Colts WR Reggie Wayne is officially out for the season after tearing his ACL and medial meniscus during Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos. Wayne was placed on IR today.
Injury Outlook: This post is less about Week 8 (obviously) and more about his prognosis for next season for you dynasty league folks. Recent advances in both surgical procedures and rehab interventions have progressed the return to play time for athletes post-ACL, as some can come back as quickly as 6 months now. The time frame, however, is still considered a pretty large window, somewhere between 6 months and 1 year, with the athlete’s post-surgical status (swelling, pain levels, muscle function, level of atrophy, etc) the driving factor early on.
For arguments’ sake, if we give Wayne a middle of the road recovery time frame (9 months), that would put his return to the field at right around July, which would be in time for the majority of training camp and put him in line to be ready for the start of the 2014 season. This bodes well for his potential contribution to the Colts next season and should put you at ease if you see him on the waiver wire for cheap and want to snag him heading into next season.
In terms of Waynes’ ability to bounce back from this type of injury, the involvement of the meniscus adds a little bit of issue to his recovery process, as the primary function of the meniscus is to act as a shock absorber during weight bearing activities so that the surfaces of the femur and tibia don’t rub against each other. If Wayne’s meniscal tear is significant, it can cause some early onset cartilage degeneration in the long term, but in the short term, the worst that could happen is just a bit of added pain due to a lack of shock absorption.
Although Wayne is a bit up there in age by football standards, my expectation is that he has a very real chance of being relatively near the level he was these last few seasons, as there’s nothing in his history that leads me to believe he won’t be the same guy. However, the success of his surgery and the course of his rehab will be the primary determining factors to how successful Wayne is next season and moving forward, so stay tuned.