Two nights ago, SB Nation had their NY party to meet and greet readers while, at the same time, show off their new SB Nation: NY regional site. While I was getting ready to head out to this little shin-dig, one of our regular readers, AceOfSpades, tipped me off to a local Indianapolis TV station (WISH TV) broadcasting an interview with Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez. The WISH TV folks caught up with Gonzo at a charity golf event called "First Tee." First Tee describes itself on their website as "A youth development program dedicated to providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education." As we all know, Gonzo is a great guy, and it is no surprise that he is involved with a great group like first Tee.
In this interview, when Gonzo was asked about his health, he said he had suffered an "injury setback" on Tuesday of last week. We went on to say he was a little upset about the injury, but he hoped to be ready by August.
I followed up on AceOfSpades' tip (thanks again, buddy), but was unable to find the video on WISH TV's site or anywhere else. After contacting WISH TV, they confirmed the Gonzo interview and the substance of that interview: He did say he was hurt, that he was rehabbing the injury, and that he hoped to be ready by August.
Roughly two hours after we got the "Gonzo is hurt again" story noticed, Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reported that Gonzalez had suffered a hamstring injury. La Canfora's source for this tip was unnamed, but the source made it clear that the injury was not related to the knee injury he has been rehabbing from since last September.
Now, the odds of La Canfora posting a random update to Gonzo's injury are unlikely. It's my feeling the his unnamed source in this update was the Colts themselves, or possibly Anthony Gonzalez, and that it was done in response to our post. Since the Colts' official policy is to not talk about injuries, it makes sense for them to pass updated injury information along to reporters they trust, but doing so unnamed. Of course, I have no proof that it was the team that tipped La Confora, but it certainly makes sense that someone close to the team gave La Canfora an update to a story we pushed nationally after WISH TV first reported it.
I'm a tad annoyed La Canfora did not cite us or WISH TV for breaking the news that Gonzo was hurt again, but whatever. I'm used to national media-types snubbing me and local news sources all the time.
So, what does it all mean?
Well, for starters, I personally don't trust La Canfora's source. His updated information is just too convenient. Also, I don't mean this to take a shot at La Confora, but his reporting of late has been very spotty. This is the same guy who all but guaranteed that Albert Haynesworth would be traded during the 2010 NFL Draft, based on the info his sources were giving him. Meanwhile, ESPN's Adam Shefter stated pretty emphatically Haynesworth would not be traded.
Haynesworth wasn't traded, and La Canfora came out of the draft with egg on his face.
As a fan, I very much hope the supposedly new Gonzo injury is only a hamstring pull. However, as someone who has seen first hand how all this silly injury information gets leaked all over the place, I do not believe La Confora's source. It's not like La Confora information sources have been rock solid in the past.What we know is that Gonzalez is hurt again, and it is enough to have him miss a significant chunk of OTAs, all of mini-camp, and very possibly a portion of training camp. I'll re-state that in the WISH TV interview, he said he hoped to be ready by August, and he called his injury situation a "setback." According to La Confora, Gonzo has no timetable to return.
Since it wasn't Gonzo's hamstring that was injured back in September, the only "setback" I can think of is that he hurt his knee again, and rather than have to deal with all the attention that his knee is re-injured, we get La Confora telling us it's a hammy unrelated to the knee. Again, too convenient and too detailed not to be someone associated with the Colts.
As always, I'll continue to do more digging to determine whether or not La Confora's source was correct. Right now, I personally have no confidence that Gonzalez will be ready by training camp. If this is a "setback" to his knee injury, that is very serious and it does indeed threaten his status to make the final roster in 2010. If it's a hamstring, it is yet another example of Gonzo being injury prone, constantly having to deal more with rehabbing than with getting better as a football player.
I don't like to be doom and gloom, but I'm not here to be a cheerleader. I'm here to give you the best information (and opinions based off that information) that I can. What I can tell you is that Gonzo is most certainly not "fine," and that the perhaps some in the media maybe were not the "retards" others said they were simply because they were skeptical of Gonzalez's real health heading into OTAs and mini-camp.
As a fan, I really hope Gonzalez is OK. However, my fandom must give way to logic and reality. He isn't OK. Gonzo has not played a full and complete football game since the playoff game against the Chargers in January 2009. Since then, he's dealt with multiple injury "setbacks." Now, he's hurt again, and we still haven't seen him in pads, let alone contact drills or live games where men much bigger can hit him. Until I see that, I don't have much faith in Gonzo contributing to the Colts in 2010.
Too many injuries. Too many setbacks.
Special thanks to WISH TV's sports desk for being so accommodating and helpful in conforming the Gonzo injury update.