WEEI>On Demand>>It Is What It Is Cast: Injury expert Will Carroll discusses the health of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

It Is What It Is Cast: Injury expert Will Carroll discusses the health of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

Feb 21, 2013|

In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is Cast, Chris Price is joined by noted sports injury expert Will Carroll. Will talks about the health of Patriots' tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez as well as if the Patriots are a "healthy team" when compared to the rest of the NFL. He also discusses deer antler velvet and the league's commitment to safety.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Are you ready for some football football. As -- any newscast test software at all. PD is what you -- Newsweek Christopher Friday to. Problem WEEI. Dunhill. Welcome back everyone we are proud to be joined this week. I will Carol well thank you very much for taking time to talk with. Hey thanks for having me on Chris I really enjoy it local work over there and you know happy we talk a little bit of football is the baseball season and I'm working on. Where economic team -- report which is my my big annual 75000. Word opus. But -- football English degree conviction. It really was it was an exciting year was a lot of fun and I -- obviously focus on some patriots some -- -- get into -- Lee -- stuff politically -- wanna -- -- -- focusing on -- -- itself specifically Robert tells you know he had some injury problems he's had some injury problems of -- you're really going to let me FC championship game will be -- which was kind of a fluke thing. Yet the -- problems this year. Are these red flags for young dialect is because frankly mean this was a guy who was available in the second round because he had the back from -- coach. Yeah I do think it's something when you take a look at players the injury prone tag is thrown out a little too easily. But with a player like cart -- he's had multiple problems. Twenty years from now we're probably -- -- -- you know take a little -- they're cheap -- it combines -- well he just can't handle this he's -- end up with these kind of injuries. We don't have that we have to do it in retrospect. And to meet I think when we see these multiple system failures. It is something of it would commanders called a tissue issue. The other probably some genetic issued two -- you know I'm certain that things can hold up better than others. Certainly -- talent certainly. He really really talented but they do you think you're gonna have to deal with these injuries throughout his career I don't think it's going to be very long I think he could have -- Seven any good productive years that'll really help the patriots but they -- gonna have to deal with these sorts of injuries all along that time for him. How much dude that is just who he is in the way he plays a mean he really I don't think -- least you know based on what he's done over the first three years. She's not all of a sudden can become your company finessed tight end I mean he's always going to be a big physical guy who's -- part of the blocking -- part of the running game. You know -- he just can't I don't know and you may be seventy metres -- -- kind of changes style and adjust to become -- more of a finesse guy but I think meaty part of it is at least in my experience is this is just -- -- -- he's a physical guy physical player. Yeah I think that that's certainly a part of that maybe he could just see I don't. I think he's just much about his -- since then that's okay you're lucky you Gary -- -- what he -- -- and especially with Aaron Hernandez there. They make a very good parent Tom Brady knows how to use the tools to make that very well and that offense. I think he needs to -- would surely make that much different you know none of these things are of him wearing down none of these things are the key basically. These are just you know as some of football injuries and -- I just don't think his body holds up. As well as some others and and again that no fault of his own maybe -- it's take a look at his parents a little bit. But. There's not much you can do with that you have to -- him for what he has both on and off the field. You bring up -- Hernandez and that's the next don't wanna talk about he's another guy who you know obviously missing classes gronkowski you know elite young tight end. But at the same time he's also his injury problems as a reading bearing his injury history did did maybe as a red flag for you meet she -- my wonder about the -- launcher. No no prohibit every intrigue he's had has been trauma. Some guys -- it all on him. Some guys can -- -- some guy's gonna roll up on your ankle and those things are just part of football. We're never going to be able to illuminate those what we hope to do is minimize and I think the patriots have done -- fairly good job at that. They were able to get him back on the field and be productive in just about it the act. Expected time he's had no issues in coming back. He's shown a real deficit after he does come back and it doesn't look like he's gonna have the same kind of long term concerns