Dr. M: Making sense of Manning's neck injury


Dr. M: Making sense of Manning's neck injury

By Dr. Neil Minkoff
Special to CSNNE.com

What's up with Peyton Manning? The reports out of Indy are pretty confusing.

It looks like he's had at least two neck surgeries in under two years. His latest rehab isn't going well. He has muscular issues from a crushed nerve and lingering back and neck pain. He may need another procedure.

Confused? Me, too and I'm a doctor.

So I called Dr. David Dibenedetto. Dr. Dibenedetto is the Medical Director of Boston PainCare, a leading clinic for patients with pain issues. He's a specialist in back pain and all-around smart guy. He spends every day evaluating and treating spine problems. So let's let him explain it to us.

"Manning has some spinal arthritis, almost certainly due to the violence of the game he plays. The trauma has led to bone spurs in his neck that push on his nerves where they emerge from his spine. This causes pain, numbess and weakness, mostly in the arms.

"We've gotten used to the idea that surgery can fix everything, when it can't. Seeing a player like Wes Welker return in months from what used to be a career-threatening injury and then perform at a high level reinforces this belief. Unfortunately, surgery to correct spinal disease is more risky. The prospect of a patient getting back to normal is uncertain."

Dr. Dibenedetto added, "Most patients who eventually have surgery to 'fix' their spine problems continue to have some symptoms. Some experience chronic pain, while others have numbness or weakness. In the average patient these symptoms are pretty minor, but for a professional athlete, minor things mean the difference between being able to perform and being side lined."

He also pointed out that there really isn't any good way to tell from the material that's been made public what the future holds for Manning. We'll just have to wait and see. Manning probably has to wait and see, too.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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