General manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano are hardly the only members of the front office who are on the hook for a five-year deal the Indianapolis Colts gave former Detroit right tackle Gosder Cherilus.
The team's medical staff is putting its collective neck on the line here, too.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported on Feb. 24 that two sources said Cherilus traveled to Germany after the 2012 season “for an alternative treatment on his knee, a procedure that's not yet approved for therapeutic use by the Food and Drug Administration but one that has become increasingly popular with athletes.”
Cherilus, who underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in December 2010, denied that he went to Germany and that he underwent the treatment.
He’s allowed to do what he chooses to his body, provided he’s not breaking laws or violating league policies against performance enhancing substances. And there are no suggestions in this reporting that he’s done either of those.
I have no issue with a player going overseas for a treatment he might find helpful.
The issue is whether a five-year contractual commitment to a player who apparently required such a treatment is especially risky.
Cherilus has been a durable player for the Lions, appearing in 75 of a possible 80 regular-season games, with 70 starts.
If he’s as durable over the life of his second NFL contract as he was over his first, he could be a key player for the franchise and an important guy in the career of Andrew Luck.
If he has knee problems along the way, we’ll be left wondering if the franchise was skeptical enough of his health.