Week 2 Injury Report : LeSean McCoy Ribs, Mixon's Knee Surgery, Pat's Concussions, Vontae's Houdini Act, Protecting the Cubes

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After each week of NFL football games for the 2018- 2019 season, the Heads 'N Tales podcast will be posting an episode dedicated to injuries and health & safety topics surrounding the NFL. Specifically we will talk about possible prevention strategies, the rulebook, equipment and other injury buzz around the league.  

The strategist for these episodes will be one of my closest friends, Josh Boyd.  Josh and I grew up playing baseball together. Josh was a division-1 center fielder for Monmouth University and experienced his fair share of injuries throughout his career.  Although Josh never played organized football, the dude flat-out knows the game of football and undoubtably knows more about the ins-and-outs of the sport better than I do from both a fan and x's & o's perspective.  

Dr. Wazim Buksh "Waz" is the newest member to the Heads 'N Tales team and has been a long time friend of mine.   Waz will serve as the medical expert in these recordings to give you the most realistic expectations for when your favorite players go down with an injury and what their road to recovery will look like.  Dr. Buksh is board certified in both Internal and Sports Medicine. Waz completed his sports medicine fellowship with the New York Jets medical staff in 2014.

Our intention for these episodes is to spark conversations around topics that are usually brushed under the rug or only minimally covered in the hopes of making football and all sports safer for the athletes who play them.  

You are currently looking at the show notes for Week 2 of the 2018 season!

Week 2 Injuries:

Buffalo Bills: RB LeSean McCoy, Ribs

McCoy suffered a rib injury in the third quarter when center Ryan Groy fell on McCoy's midsection as the tailback was being tackled. McCoy returned to the game for one rush but did not re-enter afterward and was later announced as questionable to return. McCoy declined an interview after the game, saying his rib injury made it difficult to talk.

Cincinnati Bengals : RB Joe Mixon , Knee

Mixon will be out for a few weeks after he had a procedure Saturday to clean up some loose particles in his knee, a result of an old injury that was never addressed.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR Mike Wallace, Broken leg

Wallace was carted off with an ankle injury Sunday and did not return. Broke his fibula.

Detroit Lions: CB Darius Slay, Concussion

In the third quarter, Darius Slay suffered a concussion while trying to make a tackle. 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk lowered his head to run over Slay and initiated head-to-head contact. Slay immediately went down and was motionless for a couple of seconds. No penalty was called on the play. It’s the second straight week that Slay took a hard hit to the head. Last week Slay briefly left the game to get checked for a concussion, but he was cleared to return.

New England Patriots : DE Trey Flowers, Concussion

Flowers sustained a concussion on the Jaguars' opening drive and didn't return.

New England Patriots : Safety Patrick Chung, Concussion

Chung sustained a concussion late in the first half and did not return. Took on block by the fullback and was taken by surprise.

Concussion protocol in question

Rodgers Update:

Green Bay Packers: QB Aaron Rodgers, Knee

Supposedly has no ligament damage in his knee but his injury could take up to two months to heal, per sources. For now, he will try to play through the pain.

  • Is all this talk further enforcing the very culture the NFL and (Kevin) are seeking to change?

  • If no ligament damage, is this a hurt vs. injured situation?

Fournette and the Jags setting a good example:

Jacksonville Jaguars: RB Leonard Fournette suffered a hamstring injury

  • Sat out in week 2 - Jacksonville playing the long game and still finding success - doesn't always pay to play injured

Carson Wentz, cleared and will start Sunday

Illegal Hits:

Sendejo living up to his reputation

Does Devante have a target on his head?

Cam gets punished for being smart

  • Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected for unnecessary roughness

Lagarrett Blount ejected for coming off the sidelines to shove opposing player

1 Penalty for lowering Helmet to make contact, Jags LB Telvin Smith, No Video

Protecting the CUBES (Cali-version):

Clay Matthews Game-Changing Roughing the passer

***2017 107 Roughing the Passer Penalties… 6.29/week***

***2018 21 Roughing the Passer Penalties… 10.5/week or on pace for 178 for the year***

It can be done!:

Quandre Diggs!! #NFLWayToPlay Week one recipient:

Proper hit on defenseless receiver.

Vontae Davis - Houdini Act":

  • Our thoughts on leaving in the middle of the game.

Reactions in the media:

Zach Miller Update Video:

Bears TE Zach Miller is still standing. Our MNF feature on his gruesome injury, his daunting recovery and a decision that he believes saved his leg.

“No one has said no yet.” - Motivating for him

Vets seeking health insurance, could boycott future HOF ceremonies:

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137 : Bringing the Human Out of the Athlete & the Importance of Non-Competitive Outlets w/ Carley Horan

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Carley Horan is a former USC lacrosse player, Nutritionist and Coach. I first met Carley when I was working as a rehab aide in a physical therapy practice and she was receiving treatment for a back injury while she was back on the East Coast over break. I remember being asked to put her through some CrossFit-like workouts and it didn’t take long for me to notice that she was a machine. Some athletes just have an “it” factor to them and Carley was definitely one of those special athletes that are a coaches dream. She was definitely one of those players that would run through a brick wall for you if you asked her to. However, in the absence of non-competitive outlets, it is easy for driven and determined athletes like Carley to breakdown physically, mentally and emotionally. In this interview we dissect this athlete mentality and provide suggestions on finding a healthier balance with sport, social life, academics and other hobbies. Carley’s last season playing college lacrosse was in the spring of 2016, so she has had plenty of time to reflect on her athletic career. Carley recently earned her masters degree in nutrition and is working hard toward becoming a Register Dietitian, so we also explore how we can prevent injuries through nutrition.

