Seahawks Insider

Deion Branch’s situation

Post by News Tribune Staff on Sep. 3, 2008 at 3:53 pm with 29 Comments »
September 3, 2008 3:53 pm

For the first time since he tore his ACL, we spoke with Seahawks wide receiver Deion Branch, who clarified a few things regarding his knee and his comeback.

First, and perhaps most important, he had the surgery to repair the torn ACL on Feb. 7, which means that Sunday is the 7-month anniversary of his surgery.

He said there are three different ways to do the surgery. He chose the one that gives the knee more stability but takes a little while longer to heal. He could have had a cadaver’s ligament placed in his knee, but Dr. James Andrews, who did the surgery, said he wouldn’t do that surgery for him, he would have to go elsewhere. Instead, he chose to have a piece of his own patella tendon shaved off and made into his ACL.

This is where it gets a little hazy. He said you hear different things, 6-9 months from some doctors for recovery, 9-12 from others. I said, “Deion, every doctor I speak with said a minimum of 9 months recovery. Given the nature of the injury and your career is at stake, why would you try to come back early and risk the possibility of your career ending?” In the end, he never directly answered the question. “Who knows?” he said. “If it is eight months, like Dr. Andrews said, ‘Deion, I can’t tell you when you will be ready. You will know. I can tell you when your knee is locked down, yeah, but I can’t tell you when you are ready to play football. That will be you.'”

Branch was asked if he would be able to play on Sunday. He said he will play when Coach tells him he can play. So, on the one hand, Holmgren is telling us that Branch will play when Branch tells him he is ready. And on the other, Branch is telling us he will play when Holmgren says he is ready.

My personal opinion is that, when you take everything into account — the type of surgery, the timing of the surgery, the position he plays, and the waffling — he is not close to being ready. Seven months is way too soon for this type of injury. And if I am either him or the team, I wouldn’t risk his long-term health for a few games now. That’s just me, they may have something else in mind.

As for the injury, he said he suffered it while running a route in that Green Bay game that he has run 1,000 times. He said it has nothing to do with the snow or the cold or the field or anything. He made a cut and he felt his leg go. He said he didn’t know immediately — his kneecap had slid to the side and he couldn’t slide it back. He says now he thinks it was his muscles around the knee protecting his knee. But he said when he got to the sideline, the doctor was asking him if his knee was sliding back and forth when he walked. When he realized his knee wasn’t sliding, that’s when he knew what the injury was.

Having said all that, he was sure to point out that none of this was the hardest thing he has had to do in his life. His son was born with spinal meningitis, and to this day he can’t walk. He says he wakes up to that every day and appreciates what he has. This does not come close.

Speaking of which, he is having a bowling tournament to raise money for spinal meningitis. Here are the details in a press release written by his foundation:

KIRKLAND – Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver Deion Branch and his Deion Branch Charitable Foundation will present a Tuesday evening filled with fun, laughs, celebrity bowling on Tuesday, September 9 to benefit Meningitis Research. The Deion Branch’s "Charitabowl " will begin at 6p.m. on September 9 at Lucky Strike located in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square Mall.

Team sponsorship in the tournament is $2,500 for a four-person team, and includes dinner, parking, a "Charitabowl" limited-edition bowling shirt and a team photo with Deion Branch. Individual tickets are available at a cost of $350. The "Charitabowl" will help raise funds and draw attention to meningitis research.

"My family and I wanted to help raise awareness and money for a cause that is near and dear to our hearts" said Branch, who established his foundation in 2002 after his son, Deiondre, was diagnosed with Meningitis. "It’s a chance for fans to come out, meet my Hawks teammates and raise money for Meningitis Research."

The Deion Branch Charitable Foundation is currently accepting team sponsorships for the September 9th "Charitabowl" event up until 6 p.m. on Friday, September 5. Tickets and table reservations for the fund-raising event can be arranged by calling Matthew Wade, executive director of the Deion Branch Charitable Foundation, at (206) 227-9387 or logging onto

Leave a comment Comments → 29
  1. So why not oput him on PUP? Are they waiting until after this weekends game to try and add an extra week to his stay on PUP, as in come back in week seven instead of week six? Does it even work that way?

