Super Bowl Injury Watch: Antonio Brown Update, Eric Fisher Out
Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist here to provide NFL injury analysis. Read his Super Bowl Injury Watch, which focuses on the Eric Fisher Achilles’ tear and Antonio Brown update.
Super Bowl Injury Watch
Eric Fisher, LT, Kansas City Chiefs: Left Achilles’ tear
While the Chiefs made it back to the Super Bowl after winning it all last year, they will have to do it with a shuffled offensive line. They had already lost guard Kelechi Osemele to a double tendon rupture in October and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to a back injury shortly after.
Now, they have lost left tackle Eric Fisher to a left Achilles tear.
The injury occurred with 12:33 left in the 4th quarter when Bills defensive end Mario Addison came around the edge for the sack. Fisher attempted to keep Addison in check but overextended back onto the left foot, tearing his Achilles in the process. Fisher immediately went down and required assistance to get off the field.
Losing Fisher means that the Chiefs are without 3 of their starting 5 offensive linemen from the start of the season. Martinas Rankin is in line to start in place of Fisher according to the depth chart but will be a significant downgrade from the former first overall pick.
Fisher’s rehab timeline is anywhere from 6-9 months for the Achilles, but considering he is an older player, he may not return to form until midway through the season. He will be lacking power upwards of 50 percent on the left side for up to 3 years through the left leg and maybe a step slower as a result. The positive is that once he does come back, the risk to re-tear is quite low (1-2 percent) and the risk to injure the other side is roughly 6 percent.
The Bills were able to generate some pressure on Patrick Mahomes that he was able to avoid with his feet prior to Fisher going down. Losing his blindside tackle will force Mahomes to potentially scramble more especially with the turf toe injury he’s already dealing with. However, with the way he moved last week, that may no longer be an issue.
The only upside that the Chiefs have is that they have two weeks to prepare for this adjustment and hopefully Mahomes will be able to stay clean in the pocket from the Buccaneers’ strong pass rush.
Eric Fisher out for Super Bowl: Betting impact
Despite the loss of Fisher, this shouldn’t affect the -3 line for the Chiefs according to PointsBet. However, I’d be hesitant to place any rushing prop bets with the Chiefs due to so much uncertainty running between the tackles.
Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Knee injury
Antonio Brown continues to be listed with a mystery injury, missing the NFC Championship game after being declared day-to-day earlier in the week following the win over the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.
He appeared to injure the knee with under a minute left in the 2nd quarter crossing over the middle as Chris Godwin dropped a touchdown catch in the end zone. Brown appeared to hop towards the end of the route indicating that he possibly tweaked the left knee.
He attempted to play in the second half but was unable to have any impact. The specifics of the injury have not been detailed other than there is no structural damage according to the MRI report. I question how accurate that report is, but that’s all that we have to go off of for now. To note, his only history of knee injuries shows a knee injury his rookie year for which he missed one game.
Head coach Bruce Arians stated that Brown didn’t travel because the flight would have increased his swelling. Having 3 weeks off to recover from whatever the injury is plus the ability to play at home should allow him to be more productive. Brown is someone to watch the practice reports closely on over the next two weeks.
Antonio Brown injury update: Betting impact
The extra time off for Brown may be beneficial for his production in the Super Bowl.
There is a prop bet for Brown to score an anytime touchdown going off at +200 according to PointsBet. This could be a great opportunity to make a few bucks if he can get his first Super Bowl touchdown after only getting one reception back against the Packers his rookie year when he was a member of the Steelers.
Kyle Trimble is a licensed physical therapist who also works as an injury spotter for Dr. David Chao. Kyle has extensive experience in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, acute care hospital, and home care. He’s also a member of Bills Mafia and runs the website Banged Up Bills.
Disclaimer from Kyle: My opinions are my own. Any thoughts I have on the injuries are based on media reports, my knowledge of the injury, and speculation based on the information currently available including video and print media. This information is subject to change based on the information released by the team.
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After reading the Super Bowl Media Week Injury Watch and Eric Fisher and Antonio Brown injury updates: