Q&A: Former NFL athletic trainer talks Joe Burrow's knee injury

Posted at 10:29 AM, Nov 24, 2020

CINCINNATI — After Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow took a season-ending hit Sunday against the Washington Football Team, WCPO anchor Julie O'Neill talked with Ken Rusche, a former NFL trainer and co-founder of Oxford Physical Therapy Centers, about the injury.

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Julie O'Neill: So we’re hearing from ESPN sources the ACL and the MCL. What’s the difference, and how significant is it that it’s both of those?

Ken Rusche: The ACL is a ligament in the middle of your knee and basically that keeps your shin bone from sliding forward, and that’s kind of your turning, jumping, twisting ligament.

The MCL is a ligament. It’s a big, broad, long ligament on the inside or the inner part of the knee, and that basically keeps the knee from doing this, from opening up. So the ACL keeps it from sliding, and the MCL keeps it from opening up.

So, actually, when he was hit, he was kind of levered. One hit him high and then one hit him low; so that’s enough to do boom and boom.

O'Neill: From what I have read, nine-12 months of recovery for this?

Rusche: You know, nine-12 months is very conservative. That’s maybe along the line of you and I.

With him and his rehab program being pretty much every day, five, six, seven, where he’ll be working a couple hours a day or whatever, could be a little bit better.

So it could be more in that six-to-nine-month range, but probably that eight-to-10-month range is probably a good indicator of when he will be able to come back.