The Houston Texans versatile running back , wide receiver, and kick returner Tyler Ervin tore his patellar tendon in their week 4 blowout victory against the Tennessee Titans. This will put an end to a promising season for Ervin as he will be out the remainder of the 2017 season.
The patella (or knee cap) has a tendon above it (superior) which attaches to the quadriceps muscle, and a lower (or inferior) tendon which attaches to the tibial tubercle (lower leg bone). There are three possibilities when a patellar tendon ruptures: A complete tear where the tendon separates from the top of the tibia or lower leg bone. A Partial tear is where some of the fibers tear but some are still intact. The third possibility happens due to arthritis over a longer period of time due to overuse.
Regardless of how and where the tear occurred, Ervin will need surgery to repair the patellar tendon and has a long road of post operative rehabilitation and physical therapy ahead of him. He will have to start with gentle range of motion and joint mobilization to the patella once it is repaired. He will then transition into isometric strengthening, then progressive resistive exercises, and eventually, running, jumping, landing, and cutting activities. The general time frame for return to play is nine to twelve months. This time table would put Ervin in jeopardy for return in time for the pre-season next year.
There is also no guarantee Ervin will be able to perform at the full functional levels he was currently performing at this season. If you recall about three years ago, Victor Cruz from the New York Giants had the same injury and he was never able to fully recover and be as productive on the field as he was before the injury. Luckily the Texans will be getting Alfred Blue back this week to help fill some of the void left by losing Ervin.