The Eagles announced on Wednesday, despite having no obligation to do so, the fact that tight end Brent Celek underwent on Tuesday surgery to repair a sports hernia and a torn labrum.
The Eagles had not previously disclosed the injury. Celek showed up only three times on the injury report in 2011: In Week Two with a hip injury, in Week Six with an illness, and in Week Nine with a hip injury. (The reference to the hip injury possibly was an acknowledgement of the hernia, coming only in the weeks when it limited Celek’s availability for practice.)
In 2005, the Eagles acknowledged for weeks that quarterback Donovan McNabb had a sports hernia, until he was knocked hard to the ground against the Cowboys, requiring McNabb to be shut down immediately for surgery. After that same season ended, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady underwent surgery for a sports hernia — previously undisclosed — that apparently had been bothering him for weeks.
The league took no action with respect to the Patriots’ apparent violation of the injury-reporting rules.
So the Eagles possibly decided that it made no sense to admit that Celek was playing with a sports hernia, in order to ensure that he wouldn’t be targeted for any specific hits or punches or kicks aimed at pushing him to a point where surgery could no longer be delayed. While there’s a chance that the injury simply happened in Week 17 (with surgery coming only roughly 48 hours after the final game), the presence of a torn labrum suggests that Celek had played with the sports hernia and other areas of his groin/core compensated for the injury, tearing the labrum.
I don’t point this out in order to get the Eagles “in trouble.” It’s simply the latest example of the disconnect between the injury reports and reality, proving that inside information indeed exists — and that people who have access to that inside information could, in theory, be compromised by folks with one eyebrow and/or gold chains, who could profit from having access to that kind of data.
In theory, every injury should be reported, even if it doesn’t prevent a player from practicing or playing. While that may not entail every single bump, bruise, hangnail, boo-boo or “owwie,” it surely encompasses chronic conditions that require surgical intervention promptly upon the conclusion of the football season.