A.J. Brown has now been ruled out for two straight games after missing a full week of practice due to a bone bruise injury on his knee. It’s unclear exactly when the injury occurred, but Brown did miss a couple days of training camp and was spotted with a band around his knee upon returning. Adam Schefter first reported the injury during the week leading up to the Jaguars game, calling Brown “week to week.”
It is likely that Brown suffered this injury during training camp and reaggravated it during the season opener against the Broncos.
Let’s take a look at what we know about this injury and see if we can determine a realistic timetable for Brown’s return.
What is a bone bruise?
First, we need to understand the injury and its range of severity. A bone bruise, also known as a bone contusion, is a microscopic compression injury to the surface of a bone.
This injury is considered to be less severe than a bone fracture. Bone bruises can lead to a build up of fluid in the knee, causing pain and tenderness in the area.
Outlook for A.J. Brown
The prognosis for Brown will depend on severity and location of the bone bruise.
If the injury was sustained during direct contact, such as a helmet to the knee, it would be considered a day-to-day prognosis. This would be more of an issue of pain tolerance than any risk of further structural damage, and Brown could play through this type of injury without any long term consequences.
However, if the the injury was sustained in any non-contact way, it would be considered week-to-week with a max timeline up to a couple of months. Non-contact bone bruises in the knee are caused by the femur (upper leg bone) smashing into the tibia (lower leg bone), resulting in damage to the articular cartilage and subcondral bone (bone right below the cartilage in the joint). Long term, this could lead to knee osteoarthritis, if not healed properly.
I suspect Brown’s return to the practice field will signal his return to play, in contrast to how players like Derick Roberson and Vic Beasley progressed, with each practicing fully in the days leading up to a game, only to be inactive on Sunday.
Obviously, I have not directly examined Brown’s knee or seen his MRI results, so it’s impossible for me to give a clear prognosis. But given Schefter’s report of “week to week” and considering Brown has already missed a couple of games, I would speculate that he sustained a non-contact bone bruise injury.
As a result, we may have to wait a little bit longer before we see Brown return to action, possibly another two to four weeks. Keep an eye on the injury report for a hint of when Brown might be back in action.
Update, not even forty minutes after this article was posted, Schefter had the following report: