Running back Mike Bell, after running for 86 yards and a touchdown, went down early in the fourth quarter of the Saints 48-22 rout of the Philadelphia Eagles with an apparent knee injury.
After the game it was reported Bell suffered a sprained MCL, the severity of which could not be known until an MRI could be performed.
The MRI was taken early Monday on Bell’s knee and revealed no “structural” damage but did confirm the sprain of his MCL, a injury that does not require surgery.
The MCL ligament is the inner ligament that connects the thigh bone to the shin bone and a sprain as they call it really means the ligament has been ripped to some degree, a common injury in football caused when excessive force is placed on the knee in the area of the MCL.
MCL sprains are typically rated on an increasing number of degrees from one to three (first degree sprain, second degree sprain, etc) with a third degree being the absolute worse.
Bell’s injury, although the degree of the sprain has not been fully disclosed, appears to be no more than a slight first degree sprain which should not keep him benched for very long.
Most likely he will not be able to play in this Sunday’s game against the Bills and it remains uncertain if he will even return to the field by the week four’s game against the Jets.
It’s a pretty safe bet Bell will sit out through the bye week and return week six when then Saints host the Giants in a key NFC showdown.
In two games this season Bell has rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries, a 5.1 yard per carry average, and is currently ranked fourth in the NFL in total yards — only 43 yards behind league leader Adrian Peterson.
He has helped spark what was an anemic Saints run game helping the team to it first 2-0 start since 2006.
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