Something’s Rotten in Delmas

>> 8.20.2010

Louis Delmas, Detroit Lions safety Sometime during OTAs, Louis Delmas injured his groin.  He missed June minicamp completely, and started off training camp on the PUP list.  With lots of rest, and a little rehab, it was presumed that Delmas would soon be back to normal, running all over the field and making plays as usual.  All seemed to be going according to plan, with rumblings of Delmas returning to practice soon—when out of nowhere, ProFootballTalk.com published a rumor that  Delmas’s injury might not only be serious, but season-threatening:

Though he's widely expected to hit the practice field soon -- indeed, a source with knowledge of the situation insists that Delmas will be ready to go when the regular season begins -- we're hearing that there's quiet concern within the organization regarding the possibility that Delmas ultimately will need surgery to repair the injury.

If you parse the story carefully, you realize something interesting.  Mike Florio and/or the PFT staff heard the rumor about the Lions considering surgery for Delmas, and attempted to confirm with a source—and instead, that source insisted Delmas would be ready to go!  Apparently, the intial rumor was strong enough to run the story anyway, with this foreboding prophesy at the end:

Expect the team and the player to deny the possibility that surgery is needed. But then pay attention to Delmas' health throughout the year -- and whether there's eventually an "aggravation" that results in the player being placed on injured reserve in advance of a procedure aimed at fixing the situation.

This story sent Lions writers scurrying to their figurative Rolodexes:

  • Chris McCosky of the Detroit News declared the PFT rumor debunked, citing sources calling the report inaccurate.
  • Carlos Monarrez of the Freep quoted Schwartz as saying "Louis is a short-term guy. We're erring on the side of caution," though The Grandmaster admitted surgery had been discussed at one point.
  • Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com dismissed the "internet rumor" as well, noting that when Delmas was asked if he had any concerns about starting the season, he said: "Not at all, not at all".

    With all the various stories and angles, a picture was emerging: Delmas had seen a specialist, surgery had been discussed, but rest and rehab was thought to be the best option, and everything was on track.  Nobody was worried, it was a short-term thing, and as soon as his conditioning was up to speed, he’d be going full-bore in no time.  But PFT’s story haunted the situation like a specter, filling our heads with terrible knowledge:

    Expect the team and the player to deny the possibility that surgery is needed. But then pay attention to Delmas' health throughout the year -- and whether there's eventually an "aggravation" that results in the player being placed on injured reserve in advance of a procedure aimed at fixing the situation.

    This grim prophesy weighed on me as I read this week’s practice reports.  Delmas was constantly in and out of the sessions—though Schwartz claimed it was all according to schedule.  But, when Delmas missed practice on Thursday, and admitted he’d be missing today’s session as well, it became clear that he’s not nearly ready for a full slate of full-speed practices and games.  Delmas admitted to the Freep’s Dave Birkett that it’s something that’s going to affect him for quite a while, possibly into the season:

    “It’s a groin injury, so the more you beat it up, the more it’s going to affect you in the long run,” Delmas said. “Take one day on, two days off, one day on, two days off; that’ll be the best treatment for it.”

    And how long does Delmas expect to follow that schedule?

    “The groin injury is never going to heal if you keep aggravating it, so I guess that’ll be something I have to deal with,” he said.

    The Lions and Delmas are absolutely right to be cautious with the injury.  Further, if the specialist Delmas saw didn’t recommend surgery as a first course of action, then why do it unnecessarily?  But this is clearly more serious than “a short-term thing.”  I don’t believe that limited practice reps are going to seriously harm Delmas’s play in 2010—but if going full-speed sporadically isn’t “restful” enough for the groin to completely heal before the season starts, Delmas may not be able to go at full speed all year.

    Delmas’s impact on the defense last season was immediate, and dramatic.  Given the state of the rest of the secondary, his importance cannot be overstated.  If his groin can’t take the punishment, if he goes under the knife and on the shelf—if, indeed, his noble heart were to crack . . . the rest would be silence.


  • 3 comments:

    A Lion in ViQueen territory,  August 20, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

    We need him. Plain and simple.

    Ty August 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

    ALiVQT--

    But why say in three words what could be said in seven hundred's worth of Hamlet puns?

    Peace
    Ty

    SportsGuy August 20, 2010 at 10:39 PM  

    Killer did not dismiss the rumor. He simply reported the Lions' response.

    In previous pieces where he has expressed his own opinion, he has expressed a bit of skepticism of LD's health.

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