How serious might Willie Colon’s biceps tear be?

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

In the comments on post about Willie Colon’s torn bicep, “frustjetfn” asked whether the four months recovery window that has been mentioned for Colon is a sufficient estimation.

While no one seems to have many more details on Colon’s injury, here’s what we have learned about bicep tears:

  1. There’s two types of bicep tears. A proximal tear would be on the shoulder-end of the biceps muscle and that’s the preferable type to have. A distal tear would be at the elbow-end and often retracts toward the shoulder requiring immediate surgery to properly fix.
  2. For most people surgery is a last resort, but is popular with elite athletes who rely on complete recovery.
  3. Once the healing process in underway, physical therapy helps to gradually strengthen the impacted area and improve range of movement around the muscle. Physical therapy can also condition the muscles to make them more resistant to injury.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo BillsWhile an injury of this kind is never good, it might not be as bad for an offensive lineman to have a biceps tear than other tears in the shoulder area, according to B/R’s Lead Writer for Sports Medicine, Will Carroll.

“In general, you worry more about triceps tears and pectoral tears,” Carroll said, because for offensive linemen, “pushing is more of a needed skill than pulling.”

This season, Niners defensive lineman Ray McDonald suffered a proximal tear of his bicep according to the Sacramento Bee while sacking Texans QB Matt Schaub. According to the Bee, McDonald opted to play through the injury. Near the time of the injury, McDonald said he hadn’t lost any strength, which the reporter checked out.

Dr. Dan Solomon, an orthopedic surgeon with Marin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Novato, said [loss of strength is] a possibility as the season wears on. Solomon also said it’s easier to repair the injury immediately than it is several months later. He said the muscle tends to atrophy a bit and the tendon can roll up on itself.

With the season over for the Jets, there is no reason for Colon to wait to have the surgery. As opposed to McDonald, who suffered his tear in Week 5 on a team that was fighting to get back to the Super Bowl.

This leads us to two conclusions.

First, we suspect that Colon’s injury was a distal tear even with no reason to wait for surgery due to the Jets’ schedule. Four months to recover is a long time, but since the season won’t begin for eight the immediacy of the surgery raises that concern.

Second, that Willie Colon is undergoing the knife indicates that he has no plans to retire — not that he ever said he did. He could choose to not get surgery, but that would be a sure sign that he was walking away. You might recall that Brett Favre hemmed and hawed about biceps surgery long after that Week 11 injury in 2008 with the Jets all the way to joining the Vikings in August of 2009.

This surgery is evidence that Colon plans to come back and play another year in the NFL. Colon signed a one-year deal with the Jets in 2013, but he has stated that he would like to play again for Rex Ryan in 2014. Undergoing surgery to ensure the best recovery possible is the first step to that goal.

UPDATE: Bent went back at the film and came to the same conclusion on the fact that Colon’s is a distal tear.  I will let him explain.

colon2 colon1

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

I went back to the film to look at the theory about whether Colon’s biceps tear  being a distal tear is right or not.  Bassett is probably correct.

His arm was bent back behind him on the first play of the drive and he appeared to grab the elbow joint in pain.  Two plays later, he again went for the same elbow joint after the play and asked out of the game.




9 comments
__fense
__fense

Wait, what? Why are we assuming it's the worse tear of the two? Because he's getting the surgery immediately, even though a doctor talking about the other type of tear said that it's best to get the surgery immediately, he has no reason not to get the surgery right away, and apparently not getting the surgery would have been a sure sign of him wanting to retire? 


The sooner he gets the surgery, the sooner he'll be ready to play again. Why wouldn't he get a surgery for a Proximal tear right away?

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

It was bone head move on Rex's part to have the starters out there to win a meaningless game.  The offensive line was hanging by a thread to begin with; now that thread has broken with the likely career ending injury to Colon.  Irresponsible coaching got us here.

Rex obviously knew that he was getting extended long before this game was played.  He withheld that information from the players just so he could use it as a cheesy motivational ploy.  He doesn't seem to understand that the truth eventually gets to these guys.  They're going to find out that they weren't really playing for Rex's job and they gave there all for nothing.  How do you think that's going to sit with them?


And to make matters worse, beating the Dolphins kept them out of the playoffs.  As members of the AFC East, we should support the teams in our division.  We could've had two AFC East teams with a chance to bring us a Super Bowl.  I just don't understand the thinking of this organization.

bob
bob

I thinking going under the knife gotta give Colon the Willies.

Brian Bassett
Brian Bassett

@__fense It's the fact that he's not even waiting a week or two to decompress from the season.  I can't cite specifics, but more often than not when I've seen situations like this in the past the players wait a few weeks then do it.

__fense
__fense

@Ceifus Hornswoggle They were probably just trying to annoy the type of fan that doesn't understand why they would want to beat a division rival and either doesn't listen to the head coach when he told us exactly when and where he found out, or is purposely ignoring it so that he can complain.

Pat d
Pat d

If its not the Jets their not bringing us a Super Bowl

Brendan
Brendan

@jaygo Jay, you have to stop replying to Spent's comments as if they're serious. I thought this was very obviously making fun of the people who cried about Sanchez being played against non-starters in the preseason. I mean, he says we should all be rooting for Miami since we share a division. C'mon bud, dust off that sarcasm reader, I think it's getting a little glitchy. 

__fense
__fense

@Brendan @jaygo Oh, this is Spent? That makes so much more sense. The problem with Jets fans is some of them go so far out of their way to be negative that it's indistinguishable from someone trolling.