans have any right to know any information that would lend itself to giving next weeks opponent a competitive advantage. Of course your going to use injury information against a player. Every player does from Middle School on up. Blount's running to his car...sounds like it's not the groin or the knee. He looked like he got knocked out on tv. I hope he is ok.
  • avatar

    He looked like the AT-ST tripping over the logs that the Ewoks had let loose!
  • avatar

    First let me say that I like Schiano and I like what he is doing with this team. But his statement regarding Blount’s condition appeared to intentionally open the door to conjecture. As HC he should know the condition of a player or the player is under evaluation and when it is known, he can make a definitive statement. To say that I don’t think we are all certain of what is wrong with Blount leaves one to fill in the blanks with either logical or illogical reasons and I’ve heard both since Sunday. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he did not mean to send a nefarious message. He is always somewhat nebulous with the media and I assume this was another instance of that. Otherwise, it was an unfortunate choice of words for the situation regardless of what it really is.
  • avatar

    Gamesmanship aside, hope Blount is ok and can suit up and play vs. Giants.
  • avatar

    Great article
  • avatar

    You are right Belichick...er...Schiano will keep injuries close to the vest...get used to it.
  • avatar

    Never liked belichek for his secretive ways , in all facets of the game and dealing with the media. But I see the advantage, and I am on board with schiano doing it. Makes sense, you don't want the opponent knowing which players have specific issues. Fans don't have the right to know, particularly if it jeopardizes the team and player. I guess it was more that I just don't like belichek because he's a patriot.
  • avatar

    I'm sure the coaching staff knows what is wrong with Blount, perhaps the media should consider how silly they look when they keep asking team officials about the status of a given player, when it appears the team isn't going to share that information. There is no rule that the team has to be honest with the media, or the fans. The team has to try and win games.
  • avatar

    Watchman, I couldn't agree more. I think PR and the media is making a too big of deal out of this.
  • avatar

    Being honest with the media could very easily result in a player being more seriously injured in the next game. It may not be for a bounty, but you have to know teams will focus on any perceived weakness they can exploit.
  • avatar

    "If Blount had some sort of concussion type injury – as some have suggested – why would he clutch his leg?" Because after being knocked silly and trying to walk, his diminished mental capacity told him he couldn't walk. So HE thinks the leg is the problem. The reality is his brain hadn't shaken off the effects of the hit and he couldn't function. Watch closely, watch his entire body malfunction. If you have a leg problem, you can't walk - his body was shaking and when he goes down, he's lying there briefly to gather himself. If it were a stinger, you know immediately. I say he knew he got rocked and tried to tough it out, but couldn't without gathering himself first. This is not the first time this has happened to him on glancing blows to the head. PR is right though, Schiano just needs to say he has no comment at this time until more information is known. Don't lie to us and say you don't know, it's obvious he was hurt and everyone knew it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeOcDimskjw
  • avatar

    Thanks for the YouTube reference 1bucfanjeff. I think you're right on with your "diagnosis". Maybe you missed your calling...med school!! Good job. Go Bucs!
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