According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans RT Derek Newton faces an “uphill fight to ever play again” after he suffered patellar tendon tears in both knees during Monday’s loss to the Broncos.
Wilson reports that Newton is still in Denver but is scheduled to travel back to Houston at some point today. Newton is reportedly in “severe” pain and has his legs immobilized.
The plan is for Newton to undergo surgery to repair the damage at some point but he’s expected to remain in a wheelchair for several weeks before eventually progressing to crutches and then walking.
Former Chargers team doctor David Chao tells Wilson that he’s unaware of an NFL player coming back from this kind of injury.
“I am not aware of an NFL athlete, who came back to play at a similar level after this injury,” said Chao. “The injury is very rare. It’s not a once-a-year injury. This is a once-every five years. This is harder to come back from than a torn ACL. To have two of them is devastating, but, yes, he should be walking in three months. There’s a big difference between walking and playing.
“Look how long it took Duane Brown to come back from a torn quadriceps tendon, and this is much more serious. I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s also a torn ACL involved. I feel bad for the kid. A ruptured patellar tendon is three times worse than an ACL. Guys who tear an ACL like Geno Smith walk off the field. ACL surgeries are arthroscopic. A patellar tendon is an open surgery, a major reattachment. This is a very big deal for him to come back from.”
Newton, 28, is a former seventh-round pick of the Texans back in 2011. He’s currently in the second years of his five-year, $26.5 million contract that includes $10 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $4.75 million for the 2016 season.
In 2016, Newton has appeared in six games for the Texans and is rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 45 offensive tackle out of 74 qualifying players.
We wish him the best with his rehab.