Comparing Jared Veldheer’s Triceps Injury to Ray Lewis’, Justin Smith’s

For a brief period on Wednesday, many Oakland Raiders fans resigned themselves to the fact that their star offensive tackle Jared Veldheer would likely miss the entire season with a torn triceps. The official Raiders Twitter account broke the news.

Later, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Veldheer sustained a partial triceps tear rather than a complete one.

How much does the difference between a partial and complete tear matter?

In short: A whole heck of a lot. As Schefter tweeted, it might even save a good portion of Veldheer's season.

Why is that the case?

Let's take a closer look, using San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis as comparable versions of a similar injury.


What Is the Triceps?

Perhaps this is too simple of a question, but it helps to start off with some basic anatomy and build from there.

Simply put, the triceps is a group of three muscle bodies responsible for elbow extension—or straightening the arm.

One of the three triceps muscle bodies originates from the shoulder blade, while the other two start at the back of the humerus—or upper arm bone. The three bodies then run down the back of the upper arm before joining into one muscle tendon that attaches to the olecranon—the part of the elbow used to lean on a tabletop.

When the triceps contracts, its tendon pulls on the olecranon in the direction of the upper arm and shoulder, thereby straightening the elbow. From a football standpoint, a strong triceps is especially crucial for offensive and defensive linemen, as players at these positions use it to push away or off of opposing players.

However, certain scenarios can overstress the triceps tendon and cause injury. That's where Jared Veldheer comes in.



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