The news on Pierre Garcon's troublesome foot could have been a lot worse. Then again, it could have been a lot better.
Garcon, met with Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte on Wednesday, and NFL sources told ESPN 980 that the official diagnosis is NOT a tendon injury as was reported by USA Today, nor has it ever been the same as turf toe. It is however a 'ruptured ligament in the bottom of the 2nd toe."
The official public disclosure does not mean that it is a new injury. As a matter of fact, one source insisted 'it still is the same injury, it (foot) hasn't progressed."
Another source said that the 'inflammation got worse,' after Garcon returned to the lineup on September 30th in Tampa, a game that he recovered a fumble for a touchdown, and played an integral role in. The same source labeled it as a 'fairly serious injury. I think it's been a torn ligament the whole time."
The Redskins did not force Garcon back into the lineup as many suggested or hinted, based on Mike Shanahan's comments and his frustration level with the initial length of recovery time. The decision was Garcon's, ESPN 980 was told.
The injury occurred on the 88-yard touchdown catch and run against New Orleans on September 9th, and then Garcon missed the St. Louis and Cincinnati games, before returning against Tampa and Atlanta. He tried to suit up against Minnesota, and even put on his uniform pants during pre-game warmups. He was shut down by the Redskins staff, and has not practiced or obviously played in the last two games.
While the injury is essentially the same, it is a more revealing public disclosure than a sore foot or just foot pain, as has been described in many circles, including by Mike Shanahan. In addition, contrary to what has been previously mentioned, 'it can be hurt more."
Also, per sources, Dr. Anderson informed Garcon definitively that he has two options. Season ending surgery or rest. Surgery would land Garcon on the injured-reserve list, and take 3-4 months to recover from. Garcon, ESPN 980 was told, chose rest over surgery for now (still a possibility down the road) because he wants to play.
For now, he'll essentially be on complete rest, keeping 'all weight off it, and immobilized." There is no official timetable - and as one source suggested it "is a mystery," despite seeing the worlds top specialist for foot and Achilles injury, Dr. Anderson, who also repaired Fred Davis ruptured Achilles today as well.
ESPN 980 reached out to Brad Cicala of Terra Firma Sports Management, who represents Garcon and is as close as anybody to the star wide receiver for comment. Cicala, commended the Redskins treatment of his client.
"The decision the Redskins made was the best decision in terms of Pierre. I commend the coaching staff and the training staff. Pierre's goal is to be here to help the Redskins. Our goal is to get back [on the field this year]."
It is important to note that Cicala did not criticize the Redskins treatment of his star client, as some agents and now former players have done (Malcolm Kelly, LaRon Landry, etc). Cicala said Garcon would be 'willing to answer questions' on Thursday here at Redskins Park.
For now, the plan besides more rest will be to keep Garcon's hand/eye coordination sharp and it is expected that he will catch balls after practice at some point, while sitting in a chair.
The hope for the Redskins has to be that Garcon will be able to return on November 18th after the bye against Philadelphia - which would essentially be a 5 week window of rest & rehab. Generally, the time period for such an injury is six weeks, being completely off the foot - so that target date might be unrealistic.
The Redskins visit Dallas just four days after that on Thanksgiving and then have a week and a half off between games, hosting the Giants on "Monday Night Football" on December 3rd.
Using a more conservative approach - it would stand to reason that if the foot responds to rest and treatment, Garcon's return could be on the national primetime stage.