The man with the broken ‘hand’, Dawson Knox, underwent surgery on 10/19. The injury occurred during the Titans MNF game, in which he stayed in the game for four additional plays. On the fourth play, he flipped a two point conversion and a bird! So what happened? What’s the injury and when should we expect him back?
At first glance, it appears the injury occurred when Knox falls onto an outstretched hand, commonly referred to as a FOOSH. Ordinarily, this causes a fracture in the wrist, specifically to the Scaphoid bone. Even though the reports were for ‘hand’, this looked like a textbook scaphoid injury. Usually the player will feel as if they simply had a bad sprain of the wrist, and then X-ray imaging tells otherwise.
There is an issue with Scaphoid fractures though. They usually carry a four to six week recovery. Also, it is technically the wrist. Since reports were ‘hand’, he wasn’t placed on the IR and rumors were circulating it was a three-week injury. This needed a closer look.
As the play progresses, Knox continues to slide. What happens at the end, Knox closes his fist and crashes his hand into Titans LB Rashaan Evans. He literally provided a sliding punch to the tip of Evans’ cleat. This mechanism is comparable to when your friend breaks their hand when they punch a wall. The injury should be assumed as a metacarpal fracture.
Return to Play
Based on current knowledge, Dawson Knox could return in one to three weeks (1). However, based on the reports surfacing that it is about a three-week injury and that there was possibly a second fracture in the hand, I would assume he takes a full three weeks to recover. Since the surgery was on 10/19, three weeks would be the Tuesday after the Jaguars game. Factor in the competition and Josh Allen’s arm, I think we see Knox return to action for Buffalo’s AFC East showdown in New Jersey.
Etier BE, Scillia AJ, Tessier DD, Aune KT, Emblom BA, DugasJR, Cain EL. Return to play following metacarpal fractures in football players. Hand (N Y). 2015 Dec;10(4):762-6. doi: 10.1007/s11552-015-9769-4. Epub 2015 May 21. PMID: 26568737; PMCID: PMC4641073.