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Desmond Bishop's Successful Return Far from a Medical Certainty

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Desmond Bishop's Successful Return Far from a Medical Certainty

A recent study from the American Journal of Orthopedics paints an uncertain picture for the return of Desmond Bishop from a ruptured hamstring tendon suffered last August.

Bishop, 28, was released by the Green Bay Packers Monday in a move cited for both medical reasons and numbers at the position. The former starting inside linebacker had been unable to participate in any of the Packers offseason workouts, including OTAs and mandatory minicamps, and the Packers also re-signed Brad Jones to a three-year, $11.75 million deal in March.

However, the recent history of ruptured hamstrings (where the tendon is torn off the pelvic bone and must be surgically reattached) in the NFL offers no clear answer on what kind of player Bishop will be now or long-term.

The June 2013 study from the American Journal of Orthopedics looked at 10 confirmed cases of ruptured hamstrings in the NFL from 1990 to 2008.

While nine of the 10 players in the study returned to play the next season, only five of the 10 played more than one game following the injury.

In addition, two of the 10 players returned and had major injuries occur to the same leg. One suffered a torn Achilles tendon and another re-ruptured the same hamstring (the player was a linebacker). On this note, it is worth noting that Bishop has already been dealing with a strain in the same hamstring he injured in August.

In its conclusion, the study found hamstring ruptures to be more rare and severe than typical hamstring injuries, such as a strain of the muscle fibers. It also concluded that the low long-term success percentage was indicative of the injury being a "marker for elite-level physical deterioration."

This information may make it more clear for why the Packers were so willing to release a former starter in June, and why the team jumped on giving Jones starter's money during free agency.

Keep in mind, the Packers would be on the hook for all $3.464 million of Bishop's 2012 base salary if he would have re-injured the hamstring. Instead of risking that financial commitment, the Packers decided to start life with Jones and A.J. Hawk in the middle of their 3-4 defense now instead of later.

Uncertainty is high regarding Bishop's return from a very severe hamstring injury. The Packers obviously didn't feel it necessary to roll the dice and risk a re-injury.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Derek in CO's picture

Hate to say it, but I think the Packers made the right call here. They looked at medical knowledge and are playing the odds. Even if Bishop plays 5 more years, the odds of being the same player are very slim. Cost savings are a bitch sometimes. Maybe we can get Nick Barnett for under $2 million

trvs's picture

After reading that of the 10 players in the study, only 5 played ONE MORE game, this is all starting to make more sense.

I have no doubt Bishop is the type of player to defy these odds, but for the Packers this day was inevitable. The fact that he "tweaked" something from running to soon probably didn't help his chances.

Next man up!

Lars's picture

Still, 50% is better odds than what Hawk gives the Packers. We know he can't play.

Thomas Hobbes's picture

lol and I thought I was the only one to comb over medical journals for Packers articles. Very interesting data nevertheless, it also probably explains why the Packers wouldn't even let Bishop practice.

Stroh's picture

Thanks for the article, basically confirming what I've been saying for the past week. A ruptured hamstring is usually a career ending injury. Too bad for Bishop, but the Packers made the difficult decision to move on w/o Bishop. Its unlikely he'll be a quality LB again and the likelihood is he won't be the same and even if he plays again, there's a distinct possibility of reinjury.

djbonney138's picture

Good call, Stroh.

packsmack25's picture

Good call dude. You are spot on I think.

Nononsense's picture

Too right sir, too right.

dawg's picture


dawg's picture

Zach, good info.
I'd be surprised if anyone signs Dez.
Damn, I was a big fan, he had inside attitude, which this team lacked last yr.

jeremy's picture

I just wish more Packers fans would wait for more info before going ballistic. Sounds as if the Packers gave Bishop the time they paid him for (In 2012 salary) to show he was recovered/recovering before they became convinced having him on the team was just to much risk. It's a pretty obvious business decision. Nobody likes it, but it's the way that NFL works.

Now they have ~3.2 mil free to resign Burnett with.

dawg's picture

Going ballistic? WTF are you talking about?

Lars's picture

Right. There isn't a single criticism of the move to cut Bishop loose in this article. Let's hope Manning is the real deal so he can replace Hawk next year, saving another $3 million in cap space $$$.

Evan's picture

Criticism =/= going ballistic.

redlights's picture

Last week there was significant angst displayed here about TT being stupid, etc. Many also pointed out TT's knowledge level of Dez's injury and total body of success.

I think we all wish Dez the best; it sucks when a player gets dealt a bad hand, but the reality is that sooner or later, we all get a hand to throw in. Life goes on. Hopefully for Bishop, he gets more chances and even succeeds; but also ready his post-NFL plans.

GbrdTbrd's picture

Excellent article; I've been waiting to see EXACTLY the nature of the injury. If the tendon completely tore off the bone, it's going to be extremely difficult to come back to NFL-quality from that. A mid-hamstring tear is a different story (pretty sure that's what Clay M has been dealing with). I was astounded why they let him go but it's much clearer now. Good work Zach!!

BradHTX's picture

Zach, do we know for sure that it is the pelvic bone that Bishop's hamstring detached from? There is also an attachment site on the lower half of the femur. I searched for that information online for a comment I made a few days ago, and was unable to find it. Just curious.

Stroh's picture

I read that it was the pelvis it detached from. There are also attachments on femur and on tibia and fibula.

Stroh's picture

Ooops. Just on the tibia, not on fibula. Both the tendons that cross the knee, attach at the tibial tuberocity.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

With all the reports about him visiting suitors, I'm amazed the term "pending a physical" hasn't been thrown out there, at least I haven't seen it. It sounds like a mere formality that he will be signed and automatically resume his career.

TXBadger's picture

Great article Zach! I've been hearing comments about Bishop's hamstring being a particular severe injury, but I didn't have any real knowledge about it until now.

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