but again you know -- You'd see these injuries and you hate it because he's so talented you wanna see these guys on the field. But until we figure out how to how to keep -- maybe comes suit of armor or something we're gonna have these kind of injuries and football. How many guys have done what Logan Mankins did this past year in in terms of playing on. You know playing through the knee injury that he had a yen in interest he is his ability to withstand pain and no you are are. In my time with him ceased he set to lose yankees he's one of the tougher guys in the team is really one of the tougher guys in the league but considering where he was in the knee injury that he had. It truly remarkable effect. It's absolutely remarkable together there's not many guys to try to play through east sort of injury like that. And pure they do it at the level that he did it. So you have to give him a lot of credit after the medical staff a lot of credit and if you have to take a look at what. -- I think it's tough talk a lot about knee braces. And I wonder why more players are wearing them both protect them. And help them through lesser injuries and it's got a lot of attention when it with Robert Griffin. The -- didn't protect him but that was because it came with a different force than anyone expected. I'm very curious to -- this goes for because I think Mankins is such a success story. That we might see more people trying to do it. I hope not. I hope we can reduce these ACL injuries received in all sports. We're successfully getting people back from as well so. This was different very strict I don't think there's going to be people out there electric. It's interesting though you look at the putrid offensive line as a group and I think I I can't say this with complete certainty but you look at them as a as a as a collective unit. And more often than not big we're knee braces on both -- is this the direction we're going what you when when we're talking about big does like this in the trenches. As a protective measure as opposed to rehabilitate a better. Absolutely I I don't know why all players now I notable event for the don't like but when you take a look at the college double. A lot more acute care and -- he -- -- -- right now Amanda figure they're actually I'm an approach I -- every crazy. Hey you're Betty Ford as a guard -- tackle center. A little bit last but we're seeing a more. Active senators and these are blocking schemes go from some team to team so I don't know why they would -- Braces or something that can protect you from injury. If you give up a little mobility looked like these guys expect anyway. One of the things it out from about this interest in this pastor was real prevalence of hip injuries and I'm just off the top my head. It's a leave Mankins Gregory Bronx Ninkovich and knowing know some of those. Media related to weather conditions you know -- Mankins talked the other day about how. You know she had other injuries that led to this you know putting stress on joints -- knew there that would normally be stress -- but he is there a reason that did one -- in Indiana and even -- it's one team I mean do we see a spike in hip injuries across the league this year or was it something to truly all the patriots are going to work kind of focused on the -- and here because. You know it is what we do but it seemed to me that there were a lot of Petrie to a lot of -- injuries mr. -- is. There war and I think there's a couple reasons that we are seeing more than across fleet because now we can diagnose them. And I think Boston might be at the -- of that appeared to be persona -- medical thing the ball. All the research facilities agree hospitals have there. Before three or four years ago. He didn't eat it. We did have a way of looking inside the hip with these sort of clarity from outside Turkey go in there indeed around -- so many people were. Really reluctant to do that especially the high level athlete now with these that we Tesla MRIs he get a great view. And that's why we're seeing across sports that were figuring out you know that we we have these -- impeachment and we have these -- -- players and we can repair them as well. So we're seeing more of this -- Patricia read up. Really interesting study that almost I think it was. Nearly a quarter of players at the end of aqaba. Have some sort of hip condition and some of them are asymptomatic but most of these -- reported. So I think we are seeing more of that and I think some of that is shut this year sides. You know god it's 250 is not gonna have the same force -- hips and knees and ankles. That a guy that Korea is 300 pound is I think we're seeing bigger guys lighter guys. Guys that that are more athletic at that size as well. What do you think we're gonna feel more of these going forward. A lot of talk up here is abouts -- Wes Welker being replaced in this offense and one of the names that keeps coming up is Danny Amendola. Now when you look at Danny Amendola in really his injury history it's quite extensive no I don't mean to mention attitude to kind of run him down but. When you stack Yemen cola up against Welker. -- don't laconic comes up lacking is a weekly twelve games the