JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sunday marked a heartbreaking season opener for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles who will be out at least two months, according to the team.
Foles had just lobbed a 35-yard touchdown pass when he was slammed into the ground by a Kansas City Chiefs' defensive lineman, damaging his left collarbone. Foles underwent surgery Monday.
The damage was done to his non-throwing arm, which was the same collarbone injured back in 2014 while Foles was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. That injury was not as severe and did not require surgery; however, he was still out several weeks to recover.
Kristen Wetzstean was watching from the stands at TIAA Bank Field when Foles went down. She said there was a surprise in the crowd when the quarterback left with the injury – one she’s familiar with.
“I did that about 18 years ago,” Wetzstean said, referring to her collarbone. “So I know how it feels.”
Dr. Kevin Murphy from Southeast Orthopedic Specialists in Jacksonville has performed more than 100 collarbone surgeries. He explained what surgeons see when performing the 30-45-minute operation.
“Typically, you’ll fix it with a plate where the plate is placed on top of the clavicle and multiple screws are put in place,” Murphy said.
He explained the misconception is that a plate on the bone makes it stronger. Turns out, it does not. There is also the danger of re-injury if Foles were to come back too soon.
With Foles out eight weeks, that would make any potential for a comeback after the Jaguars' visit London in November.
“Eight weeks really healed, three months no worry of reinjury, so if you send him back at six weeks and a 300-pound guy hits him and compresses that then he could reinjure,” Murphy said.
In Jacksonville Beach, there's a fresh arrival of Foles jerseys at Sports Mania. Matt Smith said it is unfortunate timing for his business, but the concern now is getting the Jaguars $88-million man healthy and back in the game.
“There’s a chance we end up in the playoffs and Nick is healthy again we’ll be ready for that when the time comes,” Smith said.