Report: Mankins played all 2011 season with torn ACL

621444.jpg

Report: Mankins played all 2011 season with torn ACL

We knew Logan Mankins was tough, but a new report about the Patriots guard takes the word "tough" to a new level.

According to the report by ESPN, Mankins tore his ACL in Week 1 against the Dolphins and played all of last season with the injury.

Mankins has acknowledged that he had ACL surgery after Super Bowl XLVI, but it had never been reported just how long Mankins was running around on his torn-up knee.

Reports around the time of Mankins' surgery said he knew he had a partially torn ligament, but he didn't know just how bad it was. He's said he didn't even have an MRI until after the season. As far as he was concerned, he could play, so what did it matter how badly he was hurt?

"I could still run so there was no reason to sit out," Mankins said during training camp. "There was no MRIs or anything so we never knew what exactly was hurt. If you could still run and play, there's no reason to go see a doctor, right?"

How rare is it to play that long with an injury that severe?

From PFT:
We cant think of any player who played an entire season with a torn ACL, which makes Mankins presence on the field in those games fairly remarkable given how long players are usually sidelined by injuries of that type.

A healthy Mankins should bring plenty of experience and, of course, toughness to an offensive line that looked like it could use both during the preseason.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Sixers

WATCH: Celtics vs. Sixers

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the 76ers in Philadelphia. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App.  Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: Road has been kind to Celtics lately 

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

- Live Extra FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Celtics: All of the most recent news and notes

- Talk about the game via social media on CSN's Pulse, presented by Ford

Patriots DT Branch wins appeal of four-game suspension

Patriots DT Branch wins appeal of four-game suspension

FOXBORO -- Alan Branch knew he had a good case, otherwise he wouldn't have appealed. It was just a question of when that appeal might be heard. 

As of Wednesday, the Patriots defensive tackle hadnt heard anything as it related to the appeal of his four-game suspension. But by Saturday morning, according to Field Yates of ESPN, Branch had won the appeal and been cleared of the league's ban. 

Branch's agent later confirmed the news on Twitter.

Word of Branch's punishment, which stemmed from what was reported as a positive marijuana test, became public when reported by ESPN on Nov. 21. Per the league's substance abuse policy, appeal hearings are typically scheduled for the fourth Tuesday after a player has been informed of his penalty. The policy notes that it is possible for appeals to be heard on another date should the two sides be able to work out different schedule, but Branch was not optimistic that would be the case earlier this week. 

Good news came quickly, though. 

Had Branch been forced to miss any time, it would have docked the Patriots arguably their top interior defensive lineman. Branch has started every game, and he leads all Patriots defensive tackles with 457 snaps played. 

The Patriots recently waived running back DJ Foster and signed defensive tackle Darius Kilgo, seemingly as a way to build some depth on the roster if Branch had been suspended. 

By having his four-game suspension wiped away not only are the Patriots saved from having to deal without one of their top players in the trenches, but Branch saved himself a relatively hefty financial penalty.

A four-game ban would have cost him nearly $300,000 in base salary as well as four game-day bonuses adding to $100,000. He also stood to lose as much as $750,000 in season-long playing-time incentives. In all, had the suspension stood, it could have cost him about $1.1 million. Patriots salary-cap expert Miguel Benzan goes into more detail about the potential financial impact of Branch's suspension here

Thankfully for Branch, he doesn't have to worry about that any longer. With this situation in the rear view, he can now focus on helping the Patriots win games during the stretch run of the regular season and into the playoffs.