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The 5 Worst Foot and Ankle Injuries of the 2015 NFL Preseason

While ACL injuries captured the most headlines during the NFL preseason, it’s important to remember that the area just south of the knee can be just as vulnerable. The feet and ankles were under heavy fire during the 2015 preseason as numerous players went down with Achilles tendon injuries and ankle fractures. In some cases, players got lucky and will have the opportunity to return at some point during the upcoming season. For a handful of others, however, the diagnosis was far more grim.

Here are the five worst foot and ankle injuries of the preseason:

WR Kevin White (Chicago Bears)

White underwent surgery on his left shin in August to repair a stress fracture after rest and therapy had failed to cure a nagging shin pain that initially surfaced during Chicago’s organized team activities in June.

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 draft, White, who is currently on the physically unable to perform list, will reportedly be sidelined for a minimum of six games and could end up missing the entire season. According to Bears general manager Ryan Pace, the 22-year-old receiver had a rod inserted into his tibia to stabilize the injury.

“You guys can look; there are a lot of NFL players with that,” Pace told ESPN. “We’ve got one guy on our team that has that right now [Marc Mariani]. So it just stabilizes it and it ensures that you’re good. You don’t have to worry about it again.”

DT Arthur Jones (Indianapolis Colts)

Jones underwent surgery on Friday to repair torn ligaments in his ankle that he sustained on Aug. 29 in a preseason game at St. Louis. The 29-year-old defensive end has been placed on the team’s injured reserve list and will miss the entire 2015 season. The injury comes as a considerable blow to the Colts, as a fully healthy Jones was expected to play a pivotal role in the team’s run defense.

“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, especially a guy that missed some time a year ago,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told the IndyStar. “It gets frustrating for players, for the coaches. You got one of your key cogs in your defense. You’ve got to have him out there. We’ll deal with it as it comes.”

The Colts signed Jones to a five-year, $33 million contract in 2014 in an attempt for him to be their run-stopper, but has played in only nine games with the franchise because of injuries.

OT Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders)

The Raiders received some unfortunate news on the eve of their 2015 campaign when it was announced that Watson would miss the entire upcoming season after rupturing his Achilles tendon during a 30-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

“He was having a great camp for us and really playing well,” Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio told the SFGate. “Good young man. He’ll bounce back, but big setback.”

A second-round pick (42nd overall) of the Raiders in the 2013 NFL Draft, Watson started nine games last year and was projected to the be Week 1 starter at right tackle in Oakland this year.

“I will be back stronger than ever that’s a promise. Main thing is supporting the team right now,” Watson wrote on Twitter. “To the Raider Nation I love you so much. There is NO I mean NO fanbase like ours. Thank you for all the support.”

While it’s more than likely that Watson will return to the field at some point next season, there’s no guarantee that he will be able to play at the same level he once did. Once an Achilles tendon ruptures, it is usually never back to 100 percent again. In a recent medical study, it was discovered that 36% of NFL or NBA players sustaining an Achilles tendon rupture never return to pro sports, and those who do usually take about a year before they are playing competitively. Additionally, players who do return typically have a decrease in their power of about 50% and only play for an average of 3-4 more seasons.

OT Phil Loadholt (Minnesota Vikings)

The Vikings will have to make due without their starting right tackle for the entire 2015 season after Loadholt suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the team’s preseason game against the Buccaneers on Aug. 15.

“We’ll be fine. Obviously, we’re going to miss Phil. He’s a great guy in the locker room. He’s good on the field,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told FOX Sports.

“But I feel good about the things that we’re doing with these guys right now and where they’re at. I’m very hopeful that they’ll continue to keep progressing. I think they’re starting to develop some chemistry and starting to develop some confidence.”

Loadholt, 29, has been the starter since he was drafted, playing in 89 of a possible 96 games over the first six years of his career. Five of those seven missed games came last season due to a torn pectoral muscle.

FB James Develin (New England Patriots)

The Patriots will be without their starting fullback for the entire 2015 season after Develin suffered a broken right tibia during a 17-16 win over Carolina on Aug. 28.

Develin, 27, played 19 percent of the offensive snaps last season, with his high total (30) coming against the Colts on Nov. 16 when the Patriots amassed 248 rushing yards while featuring Develin and the two-back set.

”He’s definitely going to be missed,” tight end Rob Gronkowski told the Associated Press. ”He was our thumper. He was the guy that set the tone on our offense and having big hits and creating the holes for the running back.

”He’s a great guy, hard worker, and I’m sure he’ll be back in no time because he loves the game. He always works hard. We’ve just got to come together as a team.”

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


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