This time of year, strolling through the locker room means mostly a snapshot of guys rehabbing from injury, and — as I had a chance to talk last week to nose tackle Dan Williams about his broken arm — I thought about what that means today compared to when I first started covering the team more than a decade ago. Obviously, a broken arm will heal long before training camp, and it shouldn’t impact Williams in 2012. Same with the arthoscopic knee work done on running back Beanie Wells, who was downstairs today.
The return from more serious injuries, however, seems to have changed, at least a little. That crossed my mind recently when I was mentioning how the Cardinals let Kyle Vanden Bosch leave via free agency. Back in April of 2005, Vanden Bosch’s exit to sign a one-year contract with Tennessee merited just a sentence after Vanden Bosch had suffered two ACL tears in his first three seasons and then had just 15 tackles in 16 games in 2004 as a backup. Vanden Bosch later became a Pro Bowler as a Titan — starring in 2005, in fact — as his knee finally returned to health, but at the time, no one could have guessed that. Contrast that to linebacker O’Brien Schofield, who ripped up his knee in mid-January of 2010 before he was drafted and yet was back on the field by October flashing some of the skills that had impressed so many before his injury.
The Cardinals hope, for instance, running back Ryan Williams (torn patella tendon) and cornerback Greg Toler (ACL tear) both can make significant contributions this season. They are both at the facility most days, rabidly rehabbing. Both are highly optimistic at the way things are going for them. There’s no guarantee they can make an impact — no way to know until they get on the field — but certainly, the possibility is greater than it once was. Medical advances can be a wonderful thing.
Tags: Dan Williams, Greg Toler, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ryan Williams
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