last two years get the clavicle injury you had an ABC you'll afoot that it. Explain to me tell me a little bit about human door look she is injury history and whether or not that's the kind of things he could eventually come back. He could come back from the bacteria that that that very strange -- -- I I I -- titles in that not come back from but but I mean is this the kind of thing where and we talk like guys being me you know will be an injury prone or whatever Leo it is this the kind of thing -- -- rebounding titles you'll sleep rest of his career relatively -- -- What -- get -- it but your. What we have to talk about injuries is probabilities. In most situations you know the -- thing -- that's just weird and luckily nothing bad came man came back very very quickly. What you look for is some sort of probability is this guy that can take. Well yes and no it is -- guy that had problems on the people's spirits lately yes so getting off that and increase the probability. That he -- You know put. -- can -- more dogs and you know talent Wes Welker the big -- but even know it was almost like and he goes out there and have to avoid its. I can remember seeing Marvin Harrison I'm sure that that -- just made every Patriot Act grants to the department Harrison used to regularly. Rocked to the ground. You know he probably gave up. A couple hundred yards. That he could tacked onto his column name resonates because he didn't like getting hit. And it would amount to much that he didn't like it because he knew he couldn't handle it he was the same kind of slight build. And he stayed out there and barely missed any gains because he didn't take those speak. He went across the middle a lot but she didn't see him getting to heat up he would be very very Smart player I think import players. Should take that. Until it does give him a lot when he does bad things happen. Those kind of -- players really worry me in the NFL. Decades its interest in -- wedeman Dolan in Welker and and that background because I think that there is in you can speak to this much better that I could. -- is an art to being able to to look really you have to learn how to get hit. It you have to learn how to be tackled -- you have to learn how to minimize the impact on your body and look at a -- Welker. She seems to be able to have really figured it out. Can't -- there's actually I don't know whether it is public comment remained in the game there was a receiver I was talking. They came from California and he said what other things he learned early in his college career was they brought -- -- stumped me. Who talked about how the ball and it was one person like that kind of makes sense it's weird but it makes sense. So with that you do think about who can take it. I don't think there's any art to getting hit. But some players can just take it better than others can't you know I don't know that bone density I don't know that pain tolerance. But there's absolutely. Something of a skill to it and helping the skill as well. So I think what you measure if these players whether criminal whether it's Welker. You have to take that helped in the ability to play through a full NFL season at the level they do. As it. Absolutely on the -- When you look at the patriots how healthy -- team are they and when asked that I mean -- you know. Really wouldn't wouldn't when you look at them as a group -- is this is this a team where you're gonna see your whole long list of guys on an injury report makes -- is really not when you stack them up across the rest delete. Comparatively how healthy team more than a week to week month and what you're -- You know hey it's funny they get a pretty bad -- behind everybody says they have the game -- -- -- report time I've never come -- to be true. Do they have a long list is that Tom Brady's deep cultural problem kind of funny yes but -- As a whole they can't be about a very average team. Which isn't that bad when you consider some of the things they've dealt. I think a lot of older players they've got a lot of younger players and those two things tend to have more injuries -- been anything else. You think back to lose and Tom Brady for a full season you think about. Actually they mix and match running backs. You know the defense has always been a little bit undersized. But generally there. I act I hate to say average. Because it doesn't sound like copilot but it really it is given the talent level they have and given that the sort of players that they put up. I wrote this earlier this month and -- wanted to do your take on this is an injury guy we're talking with will -- by the way who is available on Twitter -- injury expert was a phenomenal follow on to what's forward talks about. Whether it's football baseball basketball hockey whatever you provide the full spectrum coverage and has a follower really appreciate that. -- one of the things that didn't stand up for me particularly when he talked about the NFL. Is that late season momentum I think is really overrated but I think health is not in -- wrote this earlier this month. In that that the reasons were a team that we're pretty banged up you know through the middle part of the season but they managed to