The past few weeks have not been great for the Brown family. Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown has been embroiled in non-stop drama in his quest to be traded from what appears to be a toxic relationship with his soon-to-be-former team, and we now learn that his cousin, Oklahoma receiver and 2019 draft prospect Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, suffered a Lisfranc injury that required surgery. The report, which came from NFL’s Adam Schefter, notes that he is expected to be ready for summer training camp, but will miss out on participating in both the Combine and Oklahoma’s pro day.
Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown, a projected top 15 pick in April’s NFL Draft, underwent surgery for a LisFranc injury last month that will prevent him from participating in the combine and his Pro Day, but he still is expected to be ready for summer training camp, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 18, 2019
Top 15 may seem pretty rich for a 165-pound receiver, but Brown has been receiving significant hype for months, and it comes as no surprise that he’s considered that highly in some circles. Some who cover the Lions have even considered him a player worthy of the eighth overall pick, noting elite speed and presumed schematic versatility to play in the slot and outside anywhere on the field, making him a deep threat that is similar to how Seattle used Tyler Lockett or how DeSean Jackson has been used in each of his various career stops. That speed and potential game-breaking ability does not come without risk, as the bust rate for receivers that size is pretty high, almost universally due to injuries sustained at the NFL level. Arguments for Brown had been that he didn’t come with the laundry list of injuries some of those prospects came to the NFL with, but that has been blunted somewhat with this news.
Biggest problem for Marquise Brown won't be missing out on the drills and measurements because of a Lisfranc injury, it'll be dealing with the durability concerns that were present just based on his size, and likely won't be helped in the slightest with a serious injury.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) February 18, 2019
Hollywood Brown put up some prolific numbers for Oklahoma, catching passes from both 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield and 2019 projected early pick Kyler Murray. His big-play ability was incredible, and often cited were mentorship from his cousin, Antonio Brown, as well as his considerable athletic talents. The former Sooner put up 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns on 57 receptions as a career low in 2017, besting each of those numbers in 2018, capping off his only two years he played with better numbers than some who put in three or even four years of college ball.
.@AdamSchefter's report that Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury is terrible news. A 2018 study conducted by S.K. Singh, et. al. showed that it's a particularly harrowing injury for offensive players: pic.twitter.com/3obeTMvL1n— Bryce Rossler (@btrossler) February 18, 2019
Lisfranc injuries are considered especially devastating for offensive players in the NFL. Recovery time can be exceptionally lengthy, and it tends to be one of those injuries that is easily reinjured or does not heal completely. As the injury often involves ligaments in the foot, it has been linked with a number of lingering problems even after the injury has healed whether naturally or with surgery. Some research has shown that players usually successfully return from this type of injury, but the return takes a significant amount of time. The study cited used a very small sample size, which would be expected due to the rarity of this type of injury, but causes concern from a statistical perspective. If you want to read more about this injury from probably the best source you could get, the NFL’s leading authority on all things foot injury related, Dr. Doom himself, Robert Anderson, M.D. was interviewed on this topic in 2013.