Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews may not be physically ready for offseason workouts as he recovers from surgery to repair the Lisfranc injury he suffered last season.
The Lisfranc injury is a fracture or dislocation of bones in the mid-foot at the arch. Minor fractures or dislocations don't generally require surgery, so we can assume that Matthews' fracture or dislocation was more severe. Per general manager Thomas Dimitroff via Vaughn McClure at ESPN.com, Matthews thought the surgical repair was his best chance to be healthy and ready to go for the beginning of the season. As far as whether or not Matthews will actually be ready to go when the 2015 season kicks off, Dimitroff said, "... we have no concerns that way."
A Lisfranc fracture is typically repaired with a screw or special surgical wire that has to be removed several weeks after surgery. It generally takes six weeks or longer before the patient can begin placing weight on the affected foot in a limited capacity. After the patient begins putting limited weight on the healing foot, it takes several more weeks to get them to the point where the foot can fully bear weight. Rushing this exacerbates the risk of re-injury, which is not a risk worth taking when the Falcons need their best players on the field this coming season. Given this timetable, it's uncertain whether Matthews will be physically prepared to fully participate in OTAs, especially since the Falcons will be working with an accelerated timetable because they have a new head coach. The Falcons can begin offseason training on April 6.
New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be implementing a zone blocking scheme for the Falcons' offense, and there will be a lot for the o-line to learn this offseason. Shanahan said in his introductory press conference that the offensive line will be running more than they've ever run before, which obviously won't be practical for Matthews until he's fully healed. Matthews is a smart player and a hard worker, and he should be able to get the new scheme down mentally even though he may not be prepared to participate physically at first.
Your thoughts on Matthews' injury, surgery and recovery?