see you'll. At a good time in in you look at some of the other teams that have played well early and Doug not to -- on the stretched -- lead role of the postseason going on to win championships. They've gotten healthy at the right time is that something you buying into it did really when it comes to injuries it's not so much -- It's about it's that it's about timing really when you when you talk a -- injuries in relation to the post season. Yet you're absolutely correct it's easier to see in baseball because with baseball on these in the weird trade deadline. It's often not -- he met at the end but then the one you started out at. You saw that last year was San Francisco that was not the same -- they started out with both positively and negatively. We saw that very very clearly Baltimore here when they got so expect that they accept. When they got Ray Lewis back that was an even bigger step for them. And what I think people also read is how hard it is to put these guys back here. You know I don't think it hurts. To put it out ground out he was back there -- the embassies and aside from that the quirky second break but he had. I think it takes an easy thing to integrate him back in the off that it's just Tom Brady goes OURW. -- -- -- critical and -- -- is the rape and getting him back in the air. I don't think is very very difficult so yeah being healthy. Certainly -- it was a big emotional push. But in all of that I think it's -- As much Eden medical story this year. What he would absolutely huge because these. It was unexpected. As much as we talk about -- Peterson coming back. And be as productive as he was just a year out from there not even a year out from the -- surgery. This sucks him back in six months from. Particularly care. And he was great from the get -- I thought in the first came -- and I wrote this back and a side. That you know I I didn't think he'd be very good I thought it was out there is an emotional lift they become working and back into it. But in one of his first place he got a good -- and choked up and nearly had a ball that I was like oh my god he's back. For that to go -- from merely for your rehab to six months. That's absolutely huge and patriots fans. Worked very vocal this year with Peter. Every time we talked about this miracle comeback like. Wes Welker already did this you know he can just spotted eating proper records but -- he was just foreign it has been just -- -- I thought about the Peterson's story was a little bit overplayed from the medical side and Suggs story very much -- it. Tell me about year and it worked extracts. But but but they do -- we bring -- ray Lewis and his fraternity in -- -- -- -- a lot of crazy theories out there is what it is and I noted that Heath Evans was on our station. About a month or so ago and in a lot of good things to say about -- in said the looking always helps me helps -- focus it -- concentrate annually in duplicate the role in my rehabilitation but is it the kind of thing that. I always wonder usually you can you can go to an athlete you -- -- look. This is going to meet you played yeah this is an interview he gets in big -- -- it is it isn't so like that. Yet you know. I started by saying. Very unpublished -- things about this stuff because the people behind it. I'll talk about a minute RR RI. I don't network -- I don't want to insult charlatans and scam artists. But we've got him. -- -- expert doesn't work there's nothing to note that substance it's supposed to have an IGF one which is the BM substance we heard that from Miami by Genesis thing. And it actually is a hormone that we all and there's no cities in -- -- -- back and they -- -- you're taking the human rights of burst its argument if you. And Ray Lewis has been called a lot of things but he's never been called Bambi. So do your IGF one isn't gonna do anything more for him then you know it -- -- -- be -- you're you're. And in that case so there's no effect there if he was taking -- idea what would say they put human -- and it will it have to be injected. So -- the minute you leave out of the refrigerator for a day and it and ship it from rural Alabama it would be an active in so there's double. It just doesn't work at all you know to meet this -- -- belt itself is peace talks and you've been around athlete a lot you'd hope -- guys have a repeat the superstitions. They're lucky socks and you know if they don't have their lucky socks they're not gonna play well that itself. I don't like -- -- thing. But it's certainly doesn't help but it. What worries me is if you dig deeper into the story about these guys. They actually have this. I don't know if you feel the concussion -- Chris -- Yet there is this so called compassion cap they have or indicative metered DR organized water. They were guaranteed parents of their kids wouldn't have a concussion. -- and it goes from. Yeah what was that seventh that's -- that's a dangerous thing and I think that it it's wanting to say it looked like this -- -- spray and you'll be the players think that it's gonna help them. But but when you get to an issue like players' safety like directing -- when he crossed a line. Exactly it goes from scam to criminal and that's