NFL Injury Analysis: Cook’s Timeline Unclear

NFL Injury Analysis: Cook’s Timeline Unclear

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

Dalvin Cook

Minnesota's Pro Bowl running back suffered a significant shoulder injury in the team's loss to San Francisco and could miss multiple games. Reports have suggested he will miss two games, but head coach Mike Zimmer refuted those reports and deemed his running back "day-to-day." Instead of speculating upon if he will play let's look at what he is dealing with. 

The primary joint of the shoulder is the glenohumeral (GH) ball. The GH joint is classified as a ball-and-socket joint with the head of the humerus acting as the ball and a groove on the shoulder blade serving as the socket. The GH joint is built for motion and can move in multiple planes to a high degree. However, the extra mobility comes at the cost of stability. Muscles, multiple ligaments and a cartilage rim known as the labrum provide some level of protection, but they all remain vulnerable to injury if enough force is applied.

An injury that results in joint displacement can either be classified as a subluxation or a dislocation. A subluxation is usually temporary and often referred to as a partial dislocation.  A true dislocation occurs when the displacement of the joint is complete and often requires assistance by a medical professional to return to its normal positioning. In both injuries, one of the primary concerns is the amount of damage accrued to the neighboring structures. Subluxations and dislocations are generally accompanied by some sort of soft tissue damage fortifying ligaments, muscle or cartilage.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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