clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Decision to play injured Trevor Siemian reeks of selfishness, shortsightedness

The question that arises from this is, why take that chance?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If Trevor Siemian was, in fact, Gary Kubiak’s chosen one, why did he put him on the field with a Grade 5 AC separation?

Why did Kubiak play Siemian in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Oakland Raiders? It’s not just Siemian either; why did Matt Paradis and Demaryius Thomas play? As Darren McKee said on his local radio show on Friday, the shortsightedness of that is appalling.

Why did Kubiak put Siemian’s career at risk, not to mention his life and well being after football?


Since Brandon Stokely dropped the news on the severity of Siemian’s non-throwing shoulder on Friday, those questions linger like a vile odor that no amount of air freshener can disguise. It doesn’t sit well, and it shouldn’t for any fan or member of the organization.

It’s important to point out that the Denver Broncos and Siemian didn’t dispute the severity of the injury, just the potential rehabilitation length. Typical rehab for this injury is four-six months. Four months would put it at the start of organized team activities in May. Six months would mean the start of training camp.

Obviously both Siemian and the Broncos say the expectation is he will be at OTAs, which is vague since there’s no contact and no one knows how his rehab will go. Siemian may just do personal work on the sideline, throw a few passes in warmups, and they’ll say he was at OTAs. It’s a hopeful stance that all will go right and there won’t be any setbacks in the rehabilitation of the shoulder. Keep in mind, both parties also pushed the “elective” surgery nonsense when the season ended. At this point, they’re both batting zero on the truth scale.

A Grade 5 AC separation is nothing to balk at. It’s a severe injury that’s most common in high-speed traffic accidents.

According to

“When it is this severe the detachment from the clavicle not only involves the ‘acromioclavicular’ and the ‘coracoclavicular’ ligaments but even involves tearing of the periosteum of the bone on the clavicle as well. In some cases the bone actually punctures all of the soft tissue and is sitting in the subcutaneous tissues. This severity of injury is very uncomfortable for most patients and requires surgery to stabilize the joint in almost all cases. There is no effective non-operative treatment as the downward force of gravity ensures that there can be no possibility of reducing the joint back into position.”

Siemian originally hurt his shoulder in Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So he didn’t just play one game with this injury, it was more than half the season - and the last game that didn’t mean a damn thing. gives you an idea of how negligent this may have been.

“Type IV, V, and VI AC injuries are the most severe. People who have this type of injury should see a physician who specializes in bones and joints (an orthopedist). If nerves or muscles are compressed as a result of the injury, treatment is needed urgently to reduce the risk of long-term complications. Surgery is often recommended.”

We have no idea if Siemian’s nerves or muscles were compressed, but no one can rule it out. One is fair to say it’s highly likely that was the case, especially since he had surgery and had it mere days after the season ended. And please, don’t throw out the repeated bullshit cliche that you can’t make an injury worse. What was said above clearly states if this injury isn’t urgently treated, long-term complications are probable. That shows how shortsighted all of this was. It seems all anyone thought about was the immediate here-and-now, without any thought to the future.

Again, why?

There’s no doubt players try to hide the severity of their injuries. It’s been done at every level of football since the game was created. Players are fearful they will lose their job if they don’t stay on the field. There’s no question Siemian would have done everything in his power to convince Kubiak and the Broncos medical staff his injury wasn’t that bad.

That’s where the medical staff is supposed to step in and put the player’s best interests in mind. The medical staff for a professional football team has to know how severe Siemian’s injury is, and if it doesn’t, that’s even worse.

It’s clear neither the head coach nor the medical staff stepped in since Siemian remained on the field. If the medical staff did advise Kubiak that Siemian should sit, they got overruled. What’s the point of a medical staff in that scenario? And when does it end? If Siemian had a concussion, would the same have happened?

And, again, why?

If it was so Siemian wouldn’t lose his job, it’s clear no matter what happened he would have always been the starter. There was no reason for him to feel pressure. He was Kubiak’s chosen one. What’s ironic is Siemian has every reason to feel that way now, and given past actions, will he be able to convince decision makers it’s not that bad? Or did the fact he didn’t seek “urgent” treatment make his injury worse and with it any chances of playing again?

Why didn’t the Broncos step in and say, “no, we’re not playing a quarterback with a Grade 5 AC separation. We don’t want to put any further risk on him, and it’s not best for the team.”

As DMac said on Friday’s show:

“This coaching staff, man, did they get everything they deserved at the end of the year. Did they deserve what they got. It wasn’t the best thing for the player or the organization. It put both at a risk so you could fulfill your ego to win the last game together you will have as a group. Don’t forget, it wasn’t just Gary Kubiak’s last game, it was the band of brothers’ last game.

“The players are the heroes, not the coaches. And when you have a coaching staff that considers them a rung above the players it’s always a dangerous situation. If we ever lose sight that it’s the players, not the coaches, that this game is all about, you get into situations like we had in that Raiders’ game. It’s repulsive what they did to the players and to the organization.

“The list of things Kubiak did is cowardly.”

Is it possible in Kubiak’s stubbornness he hurt Siemian more than he helped? After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If Siemian was Kubiak’s chosen one, if he did see himself in the young quarterback, Siemian deserved better. Far, far better.