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.”