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  • Is Da'Quan Bowers This Years Thurman Thomas

    In 1988, Thurman Thomas looked like a sure fire first round draft pick out of Oklahoma St. He finished his career as the school's all-time leading rusher with over 4500 yards and 43 touchdowns. He was so good in fact, that his teammate and future Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, couldn't even get on the field.

    On draft day, the ESPN cameras documented his anxiety as team after team passed him by. Not until the second round, at pick number 40, did he get selected by the Buffalo Bills. A knee problem scared off the other teams.

    Thomas used this slight as motivation as he embarked on a great career as one of the best all around backs to ever play the game.

    Now, it's Da'Quan Bowers' turn to sit in anguish as every team in the first round passed on him last night. Following the season, many projected Bowers not only a first rounder, but a top three pick.

    Then, during the evaluation period, a knee problem started Bowers' slide down the draft charts, all the way out of round one. I'm sure when Bowers gets the chance, he'll want to take it out on the teams that passed on him and get revenge, just like Thomas did on 1988.

    Only the teams themselves know what's on their medical reports regarding Bowers and whether he's worth the risk. Will one of them be rewarded for taking a shot on the highly talented player, or will the injury end his playing days? Can he become another Thurman Thomas, or a wasted draft pick?

    Comments 19 Comments
    1. jwill5587's Avatar
      Seems like a great value pick at this point considering his upside but his knee must be really bad.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I don't know. I'll lead with the qualifier that I don't fully understand his injury. To the best of my knowledge, Bowers has bone damage where Thomas had soft tissue damage. I am scared of that kind of thing. I think the guy is capable of doing this, yes. I am leery of the medical stuff. I'd be thrilled if he was our all-time best fourth round pick, and happy for him if he became someone else's all-time best second round pick, unless it's the Dolphins, Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Patriots, or Raiders, who comprise the very short list of teams I hatehatehate.
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      Read somewhere last week there seems to be a concern that Bowers may only have 2 -3 years of football at most left in his knee.
      Do not know what micro fracture surgery is, but it's evidently is a scary thought.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Think Greg Oden or Chris Webber.

      Microfracture is a surgical option used in the treatment of areas of damaged cartilage. When a patient has a small area of damaged cartilage (not widespread knee arthritis), microfracture may be performed in an attempt to stimulate new cartilage growth.

      How does microfracture work?
      A microfracture creates small holes in the bone. The surface layer of bone, called the subchondral bone, is hard and lacks good blood flow. By penetrating this hard layer, a microfracture allows the deeper, more vascular bone to access the surface layer. This deeper bone has more blood supply, and the cells can then get to the surface layer and stimulate cartilage growth.


      Who is a good candidate for microfracture?

      •Patients with limited areas of cartilage damage

      •Patients who are active and cannot participate in their sport or activity because of symptoms

      •Patients with pain or swelling caused by the damaged area of cartilage

      Who is not a good candidate for microfracture?

      •Patients with widespread arthritis of the joint

      •Patients who are inactive

      •Patients unwilling to participate in rehabilitation following microfracture
      Does microfracture work well?
      Yes, but there is more to it! Microfracture can be an excellent procedure, providing substantial pain relief when done in the right patient.

      One of the concerns with microfracture is that it does not stimulate the growth of normal joint cartilage. There are many types of cartilage, and one of these types (hyaline cartilage) is normally found on the joint surface. Microfracture stimulates the growth of a type of cartilage commonly found in scar tissue (fibrocartilage). Unlike hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage does not have the same strength and resiliency of cartilage normally found in a joint. Therefore, there is a chance that the cartilage stimulated by a microfracture procedure will not stand up over time.


      How is a microfracture procedure performed?
      A microfracture is performed as part of an arthroscopic knee surgery.

      First, the area undergoing microfracture is prepared by removing any loose or damaged cartilage. Ideally, the area undergoing microfracture will be less than about 2 centimeters in diameter and have good, healthy surrounding cartilage. Then, a small, sharp pick (awl) is used to create the small microfracture holes in the bone. The number of microfracture holes created depends on the size of the are being treated. Most patients with a 1 to 2-centimeter area of damage require 5 to 15 small holes in the bone.

      The real key to treatment is appropriate rehabilitation following the microfracture surgery. Rehabilitation must protect the area treated by microfracture as well as maintain the strength and motion of the knee joint.


      Are there alternatives to microfracture?
      Yes. Patients who are good candidates for microfracture could also be good candidates for other treatments for cartilage defects of the knee. These alternatives include cartilage transfer and cartilage implantation.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Here's what I get after a quick read. The problem seems to be that Bowers has used up a lot of his knee cartilage. Microfracture surgery is a way to get the knee to regenerate new cartilage. But the new stuff isn't as durable as the original. If team doctors have detected arthritis, that may mean Bowers has had bone-on-bone contact in his knee joint.

