Why no surgery for Matt Forte in 2012?

Why no surgery for Matt Forte in 2012?

According to a recent Chicago Tribune report, the Chicago Bears are giving weight to the idea that Matt Forte’s history of knee injuries is a major factor in current contract negotiations.

The Trib.’s David Haugh cites a source who claims the Bears cannot overlook the possibility of “arthritis setting in and becoming a chronic problem [for Forte].”

Forte, who played through a sprained MCL in 2009, suffered a Grade-2 MCL sprain in 2011 against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s believed the 2009 injury was a Grade-1 sprain, which is typically categorized as a stretching of the ligament. A Grade-2, which is generally a partial tear, however, is far more disabling.

Thus why he could play through the 2009 injury but not the 2011 one.

The bottom line is that players who continue to play, despite reoccurring or chronic knee injuries, have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Usually, if the medical professionals involved feel it is necessary, they will recommend arthroscopic surgery at the very least.

One of the main purposes of a "scope" is to prevent arthritis from setting in.

And this, folks, is where the story gets interesting . . .

Forte had arthroscopic knee surgery in early 2010, following his 2009 injury. But, despite what was believed to be a more serious injury in 2011, Forte said this regarding surgery: "I didn't have surgery. I don't have to have surgery. There is nothing wrong with my knee. It's actually healing up pretty well, so I don't think that does anything (to my value)."

Here’s what we know: Matt Forte was not in a position to ask for a new contract in 2010, following a sub-par 2009 season, and he had the surgery. He is in that position now and he did not have the surgery. Anyone else wonder why?

While it’s not in Forte’s interest to go under the knife right in the middle of asking for a new long-term deal, it’s entirely possible that the Bears’ medical staff have recommended just that.

I think we just might have a better idea of why the Bears are concerned with handing the running back the contract he’s been looking for.

ESPN reporter Josina Anderson first issued this statement for Matt Forte’s agent Adisa Bakari today: "Matt Forte is among the most, if not the most, durable, all-purpose running back in the NFL. The 2011 season was the first season of his career that he missed any games. Had the Bears been playoff contenders, he could have returned for the balance of the season. To question his durability at this stage in his career is absurd."

I’m not so sure it is.

In response to the Trib. Report, Forte posted these workout videos via twitter, saying “. . . I think my knee will be ok.”

Filed under: Players, Uncategorized

Tags: Matt Forte


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  • Wake me when this soap-opera finally ends!

    However, in defense of Forte I will say this:

    He (Forte) shows a work ethic & pride in his body as some other notable athletes that transcended injury, age & statistics. Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, just to name a few have performed at elite levels when they were supposed to have been 'over the hill' so to speak, or slowed by lingering effects of prior injuries. But due to their obsession of staying in peak shape, those athletes defied those odds.

    Forte has been that kind of athlete since he was at Tulane. Some athletes are physically rare in nature...& I am willing to bet a slice of Chicago's finest pizza that Matt is one of those exceptions!


  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I agree about Forte. His work ethic reminds me of Walter's. I still hope the two sides can come to an agreement, I'm just making an attempt to explain why arthritis, specifically, would be a concern for the Bears. A scope is done partially in a effort to prevent the osteoarthritis from setting in.

  • Hmmm...another new twist. Hopefully Forte does not sign his tender and then go under the knife during he season. Only he knows how his knee is feeling but if I were a RB looking for a new deal...and he deal wasn't there and I was looking at playing under a franchise tag...I would do what I need to to ensure I had a great season....if my knee was ailing me, I'd get it taken care of before the season started and show up ready to play big and if my knee was feeling good, I wouldn't have the surgery.

    The thing that is interesting to me...he had the knee sprain and then played in the pro-bowl...I think if the Bears had one just one more measly game, he would have been there for the play offs too. Maybe this is a whole lot of nothing. Forte will play this season under the franchise tag...make his millions...and we will draft a RB in the second round next year after we draft a LT in the first round.

  • ooops that was "won just one more measly game" ! Alpha...we will have talk about what flavor of Chicago style pizza you are betting! But I wouldn't take you up on that unless I was hungry for pizza because I agree with totally. Forte has shown personal discipline and always been in top physical condition...he has remained largely healthy despite the workload and people are indidviduals with individual tolerances for pain and sometimes just dumb luck plays into a players health and longevity....I don't tend to buy into the gross generalizations that may offer...there are statistical trends and I pay attention to those. RB's tend to have shorter careers...but some play for a very long time. Forte looks like the kind of back that will play well into his 30's to me and play effectively.

  • In reply to Mouser:

    Exactly, Mouser!

    Hope he doesn't end up in GB, NE, or Det!

  • In reply to Alpha79:

    I agree w/ you guys. But, when I picked apart this story, the scope is what stood out the most to me.

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