NFL Injury Report: Fred Davis’ Ruptured Achilles Tendon

Each week, will analyze one NFL player’s injury.  Sports Medicine doctor, Dr. Mandy Huggins (Twitter:  @HugginsMD), will provide medical analysis of the injury.  Alicia Jessop will then break down some of the contract ramifications of the injury.

Dr. Mandy Huggins’ Medical Analysis

One of the more notable injuries recently in the NFL was that of Fred Davis, tight end for the Washington Redskins. He reportedly ruptured his Achilles tendon in the first quarter while running a route into the end zone.

The Achilles is a large tendon that connects the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel bone (calcaneus). It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body. Achilles tendon ruptures occur more commonly in men between the ages of 30 and 50, and up to 75% of them occur during sport or activity. It has been reported that Davis did not previously have any trouble with Achilles, which is often the case. These injuries can be treated surgically or conservatively, and there is ongoing debate in the literature about which method of treatment is better. That being said, professional athletes typically undergo surgical repair because it is thought that there is a smaller chance of re-rupture. Davis had surgery in Charlotte to have his Achilles tendon repaired. Although early mobilization after surgery is more commonly encouraged these days, a full recovery will still require months, so he will not return to play this season.

Alicia Jessop’s Contract Analysis

A season-ending injury is never welcome news for an NFL player or his team.  This season, because of the franchise tag, Davis will earn his fully guaranteed salary of $5.446 million.  Davis and the Redskins were unable to reach a long-term contract last off-season.  As such, at the end of this season he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, unless the Redskins use the franchise tag on him again.  Therefore, Davis must zealously rehab and show commitment to coming back from injury.  If he is able to do this, it is likely that another team will pick him up next season.

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