Jimmy Garoppolo Out with Shoulder Injury in New England Patriots Game with Miami Dolphins

Former Rolling Meadows High School quarterback turned New England Patriots Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was tackled and injured during New England’s game against Miami on Sunday. He landed hard on his right throwing shoulder during a hit. After a successful first quarter and partial second quarter, Garoppolo’s shoulder took a big hit on the ground during a tackle by Miami’s Kiko Alonso. Garoppolo left the game in second quarter for medical assessment and treatment.

Sources say Garoppolo suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. The AC joint is the acromioclavicular joint, and makes up the joint of the clavicle or collarbone and the scapula or shoulder blade. The other end of the clavicle is anchored on the sternum or breastbone. The AC joint allows the scapula to pivot on the joint, which gives lift to the glenohumeral joint — another joint of the shoulder where the upper arm joins the shoulder blade. The AC joint is basically involved in helping give the arm lift a greater range motion.

Garoppolo was reported to be in a lot of pain, which was apparent on live television. Initially, he is not expected to play against the Texans on Thursday Night Football.

In a data collection study in 2013 of NFL football players (2000-2011) by T. Sean Lynch, MD, the incidence of AC joint injuries was greatest in quarterbacks (20.9 injuries per 100 players), followed by special teams players (20.7 per 100 players) and wide receivers (16.5 per 100 player). Considering all positions, the football players lost a mean of 9.8 days per injury, but quarterbacks lost a mean of 17.3 days per injury. The majority of acromioclavicular joint injuries were low-grade AC joint sprains that were treated with nonoperative measures. Only 13 (1.7%) required surgical management. However, players who underwent surgical management lost a mean of 56.2 days.

A review study by Bryan T. Kelly, MD reported in 2004, found that passing plays were responsible for 77.4% of all quarterback-related injuries. Shoulder injuries were the second most common injury. Kelly’s study reported a mean of 18.8 days of playing time lost for all types of quarterback injuries.

In today’s game, Garoppolo was 18 of 27 passing for 234 yards and three touchdowns in the time he played in the first half, with New England leading 24-3. He was replaced by rookie Jacoby Brissett, a South Florida native.

References …

Kelly BT, Barnes RP, Powell JW, Warren RF. Shoulder injuries to quarterbacks in the National Football League. Am J Sports Med. 2004;32(2):328-331.

Lynch TS1, Saltzman MD, Ghodasra JH, Bilimoria KY, Bowen MK, Nuber GW. Acromioclavicular joint injuries in the National Football League: epidemiology and management. Am J Sports Med. 2013 Dec;41(12):2904-8.

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