Last week, the Colts revealed that safety Clayton Geathers underwent surgery this offseason on his neck. Though we knew about the injury, that was the first we had heard of the surgery.
Today, following the Colts’ second OTA practice, head coach Chuck Pagano met with the media and gave an update on the Geathers situation: it was a bulging disc that required surgery, and there’s no timetable for his return.
“Obviously we broke some news regarding Clayton Geathers,” Pagano said today. “I think everybody understands what happened - well I can explain what happened with Clayton. Tennessee game last year he goes down last play of the game, he makes a fourth down stop to win the game for us and ends up with a concussion. He developed some further symptoms going through the concussion protocol, ends up on IR, those symptoms led to a lot of visits with a bunch of different doctors trying to figure out what was going on, and obviously the end result was they end up doing some surgery. He had a bulging disc. Surgery’s always the last option, and so there’s a big window between the time that they finally diagnosed that and the surgery. And again that was the last option, and they give those things time to shrink and reduce and sometimes they’ll shrink down and reduce by themselves, and so we wanted to give it as much time as we could. Obviously that didn’t happen, so he’s rehabbing. He’s right where he’s supposed to be. Like Andrew [Luck] and some of these other guys, there’s no timeline. I can’t telly you when Clayton’s going to be available for us, but he’s doing everything as far as the rehab and the meetings, just not practicing right now. So when the docs say he’s 100% and he’s ready to roll, then we’ll put him back out there.”
The hit against DeMarco Murray last year against the Titans was a huge play for the Colts that essentially sealed the victory, but it came with a cost, as that was the play that injured Geathers and sent him to IR. He confirmed today that at the time of the injury he did not think it was a neck issue but just a concussion, though it was later revealed that he also had a neck injury. That led to him having surgery in March.
What was quite clear today from both Chuck Pagano and Clayton Geathers is that there is still a lot of uncertainty about the injury and when the safety will be back. For example, Geathers was asked if he’ll be back for week one and said that, “when I’m ready, I’m ready... when the doctors say I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Pagano was also asked whether he thinks Geathers will be back in time for week one, and he said, “Again, we’re hopeful, but there’s no timeline on it.”
So we do now know more specifics about the situation. We learned today that it was a bulging disc that was discovered later after he suffered the concussion, and we learned that the surgery happened in March after they gave it time to heal on its own. But we still don’t know when he’ll be back, and it seems like the Colts are shying away from giving timelines for injury recoveries this year. With Geathers there might indeed be some uncertainty, but we don’t have anything concrete about when he’ll be back. But he’s been around the team this offseason, he just can’t be working out on the field.
He’s an important player to the Colts’ defense, so the hope is absolutely that he’ll be back in time for week one.