There has been a lot of speculation regarding Senquez Golson’s shoulder injury and his ability to come back from that injury and contribute this year. He had surgery to repair “the injury” today. The most recent scuttlebutt is that it was to repair a torn labrum suffered while weight lifting.
Understand, that I don’t know this to be the case. I am simply passing along what I’ve been told by people who won’t even go on record. So who knows how reliable it is. That said, I heard the same thing when he went on PUP to start camp.
Why does any of this have any relevance and why am I writing about it you ask? Well, I’ve had a little experience with that specific injury.
I had surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2001. If his repair was similar, Golson would be 4 weeks out from mobility therapy and another 2 weeks before he could do any resistance training. Six weeks from tomorrow would have him beginning “real” rehab on October 3rd. I am certain that Golson is in good shape, which will only help when it comes to recuperation, so this is likely a realistic timeline.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed by SCB Editor in Chief Marc Uhlmann that Golson’s labrum was found to be intact and that he may be out as little as 6 weeks.
If Golson is placed on Reserve/PUP, he wouldn’t be eligible to practice until October 19th and would have to practice or be placed on IR by November 9th. Once he starts practicing, the Steelers have 3 weeks to decide whether to put him on the roster or place him on IR. Just like the Sean Spence situation in 2013.
Mike Tomlin’s comments today make it seem as though he was not concerned with the timeline for the surgery and that he wanted Golson to be at camp experiencing that environment.
”Senquez Golson had shoulder surgery this morning. I don’t have an update. Obviously we will do what is appropriate after visiting with the surgeons post operation, but it has been a good couple weeks for him. We had known that surgery was probably something that was going to be necessary from the time that he got here but being a young guy and being in this environment we thought that a lot could be gleamed from that and thought that it could be a great experience for him whether or not he was participating.That’s why we waited to get the surgery. He’s been in this setting and been in the meetings and been wired in by being an active participant. Hopefully these couple weeks have been beneficial to him but as we exit here we thought that it was appropriate to go ahead and get that fixed so we did. Maybe I will have an update for you the next time we get together after I visit with the doctors and get some details there but we did get him fixed.”
Tomlin’s comments would seem to indicate that this was all his call as Golson was lost for the season anyway. Not sure I’m buying that. Tomlin constantly talks about how players can’t get better unless they’re practicing.
That explanation could amount to a lot of smoke. In fact, I’ve been told by a few people today that the reason the surgery didn’t take place until now is that Golson was refusing to have it. He didn’t want to redshirt his rookie year. Not that anyone should blame him for feeling that way, but you would have to think that the Steelers doctors went through the recuperation timeline with him when they diagnosed the injury. Postponing surgery for 3 weeks has likely done Golson no favors as they relate to 2015.
Realistically, the best the Steelers can now hope for is that Golson contributes as a scout team player when he eventually comes back. In theory if he could come back, by the time he did so, he would be way, way behind.
That said coming in and practicing for even half a season, thus developing his craft, would only serve to make Golson better in 2016 and if by chance he can contribute in 2015, so much the better.
Let’s hope the Steelers’ doctors feel that’s a good possibility when they evaluate Golson’s recuperative progress the week of September 4th. A year on IR getting “mental reps” will do little for a rookie’s growth and maturation.
Bill Belichick used to practice his young players who were on IR once they got healthy because it helped with their long term prospects to be contributors. It put them in a better position to be successful.
Of course, it is also against the rules and he had to discontinue that policy once he got caught. Personally, I think it should be legal, at the player’s discretion. Unfortunately the NFLPA disagrees with me. They’re probably right though. Players would feel pressured to practice even if they weren’t feeling up to it.