Originally Posted by done88
The difference in the two situations you describe is position. ACL are more common at the skill positions and require a longer rehabilitation. This is true for two reasons. One the lineman tend to have bigger leg muscles which allow the rest of the muscles to make up for ACL instability and two because lineman don't cut on one leg. They compensate with the pusg they get from both legs. You see more lineman with knee injuries but they miss less games. Their knees adapt better.
I agree with done.
I am not saying that Payne will be 100%, but he will be a quality starter who will be a big contributor in 2004. RB's, WR's, and DB's usually take two years to fully recover from ACL injuries because they need to make cuts going at full speed. The stress a lineman puts on his knee is a little different, and the effect isn't as noticeable or dramatic for linemen, especially for run-stuffers as opposed to outside pass rushers.
If Payne isn't getting double teamed, it will more likely be due to teams fearing Walker and Smith than due to Payne's knee.