  2. chuck_easton says:


    He’s been activated and is practicing with the team. PUP is no longer an option.

  3. firejimmoradotcom says:

    Two things:

    First, this sheds a whole lotta light into why so many athletes go to Dr Andrews first (who is the hands-down best around) but then go out and have surgery with other docs. It’s because Andrews won’t build bionic men. Classy.

    Second, Branch is on his last legs here on this team and he knows it. (No pun intended.) But given his injury history, I’m sure the team is ready to be done with him, one way or another. So therefore, there’s pressure on both sides to get out there and play.

  4. Osiris: To answer your question directly, no it doesn’t work that way. A person has to stay on the PUP list for (I think) six weeks but could stay longer if need be.

    Chuck: Your probably right, but… Branch is certainly on the 53 man roster, but I think he hasn’t been practicing with the team so much as just running around near the team, and because he hasn’t passed a physical he could still be placed on PUP. Tell me how I’m wrong.

  5. SupaFreak says:

    He started practicing WITH the team today. He is on the active roster already, declared as such when they made the cut to 53. So he is not eligible for the PUP list, period, just as Bobby isn’t eligible, since he too has both practiced with the team, and was named to the 53 man roster.

    Branch hadn’t been practicing with the team, but did today, and also was already added to the 53 man roster, so any use of the PUP is now impossible for him. It’s IR or on the 53 man, that’s it, unless you release the man, which we aren’t about to do.

    Branch isn’t on his last legs here either. He has performed when he’s been healthy, getting much better with Hass over the last year. However, given his injury concerns, the team may ask for a renegotiation after this season if the injury keeps him out of a significant number of games, or he gets some new injury along the way. He’s valuable when healthy, just not worth as much if he isn’t durable enough to play more consistently.

  6. He is actually eligible for PUP. Once you pass your physical you are not eligible for PUP. Branch has not passed a physical yet.

  7. Yeah that’s what I thought, he has to pass a physical to be ineligible. if that’s the case, they could PUP him after this weeks game to make a spot for Babs or Bernard.

  8. UT Hawk says:

    garjon, you’re 100% wrong. PUP cannot be used once the active rosters have been set. He is ineliglble for PUP as is every other player in the NFL that is on an active roster.

    PUP is purely a preseason entity & the door closes with the cut to 53.

  9. Sando (Yoda) speaks:

    FNG from Puyallup, Wash., asks: Sando, The Seahawks plan to test [Deion] Branch’s knee this week. If it were to not respond well, is he still eligible to be put on PUP as long as he has not passed a physical? If so, would that also be the case after week 1 when [Rocky] Bernard and [Jordan Babineaux] return?

    Mike Sando: Rules prohibit teams from placing players on the reserve/physically unable to perform list after the mandatory cutdown to 53 players. The Seahawks had until Saturday to make that decision. They did not place Branch on the PUP list. That means Branch counts against the 53-man limit unless the team places him on injured reserve, which is season ending.

  10. antonio82 says:

    owned, lol

  11. Just me says:

    I am still really confused as to why they didn’t put him on the PUP. or from the looks of it even thought about it all summer long.

    I don’t see how he may be ready to play? Work out yes – play no. I can just see this turning into a recurring injury nightmare!

    If he doesn’t play by week 7, this will clearly be a bad decision that I think should have been avoided.

  12. Especially with week four being the bye week, meaning he would only miss five games. So now maybe he only misses three…

    OTOH: The next two games are against the NYG’s and the Packers. OK, I’m seeing some logic here.

  13. NickLicatasucks says:

    He is practicing in a limited role with the team currently. Which means, it is reasonable to expect him to be fully practicing with the team AND feeling good about his knee within four weeks. If he does that and is able to play, then even ONE game prior to six weeks is worth having him on the team. Add to that you want to keep him on the team and around the team. This dude is a hard worker and a great example for the young guys to follow. If you PUP him you are further separating him from the team. sure- he’s on the team and around the guys- but this makes him want it more and his teammates to want it more….better for morale.

