A couple of years ago, Browns coach Eric Mangini would have handled an ankle injury to his starting quarterback by disclosing whether and to what extent the player practiced, and then by describing the injury as “leg”.
If, that is, Mangini had opted to disclose the injury at all. (See Favre, Lord.)
In 2010, a more pragmatic and conscientious Mangini has emerged. Still, information deliberately is sketchy regarding the condition of quarterback Jake Delhomme’s ankle.
All sources who would be in a position to know more about Delhomme’s condition have gone silent regarding the ankle, and the silence has been explained to us as an effort to preserve the competitive advantage that comes from forcing this week’s opponents, the Chiefs, to spend time preparing both for Delhomme and for Seneca Wallace.
The effort makes sense. The quarterbacks have very different styles, and a different defensive game plan would be needed against either one.
During a Wednesday press conference, Mangini applied the say-something-while-saying-nothing approach regarding Delhomme’s ankle.
“I’d say that he’s better, he’s sore,” Mangini said in comments distributed by the team. “In terms of how long he will be out, he is a pretty tough guy and I’ve had guys who’ve hurt their ankle in the past that have been able to come back and play pretty quickly even that next week. I’d say he’s day to day. . . . I’m not really going to characterize it but it is his right ankle. I’d say that he’s getting better and he’ll be day to day.”
Mangini downplayed a report that Delhomme was spotted this week in a walking boot. “With all those injuries, typically, they are in a boot at different points,” Mangini said.
We’ve got no issue with Mangini and company attempting to conceal Delhomme’s status. As long as Mangini complies with the letter and the spirit of the rules, it’s fair game to be vague.