Carley is currently teaching Yoga and Spin at Ride + Reflect in Morristown, NJ and also coaches lacrosse. Below you will find other topics we touch on throughout this interview:

  • How we can work towards preventing injury through nutrition.

  • The role stress plays in causing injuries.

  • Why having adequate calories is the most important way to prevent injuries through nutrition.

  • What happens to your body when you don’t have adequate calories.

  • How to prevent inflammation in your body with food.

  • What inflammation actually is.

  • The importance of the timing of your meals.

  • Why you need carbs as an athlete.

  • Why you should re-think the kind of peanut butter you are eating.

  • Why you should prioritize food over supplements.

  • The correlation between Vitamin D and bone health.

  • The benefits of blood panels in understanding your nutritional needs.

  • To eat Dairy or not to eat Dairy…

  • Getting used to having muscles on your body as a female athlete.

    “Why do you want to be like every other girl at your school?”

  • Should you be listening to cravings?

  • Physical, mental and emotional stressors that led to chronic injuries while playing lacrosse at USC.


“I knew my greatest strength was my physicality.”

  • How Carley found balance and formed another identity through hip-hop dancing

  • Why dance is the one thing Carley is not competitive about.

    • e relief Carley felt when she was told she was going to be a scout team player.

    • How Carley has translated her experiences as an athlete into coaching.

    • The importance of finding a non-competitive outlet as an athlete.

    • How Carley is “bringing the human out of the athlete” in her approach to coaching.

 Carley teaching her athletes the power of finding balance.

Carley teaching her athletes the power of finding balance.



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NFL Safety Tech: The Data Behind the Helmet Rule w/ Joe Lemire from SportTechie

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Joe Lemire is a Senior Writer at SportTechie and he recently compiled a series of articles dedicated to NFL safety technology.  The first story of the four part series is titled "The Data Behind the Helmet Rule."

Those who do find the new helmet rule distasteful or see it as an attack on the sport of football are asking, Why?  Joe's extensive research for his article put's the question of Why? to rest.  The numbers don't lie and Joe gives us a behind the scenes look into why the helmet rule is only a snapshot of the work being done by the NFL to protect it's greatest assets, the players.

Joe and I spent some time discussing what went into the NFL's decision to implement the new rule despite unfavorable reactions from players, coaches and fans.  In this episode Joe tells us about his conversations with leading researchers from some of the top universities in the country as well as NFL players, top Executives from the NFL franchise and the NFL Players Association.

For a recap on this interview checkout “Joe Lemire Talks NFL Safety Technology on the Heads ‘N Tales Podcast.”

SportTechie is the world’s leading resource devoted to the burgeoning intersection of sports and technology. They cover the latest technological innovations, ideas, and products that impact the fan experience, player performance, and sports industry as a whole.  They report the cutting-edge developments with in-depth analysis and exclusive interviews to educate fans and industry experts alike. They exist to analyze and illuminate the growing number of ways technology is evolving sports.

Below you will find a list of topics Joe and I touch on throughout this episode:



"It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. This rule pertains to all players on the field, and to all areas of the field.

The Officiating Standards for Use of Helmet Rule:

  • Lowering the head (not to include bracing for contact)

  • Initiating contact with the helmet to any part of an opponent. Contact does not have to be to an opponent’s head or neck area — lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent’s torso, hips, and lower body, is also a foul.

  • Making contact on an opponent (both offense and defense)


Tennessee Titans linebacker Robert Spillane received a personal foul penalty for a violation of the new helmet rule for this head-lowered tackle of Packers receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on August 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)


  • Concussion numbers

    • 46 % occurred after helmet-to-helmet compared to 36 % over previous 2 years.

    • Increase in the total number of concussions (291 last season).

      • The video analysis conducted for each of those concussions.

  • Lab testing performed by experts in biomechanics.


  • 51 Penalties in the first 2 weeks, 20 in the last 2 weeks


  • Quoted in this article:

    • NFL COO,  Maryann Turcke

    • NFL EVP for Health & Safety, Jeff Miller

    • NFL Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Allen Sills

    • Former NFL QB, Tony Romo

    • Deputy Director of the University of Virginia's Center for Applied Biomechanics, Richard Kent

    • U. Va Biomechanics Lab Director, Jeff Crandall

    • NFLPA Medical Director, Dr. Thom Mayer

    • Director of Engineering for the Center for Injury research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Kristy Arbogast

    • Former NFL Kicker and analyst, Jay Feely


A broader look at the Engineering Roadmap, Crowd Sourcing and Innovations in Data Collection



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