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Why Should Geno Smith Be Out 6-10 Weeks?

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This seems like a very conservative estimate.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

I will be totally upfront here that I have no medical training or any inside information. When Geno Smith was punched in the face, his jaw was fractured in two places. The original estimate from the team was that Smith would be out 6-10 weeks, which would bring him back anywhere from week two to week six. While that's of course possible, and we'll know more soon, it seems to be a conservative estimate to me.

For starters, even though it was a fracture in two places, Smith has yet to have surgery as he seeks a second opinion. If it was truly a horrific injury, I find it hard to believe he wouldn't have had surgery almost immediately. Unlike, say, an ACL injury, it's not necessary to wait for swelling to go down, and Smith has been able to talk and presumably eat in the meantime. Once he has surgery, if he ends up needing it, we will get a revised estimate.

When Fred Smoot broke his jaw, he was out for roughly four weeks before he was able to resume football activities. Anquan Boldin recovered from a facial fracture in three weeks. Kerry Collins returned to the starting lineup roughly five weeks later. Doug Penderson seems to be the longest football player I can find to recover, and it took him seven weeks to return. On the other hand, Peyton Manning once missed exactly one play with a hairline fracture in his jaw. Fred Miller missed one game with a broken jaw. David Splithoff missed four weeks. Obviously, recovery time differs between individuals. But I have yet to see a football player take ten weeks to recover.

Ultimately, Smith just needs to be able to talk well enough to relate the plays and the cadences. I mean, Kanye West was able to rap Through the Wire while his jaw was wired shut (totally kidding this is a terrible comparison). His doctors will want to ensure he has healed sufficiently, but protective gear can be added to his helmet to protect him further by fitting him with a bigger helmet that includes more protection around the jaw. If Smith truly needs up to ten weeks, then it is what it is, but based on previous incidents, it seems more likely he'll be back in 4-6 weeks, which could return him in time for the season opener or shortly thereafter.

Fellow non-doctors, what are your equally uninformed opinions on this?