With the news Thursday that our New York Giants have Kenny Phillips on Injured Reserve and received safety Aaron Rouse on waivers from Green Bay, I reached out to Brandon, our Packer blogger at Acme Packing Company, for thoughts on Rouse.
Here is what I got from Brandon who, interestingly, had written about Rouse Thursday morning.
The Packers clearly were deeply dissatisfied with Rouse’s play last week and thought it signaled a lack of development for a third-round pick from the 2007 draft.
Rouse also had a series of short-term injuries that had sidelined him, including an ankle and hamstring that kept him out of seven games during his first two seasons, and the hamstring injury in camp this year.
Against Cincinnati, Rouse made nine tackles but also had glaring errors on several key plays. Those included taking a bad angle on a screen pass to tight end Daniel Coates, who converted a first down on a crucial third-and-34; leaving his deep zone on a flea flicker that allowed a 44-yard pass to Chad Ochocinco; and being caught unaware when Chris Henry broke open behind him for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
So, Rouse is an "iffy" player, but probably the best talent available considering that the season is in full swing. He was a third-round draft, so he has talent. If he was on Phillips' level he would not have been available, would he? We just have to hope the Giants' coaching staff can get through to Rouse in ways the Packers seemed unable to.
- If you guys don't want more bad news, stop reading now. Newsday's Tom Rock spoke to to an orthopedist about the patello-femoral arthritis in Phillips' knee. You are not going to want to read this.
"I would have rather them said he tore his ACL and his MCL," said Dr. Craig Levitz. "That’s a much better injury to have. We can fix that. If he tore his meniscus, we can fix that. Even if he tore his knee ligaments, we can fix those. It’s just a matter of how good he rehabs whether he gets back.
"Arthritis, we can't fix that," he said.
Levitz said that Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui is suffering from the same situation. In that case they drain his knee regularly and inject him with cortisone shots every three months or so. With Phillips, that wouldn’t be an option. And Levitz said he doesn’t think surgery will help either.
"You can’t stop it from progressing, you just have to hope it doesn’t progress," he said. "Arthritis only goes in one direction. It only gets worse, it never gets better."
By strengthening the quadriceps and other muscles around the knee Phillips can help to support the joint and reduce the pain. But the arthritis will never go away without a knee replacement.
"The reason why they’re probably weighing their options is not because they don’t know what to do," Levitz said. "It’s because there are no good options and they are trying to pick the best option for him with no good option. There’s no option that will give him an extremely high chance of feeling a lot better."
That is not something I wanted to hear. If you are a Yankee fan and you have watched Matsui try to run this year you know it's not a pretty sight. Let's hope KP's best days aren't already behind him.
- If you want an example of how unforgiving a league the NFL is, just check out Antonio Pierce's comments Thursday about Phillips. Mind you, these were made before the news broke that KP would miss the rest of the season.
"As long as we have eleven on the field, that’s all that matters," Pierce said. "You have to move on man. No difference if , or Osi (Umenyiora) is out. Next guy has to step up. Like I said, we always feel like we have 25 starters on this defense and whoever wants to step in for Kenny, if he is out, that’s what they have to do."
- Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan pretty much echoed the same sentiments.
"You move on, there is nothing to dwell about, you are too busy getting ready for the next practice or the next game and getting the lineup set the way you need to. It’s always difficult but the way we perceive it is it’s just matter of fact, playing to the next and moving on," Sheridan said.
Sheridan spoke before the roster move with Rouse was announced, but said fitting a new player into the defense in just a couple of days should not be that difficult.
"there is so much carryover from team to team and the kind of defenses that are played. I mean everybody plays two deep and three deep and man coverage and that type of stuff. So yeah you can get them up to snuff very quickly."