7/6/21, 4:45 AM
Farley should be coming into this season at full strength and continuing on his prior performance trajectory despite multiple spine surgeries and an ACL tear in his past. With that history, unfortunately there are concerns about his long-term durability. It would be surprising to see one of these issues cause him problems in 2021.
Caleb Farley is immensely talented but does carry elevated injury risk related to his spine and ACL surgeries.
Data in NFL players who have spine surgery for disc herniations tells us to expect them to continue their prior performance trajectory. Unfortunately it also suggests that having this diagnosis at a young age may result in shorter careers. The discs act like shock absorbers in the spine, and the surgery works by removing the portion of the disc that has been injured. As a result, the disc’s ability to absorb shock and protect the spine is decreased, and wear and tear accumulates faster. Most likely, this means no short-term issues but elevates risk for longer-term ones.
Additionally, having an ACL tear prior to entering the NFL is another cause for concern. Players who fit this category see decreased production and game participation compared to their peers. Knowing this, the Titans still drafted him as high as they did because his knee is unlikely to make a major dent in the short-term.
Overall, we expect Farley to be relatively durable early on, although there are multiple causes for long-term concern here.
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