Speculating Cordy Glenn’s Injuries

Analyzing possible injuries for Cordy Glenn following his injury plagued 2017 season and expectations for 2018.

As the Bills continue to make moves this off-season, several player’s futures are in question whether to keep them around for next season. Several of these players have contract issues that may not be team friendly, others are based on long term health. Not surprisingly on Banged Up Bills, discussions will be had regarding long term health. Today’s post will assess Cordy Glenn’s future in Buffalo.

Cordy Glenn’s health has been in question for the past two seasons after having a solid start to his career, missing minimal time in his first 4 seasons. This caused GM Doug Whaley’s regime to reward his play with a contract extension that is not team friendly now that he has been injured. Prior to these most recent complaints, Glenn had only missed 2 games his rookie season due to an ankle injury, missing 2 out of the next 3 games and then returning to play without difficulty after Week 8.

Glenn was a mainstay at the left tackle position for the next several years, only appearing sporadically on the injury report for various issues such as illness and back pain. He did reappear during the 2015 season during Week 5-6 with an ankle injury which did not cause him to miss time. Everything began going downhill for Glenn in the 2016 preseason when he suffered a high ankle sprain during a scrimmage in early August.

Since then, Glenn has been dealing with primarily ankle complaints in addition to foot complaints which placed him on IR this season. Unfortunately, the team was and still is tight lipped on the specific injuries Glenn sustained. Without direct knowledge, I can only speculate on the complaints he has based on photos, procedures, and reading between the lines.

I had previously stated that I believed Glenn was dealing with chronic ankle instability, similar to what RB Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars was dealing with. With instability to the area, surrounding structures bears the extra forces which could lead to further injury. This is evident with his game log presentation; missing several games and then returning while spending time on the injury report before finally shutting it down for the season.

Unfortunately for Glenn, it appeared that his ankle never fully recovered and he began dealing with what was described as “foot soreness” which required an injection to the area to manage pain. He was able to play off and on through the season before being shut down in Week 9. It was reported that he had surgery on this same foot by Dr. Robert Anderson who performed the original injection early in preseason.

As he has dealt with so much already, it is difficult to determine outcomes. He has ankle issues which may have exasperated a foot injury which when combined, makes looking outside in nearly impossible. From my perspective, the foot appears to be the more acute issue and by fixing that, should allow the ankle to heal properly. The foot injury in question appears to be a Lisfranc sprain based on information available. If he is truly dealing with ankle instability, there are surgeries to correct this, but he may just need additional time to rest. In today’s NFL, these players are training year round and are not afforded the ability to sit and rest for extended periods of time due to maintaining a certain level of fitness along with always preparing for the season.

Conversely, while conservative treatment is preferred when managing most injuries as surgery is not always the ideal option, conservative treatment may still not correct the issue if it is a structural issue. Case in point, ACL injuries. Ryan Tannehill is an excellent example of this. He partially tore his ACL at the end of last season, performed conservative therapy and was cleared to play. He then re-injured the same leg and was forced to have subsequent surgery.

Glenn’s most likely surgery scenario is for a foot reconstruction involving the midfoot. This would entail identifying the area that is unstable and placing screws in to promote proper alignment and healing to the area. Research has found that while screws are beneficial to assist in healing, keeping them in for too long may lead to loosening of the hardware and breaking. In some instances, removal of hardware is performed to facilitate full return to health. The procedure and rehab protocol can be found here. Return to full function may vary but conservative protocols list the time to recover up to 6 months. During the final phase of rehab, strengthening and activities that promote return to function are vital ensure a successful outcome.

Based on the timeline that we know about Glenn, he suffered the ankle sprain which appears to have become chronic. This may have led to midfoot discomfort/Lisfranc sprain which necessitated a surgical approach. It is possible that Glenn will be healthy to return for OTA’s if he had surgery in December as stated, however, he may be held out as a precaution as that time will be coinciding with his rehab protocol.

The outcome of this surgery will dictate his value for this team. The fact that Glenn was nearly traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 6th round draft pick during the season indicates several things. This indicates that the injury is manageable and can be corrected. This also indicates that there is possibility that he can return to full health in the future. Based on this knowledge and the scarcity of effective tackles in the NFL, I envision a scenario that involves the Bills keeping Glenn on this roster and reworking his contract to a more team friendly deal.

The other scenario that is possible is that they move him for pieces that they need and stay with Dion Dawkins. While this may be beneficial for the future, the team is moving a proven player who when healthy, is quite effective. I enjoy the idea that Glenn gets healthy, stays at left tackle, Dawkins moves to right tackle, and build depth as the O line in general is aging.

I do not expect any additional news to come out about his injury besides general news stating surgery has been successful. I anticipate that his ankle issues may resolve as he will be non-weightbearing for an extended time allowing the surrounding ligaments to heal properly. Glenn can be expected to return to full health and will only be moved from the Bills if the offer is too good to pass up.

Continue to check back with me at Banged Up Bills for the latest updates and injury analysis. Thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Author: Dr. Trimble

My name is Dr. Kyle Trimble and I am, first and foremost, a Buffalo Bills fan!! When I am not cheering on the Buffalo Bills, I am a Physical Therapist. To give a background on myself; I was born and raised in Erie, PA, moved to Buffalo in 2006 to begin my studies at D'Youville College towards becoming a Physical Therapist at which time I became a devoted Buffalo Bills fan.  I graduated in 2013 with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and moved home for several years. Moving back to the Buffalo area in 2016, I have gained extensive experience in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, acute care hospital, and home care. Having obtained a significant wealth of knowledge that continues to grow, along with a undying fandom of the Bills, puts me in the unique position to educate my fellow fans about our great team. 
I am currently an injury spotter working with Dr. David Chao, Orthopedic Surgeon @ProFootballDoc based out of San Diego. In this role, I provide real time updates regarding injuries during the game. I hope you enjoy what I publish and I welcome any comments or questions you may have.
Disclaimer: My opinions are my own.  Any thoughts I have on the injuries is based on media reports, my knowledge of the injury, and speculation based on the information currently available.


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