Apr 26, 2013; Kansas City , MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs first round draft pick offensive tackle Eric Fisher speaks to the media during a press conference at the Kansas City Chiefs Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Fisher Suffers Minor Thumb Injury (UPDATE)


UPDATE #1

Looks like Fisher shouldn’t miss much time.

 

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Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star is reporting Eric Fisher, Kansas City’s first round draft pick and the NFL’s first overall draft pick, has, what Andy Reid is calling, a minor thumb injury.

Fisher doesn’t know when he suffered the injury, but noticed the pain after his shift in Friday night’s 17-13 loss was finished. As Reid says, the injury is minor, but Covitz notes that the amount of attention spent on the thumb by the Chiefs training staff seemed more than usual for a sore thumb.

It looked a bit ominous when Chiefs rookie offensive tackle Eric Fisher, escorted by club medical personnel, headed for the locker room Friday night during the first half’s 2-minute warning.

But Fisher spent quite a bit of time in the trainer’s room with ice on the thumb after the 17-13 loss to the Saints.

“I just banged up my thumb a little bit,” Fisher said. “My hands have been banged up all camp. We’ll find out more … but I’m feeling all right.”

As of now, Fisher’s status is unknown, but he is not expected to be out very long if at all.

Should Fisher be out for an extended period of time, second year tackle Donald Stephenson would be next in line to take his spot. However, Stephenson is coming off of minor surgery to fix a broken pinky finger in his left hand, so his effectiveness may be limited. Other options include Geoff Schwartz and Jeff Allen.

Fisher’s quotes in the story do not sound like a guy who is concerned about missing much time, and he played through the injury in the limited action he saw. Fisher looked okay in his first action with the Chiefs but not great. That may be in part due to the injury he suffered.

Good news is Fisher appears to not have a serious injury, but it will be concerning if he misses any practice time given the limited amount of reps he has at the right tackle position. Fisher has publicly said the adjustment has been harder than he expected, and reports from training camp say he has struggled at times during drills. If he were to miss practice time, it would mean a delay in his growth and development, which at this point could mean the difference in whether his is effective or not in the season opener against Jacksonville.

This isn’t to say Fisher will be terrible once opening weekend rolls around, but the loss of reps is more harmful than helpful. For example, if the injury happened to Branden Albert, this would have been mostly a non-issue because he doesn’t need the reps as badly as Fisher does. So Fisher’s long-term physical health should be fine, but he may not be as polished heading into week one as Reid and Doug Peterson may have liked him to be heading into the season.

The injury to Fisher does point out a few things about the state of the Chiefs offensive line. One being that in a matter of a couple of weeks, both of their right tackles have had injuries, and two, the Chiefs have plenty of right tackle options. Should this have been a regular season game and Fisher were to miss next week, Kansas City would be replacing Fisher with one of Schwartz, Allen, or Stephenson – most likely Stephenson. The odd thing is Stephenson may be the worst of those three options and Stephenson is a very solid football player.

It is amazing how one offseason can change the depth of a team, and John Dorsey deserves a lot of credit for that.

 

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