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Fantasy Football: Can Marcus Lattimore Contribute This Year?

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If you saw Marcus Lattimore’s knee injury this past season, you probably had the same thought everyone else did: He’s going to be out for a looooong while. He tore three of the four ligaments in his right knee while also dislocating his patella (knee cap), leading to major reconstructive surgery this offseason, performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Lattimore, as has been reported by USA Today, is said to be about 3 months ahead of schedule, with this typically being a 10 month to year long rehab process since so many different structures are involved (ACL, PCL, and LCL). Further complicating things, it does take a bit of time to stabilize the patella after a dislocation, especially considering the amount of trauma that his right knee and surrounding soft tissue suffered.

So we ask: Can Lattimore contribute this year, coming off such a gruesome injury? I think there’s a distinct possibility that he can take the field this year and be a positive contributor, especially if he’s drafted by a team that will not rely on him to be an everydown type of back, easing him into a backfield rotation of sorts. Keep in the back of your mind how significant this injury is though. When a player tears an ACL only, he’s out a minimum of 6-8 months and really isn’t the same person for 1-2 years post injury. Lattimore tore his ACL in addition to his PCL and LCL, which means he lost 75% of the passive stability around his knee joint, a huge detriment to a guy who’s job is to make people miss. In addition to that, his knee cap has also lost it’s ability to remain in a stable position during knee motions, leading to the possibility of developing overuse injuries like Patellar Tendinitis and Iliotibial Band (ITB) syndrome. So needless to say, this rehab process will not be a walk in the park.

What does that mean to fantasy owners?I don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a flier on him with a last or second-to-last round selection if he lands on a running back needy team that doesn’t have an established star, such as the St. Louis Rams (assuming Steven Jackson won’t be coming back), Pittsburgh Steelers (Rashard Mendenhall is rumored to be out the door), or Indianapolis Colts. I can envision him hitting his stride sometime around Week 9-10 with the possibility of auditioning his services to the team that drafts him as the season winds down. Is he going to be Adrian Peterson? Highly, highly doubtful. But, especially in keeper leagues, he could pay some dividends at the end of this year and beyond.

The post Fantasy Football: Can Marcus Lattimore Contribute This Year? appeared first on FFLockerRoom.


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