By Tom Keppeler, Shoulder1 Staff
If you had asked anyone but Rich Gannon whether he would make an appearance in this year’s Pro Bowl, they would have said, “No way.” Not to be outdone, however, Gannon will start as the AFC’s quarterback on Sunday, despite a separated shoulder.
Gannon was steamrolled during the AFC championship game on January 14, in which Gannon’s Oakland Raiders squared off against the world-champion Baltimore Ravens. Tony Siragusa, the controversially tough 340-pound lineman, brought Gannon down, separating his shoulder upon impact. Gannon left the game after the injury, and despite a brief return later in the game, proved ineffective against the Ravens’ defense. Siragusa was later fined $10,000 for the late hit.
“He’d play hurt, that’s the kind of guy he is,” Raiders guard Steve Wisniewski, who will play alongside Gannon in the Pro Bowl, told the Associated Press. An MRI last week on Gannon’s shoulder confirmed the separation and suggested—but did not demand—that the quarterback should sit out of this week’s game. However, Gannon decided to make his Pro Bowl debut despite the injury.
Gannon’s injury is known as a separation, in which the roof of the shoulder blade, known as the acromion, pulls away from the collarbone, or clavicle. A separation can occur in one of three degrees, or grades, of severity. Gannon’s was rumored to be one of the more severe.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.