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November 08, 2023

A doctor's take on Dallas Goedert's forearm injury

Dallas Goedert suffered a forearm fracture in the Eagles' home win over the Cowboys. PhillyVoice spoke with an orthopedic surgeon about what that injury entails and the possible recovery time.

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The Eagles' home win over the Cowboys was monumental for the pursuit of back-to-back NFC East titles, but did not come without its downsides. Star tight end Dallas Goedert, finally finding himself in a rhythm after a slow start to 2023, was injured during the game. 

As Goedert caught a pass and ran down the sideline, Cowboys safety Markquese Bell had a questionable tackle on the tight end, as Goedert's arm was twisted as he was brought to the ground:

Goedert's suffered a forearm fracture in the process, left the field and did not return to the game.

The early prognosis is that Goedert could miss just four weeks, which seems like a relative positive given how gruesome that slow-motion replay looks. The Eagles' upcoming bye week is coming at a great time for a potential recovery. Goedert could be put on short-term IR, necessitating him to miss the Eagles' next four games (not just the next four weeks). If the Eagles think that four-week rather than four-game window is more realistic, they could keep him on the active roster as they try their best to manage without him against Kansas City, Buffalo and San Francisco. 

So, what should Eagles fans expect?

PhillyVoice spoke with Dr. Dinesh Dhanaraj, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at St. Mary's Orthopaedics, about Goedert's forearm fracture.

"They actually heal faster than you can imagine," Dr. Dhanaraj said regarding fractures in comparison to ligamentous injuries like sprains or ACL. "You usually put a plate and screws through them. We call it 'heal with steel.' It's usually around six weeks. You could, hypothetically, put some sort of protective device and get him moving and protect him at four weeks."

Goedert's career has been a mix of great on-field success whenever he's suited up and time spent sidelined. He missed five games due to injury in 2022, one in 2021 and four in 2020. Goedert's as efficient as a pass-catcher as there is in the NFL, but the physical style of play that makes him so good with his run-after-the-catch ability can take a toll. 

"There's obviously an increased risk of injury the faster you go back because that biologic's six weeks, but they have those modalities that can speed things up at times, especially at the professional level," Dr. Dhanaraj continued. "Protecting it, he could go back and block and catch and be effective hypothetically around that four-week mark."

In Goedert's absence, the Eagles will rely on Jack Stoll, a block-first TE and Grant Calcaterra, who's had collegiate success as a receiver, but has his own history of injury woes. Albert Okwuegbunam was acquired in late August, too. Perhaps the big-bodied Julio Jones finds himself on the field more in a tight end-esque role, like a former star pitcher transitioning to a bullpen arm. 

The No. 1 seed in the NFC is in sight for the Eagles and they will need Goedert to get there upon his return, but as long as he's back for the postseason, the Birds should continue to be in a position to return to the Super Bowl. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and guest authors and do not reflect any official policy or position of any NFL team or a team's athletic physicians.

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