There has been plenty of public fretting regarding the possibility that workouts during the lockout will blow out a player’s ACL. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that it indeed has happened to at least one high-profile player.
Owens suffered a knee injury in December, which resulted in surgery and placement on injured reserve. The ACL tear happened after the 2010 season ended; an unnamed source told Mortensen that the injury occurred while Owens was filming a TV show for VH1.
The surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, occurred within the past months. Given a six-month recovery period, Owens would be able to play as early as November, if the surgery was performed in May. Owens will be a free agent once the lockout ends.
Given his age and his reputation for creating locker-room distractions (indeed, we’d heard that the Bengals had had enough of him before his season-ending injury), it’s hard to imagine Owens playing at all in 2011. And if he doesn’t play at all in 2011, he possibly won’t ever play again; Owens will celebrate (and celebrate it he usually does) his 38th birthday in December.
Owens, one of the best receivers in league history, has played for the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills, and Bengals. He is fifth on the all-time receptions list, second in receiving yards, and tied for second with Randy Moss in receiving touchdowns.
The good news? While he won’t be able to build on his Hall of Fame credentials in 2011, he’ll have plenty of time to eat popcorn.