where I wanna see guys like this up because you know. They've made it part of -- -- on this dear. I -- when we need to get together and you know come up with you know like we don't -- or something political -- and convince gronkowski -- it was armed. And if we can will make a million dollars because that's the way these things work they get a player they'd they'd get the put people back to heal up whether they would have worked out. Anyway you know Ray Lewis I think the surgery he had on his arm you're 24 sevenths care that he had from the rehab and in the medical staff. Those kind of scientific things along with that custom brings he had that really really helped him I think goals. Helped the year it was right whether its juggernaut know. This is admittedly broad brush question and in so you can forgive me you know if if time doesn't permit us -- have -- answer but. Is this league truly committed to clear safety. Yes you know I think and that's -- very broad -- intercourse with the others you know -- it is a huge huge. And I I don't wanna take anything away from what the league has done because they put to rest some things they've made some steps. They've admitted mistakes. They've adjusted quickly especially with a concussion policy you know last year after Colt McCoy Dave they came up with this compassion observer. They went quickly from you know just having a league official up there to having an athletic trainer. They tried to make it better this year than alive I still think there's a lot more things they can do with it. I don't think they've -- the things they need to be you know -- there's talk about widening the field I don't get that at all. I want to see them do more with technology. And biotechnology I mean equipment. I think players out there without pets basically and yet he's he took these receivers are notorious that was one that I I -- all playoff. And the guy did not have hit -- he would not have iPad. You know I know he's a speed guy and he gets hit it's a problem to begin -- But I just have a problem that. On top of that these helmets that we're using just aren't the best they could be we have put a lot of resources towards improving both from the pros. Into the kids and they and that's where I really think this could go I think he NFL could very easily put a million dollar prize compared. If you come up with the best helmet one year from now or put a goal say if you can reduce that the conduct of force by 10%. First what to do it -- million dollars and our partners will help you put into production. I think that would move things forward so fast. We some some advances. You know we've we've seen. Better padding from people like you -- Field we've seen better regard for human shield and even some helmet technology from a company called unequal. But I think there's -- target or they could be. But then that bothered me about the NFL this year. Is that much like a drug policy they're very good at the PR. If you see I'm sure you see the NFL evolution -- -- one where the guys running you know what -- Great looking commercial great you know great -- great effects it's fantastic fun to watch. That there I don't think. -- in in DC and in nets in it and that's you bring up a great point because you look at that. In you don't even think about that as a health NC -- commercial you look at that is through the years in kind of the game before -- -- changing and you eat you don't take it for what it's supposed to be. Exactly and that supposedly would nearly half their budget for health and safety nets and I have a real problem with that. It's a great commercial it would set it would be great if they were selling shoes or take -- NFL games. Budget for health and safety bill I I won't do a lot more on the research side. Air and a lot less from the PR side popping -- so what. Well I really appreciate your time what are you got tell it up tell us what you Beckel. Well you know right now carmaker to shift to baseball -- NFL com aren't coming to town here area in a couple weeks here in Indianapolis so it. Excited about that some. Really huge guys literally. Let's a lot of really huge names like Jarvis Jones. Marcus Lattimore who who is turning into the latest medical miracle this guy. The people that don't know with his knee exploded. And it was it's going to be is second ACL reconstruction they ought to be at the end PL PCL. In the patella tendon on this. He's already running and they're worried that he may well what the -- And this is just stunning to me. You know we were thinking at best you can be the next Willis McGahee. Sit out a year of rehab and coming into the right -- Now and looks like he might be ready and this might force a reset of how we do rehab so excited about -- -- excited about baseball coming up and you know. I've moved as well so. All my work at bleacher. Sounds good -- read about in -- also on Twitter -- is above -- injury expert highly recommend followed well and not to say in this because we're pals but. All for the major sports anything you need to know when it comes to sports injuries will -- holes ago will again I really appreciate your time.

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