      Microfracture surgery has worked for some athletes, not for others. None were at the beginning of their professional careers.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      @GoBig Thanks doctor!
    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      There appears to be a lot of mixed decision on this injury with some teams backing away for round one and others backing away entirely. One of the "not in round one" group could act in the next round or so. If no team takes the plunge tonight, it can be assumed that many teams are seeing it as a likely career-ending injury.
      That would be sad. Without this injury, he was a virtual lock to go in the first 5 picks.
      If the outlook is negative but not final, some team might spend a later pick on him and just wait to see what happens. Modern medicine can do some astounding things.
      We will know soon. Good luck, Da'Quan.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil McConkey View Post
      @GoBig Thanks doctor!
      Dr. Google, that is.
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      Da'Quan Bowers DID NOT HAVE microfracture surgery. If anyone says that he has, that is an incorrect report. It was largely speculated that he might need to have it, but he did not have the surgery. Even if he does need it in the future, at this point in the Draft, you're not taking a large hit it your payroll if he doesn't pan out. But again, BOWERS HAS NOT HAD microfracture surgery at any point during this offseason.
    1. Ripperlicious's Avatar
      I feel for the guy. It would almost be better if he had a torn ACL it sounds like than a degenerative cartilage issue. ACLs nowadays are like broken bones it seems, in terms of healing back to 100%.

      Sorry Da'Quan, if I'm going to give you mucho dinero, you can't have a knee like this on a 290 lb frame.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      I heard somewhere (PFT, I think) that while evaluating Bowers' knee injury, teams may have discovered degenerative arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is possibly a road block on the way to microfracture surgery.

      In other words, Bowers may need MF surgery, but his arthritic knee may not respond well if at all.

      Damn shame, too. He is a helluva player.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Ripperlicious View Post
      I feel for the guy. It would almost be better if he had a torn ACL it sounds like than a degenerative cartilage issue. ACLs nowadays are like broken bones it seems, in terms of healing back to 100%.
      I think that's correct.

      Cartilage damage/loss is an intractable problem. Amar'e Stoudemire notwithstanding, you're born with all you've ever going to get.
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      I heard somewhere (PFT, I think) that while evaluating Bowers' knee injury, teams may have discovered degenerative arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is possibly a road block on the way to microfracture surgery.

      In other words, Bowers may need MF surgery, but his arthritic knee may not respond well if at all.

      Damn shame, too. He is a helluva player.
      Heard the same talk GoBig. About 1/2 the leagues teams medical staffs believe that Bowers has microfracture surgery in his future because of his advanced arthritis. With a talent like that, I would sign him to a 3 year contract and then reevaluate him. He could last until the 3rd round when the money risk isn't as high.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Turk Schonert View Post
      Heard the same talk GoBig. About 1/2 the leagues teams medical staffs believe that Bowers has microfracture surgery in his future because of his advanced arthritis. With a talent like that, I would sign him to a 3 year contract and then reevaluate him. He could last until the 3rd round when the money risk isn't as high.
      I have degenerative arthritis in both my knees. But I'm too old to play pro football. I feel bad for this kid. His cartliage is shot but his arthritis may actually exclude him from having the microfracture surgery he needs to help him (or at least impede the progress of the new cartliage growth the operation is supposed to generate).

      Would you take him in the 2nd? 3rd?
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      That ended happening as Unfortunately I thought it would. I expect that Bowers will be mad motivated and that he will be able to pick up those slights and take them all the way to the field for competiton and then for game time. This is part of the excitement in the NFL. I like underdog and doubt stories.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by KabaModernFan View Post
      Da'Quan Bowers DID NOT HAVE microfracture surgery. If anyone says that he has, that is an incorrect report.
      I'm listening to his coach, Dabo Swinney, tells ESPNU that he did indeed have microfracture surgery.

      Swinney says that the surgery and his relatively slow recovery from it have a lot to do with his falling in the draft.

      If microfracture surgery produces inferior, weaker cartilage, then I can understand why no-one wants to risk a top draft pick and a lot of money on him.
    1. ReaderM's Avatar
      Interesting thing I noted in the Bucs press conference for the pick, they just kept mentioning again&again how the value of the pick was 2 much to pass up on unprompted.Just based on what I saw,it seems like they talked themselves into the pick and are obviously worried about the knee&it's long term impact.

      I guess a good thing is that the training staff already knows to deal with serious knee issue like that after having dealt with Antonio Bryant&they do seem in no plan to rush him to the field 2 start.
    1. bluestree's Avatar
      I like the pick. The kid had production in college, their not paying first round money but he has top five talent plus. Manage the injury, and they'll get great value.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Heard the same reports as you guys have. His knee joint is severely arthritic, basically bone on bone and he is looking at microfracture surgery. (Excellent description of the procedure Go Big). He will need this procedure sooner rather than later and the effectiveness and recovery from the surgery is anyones guess. Every knee is different, every surgery is different, and every rehabilitation is different. Lots of variables. OT Levi Jones was on the cusp of the Pro Bowl and this very problem destroyed his career. There is a clock ticking on the knee of Bowers. Who knows when it will stop? His value has plummeted as a result.