Media reports have confirmed the news that offensive tackle Jeff Otah is injured, however it might not be considered as news anymore. Instead, ‘Jeff Otah is healthy and running’ has a better chance of being slated as news.
According to reports, the Carolina Panthers placed Otah on the injured reserve list on Wednesday, which means he will probably miss the rest of the season. Interestingly, if Otah does recover by January, he would have missed 35 games and played in just 29.
If hospitals were a place to live, Otah would probably own a ward there. His trips to the IR have increased in frequency over time. As a matter of fact, this would be his third trip in four seasons. On all his trips he was suspected of being out of action for the season.
The 25-year-old, Otah had a minor knee surgery before the 2010 season, he was expected to be up and running in a couple of weeks but the week of his return never came that season. Some say, Otah is just not cut to be a football player. Critics say that the 6-foot-6 height and 330 pounds of weight just doesn’t compliment his frame.
Travelle Wharton, who is 312 pounds tore his ACL in 1996. He commented on the issue, "It's different. You carry all that weight - three plus." Wharton added that it’s not like you have to stand around. Being a footballer means pressure on your knees. Attack one moment, defend the other.
Otah is definitely big and powerful, but he is just not as agile and well coordinated as other NFL players, which is also one of the reasons for his frequent injuries. One of the players that frequently gets injured on the Panthers squad is Dan Morgan.
Morgan plays with his heart on the sleeve, giving in his best and fighting tooth and nail till he has achieved it. As a result he often gets injured. Sam Mills is perhaps one of the toughest players to have set foot on a football field, he too fights till his last breath to get the job done.
Otah on the other hand lacks the aggressiveness and the display of offensive power, therefore it is surprising and frustrating when he gets injured. What Otah needs to be is that guy who is fit, fast, instinctive and wears the grass down as he runs on it, not the other way around. However, at the same time Otah needs to take care of his body too, all NFL players need to.
Nonetheless, if Otah does not pick up pace soon, he might as well hang up his boots for good, otherwise the Panthers would be willing to help him with that.