    Besides- how would they feel if they pup’d him and he was ready to play prior?

  14. williambryan says:

    I don’t think he is that far away from being ready. Look at Philip Rivers. He was back practicing in a little over four months after his ACL. Granted he is a QB but he still has to move around quite a bit. He also finished the game with the ACL. However, I just don’t see why he wasn’t put on PUP just to be safe. We may not have 3 probowl caliber guys at WR but they can get the job done. We as fans are just so used to having the same core guys play WR that anyone else that plays is a mystery to us. when in reality teams are using different guys there all the time and they produce. I am not worried about our WR position at all even without Branch and Engram.

  15. UnofficialVoice says:

    We can only assume that they anticipate that he would be back before the 7 week cut-off or they would have dropped him on the PuP list. As NickLicatasucks said, getting him back even one game earlier than that would be good.

    As far as him “being on his last legs” I can only assume this is the typical fan reaction to high paid players that don’t get the MVP in their first year.

    If you watch Deion’s play closely, he is a tremendous athelete and quite a remarkable football player. In 2006, at Kansas City Seneca Wallace threw an interception on a pass to Deion. Branch had the mental sharpness and physical ability to sprint up behind the player and strip the ball back. That was an incredible play and (in my opinion) proof that he was worth every cent he was paid – just in potential alone.

  16. PDXCOP80 says:

    It is quite simple guys, they didn’t PUP him because they think he can play in the next 5 weeks. The earlier better with our inexperience at receiver if you ask me. We don’t need the roster spot that bad.

  17. mister andersen says:

    So, everybody still think he is coming back sooner than expected?

    Better hope Jordan Kent and Courtney Taylor can get open!!!

  18. Ok, who are going to be the inactives this week?

    My guess:
    Wrotto (Or Locklear if he can’t play)
    Frye (3rd qb)

  19. How can other players come back so quickly from ACL then like Phil Rivers and Carson Palmer? They were about the same time as Branch and played in game 1.

  20. My take on the inactives:

    Coutu (Mare is our kicker)
    Engram (injured)
    Branch (injured)
    Wrotto (Womack more important due to Lock’s status)
    Putzier (only need 2 TE’s)
    Atkins (could be Babin, but Babin practicing on ST’s)
    Frye (3rd QB)
    Schmitt (I think, unless he’s vital to ST’s)

    Babin is active because I don’t think both DE’s sit, and he’s been practicing ST’s this preseason.
    Vallos is active due to Spencer’s situation.
    Womack is active due to Lock’s situation and his ability to play everywhere on the line, except C.
    Kent/Payne active due to injuries to Engram/Branch.
    Forsett active to return kicks/punts with Burleson starting at WR.

    Biggest question: T.J. Duckett. With Forsett active to return kicks Holmy might keep Putzier or Wrotto active and let Forsett fill in as the 3rd RB for now.

    ~Just my take

  21. Golfhack1396 says:


    Branch: not ready yet
    Engram: not even practicing yet
    Locklear: Holmgren said he wouldn’t be ready
    Forsett: don’t need 6 backs and been trying others at PR
    Atkins: a little dinged up, Babin outplayed him anyway
    Coutu: Mare won the job
    Hawthorne: DD can backup Lofa and play outside
    Frye: 3rd QB

  22. Which brings me to my next two complaints. Whate the hell is the point of this stupid inactive rule? It doesn’t save a dime, except maybe in laundry costs. Why can’t you suit up every player on your roster? Isn’t that what back-ups are for? It’s not like they don’t travel with the team anyway.

    And, can we please have a 4-week IR begining in week 7, after the PUP runs out? Again, all it will do is help teams keep a few guys here and there.

    If they go to a 17 or 18 week schedule without these changes, it’s gonna suck bigtime.

  23. chuck_easton says:


    The 8 player inactive rule is to help out teams that have injuries while keeping a relatively equal playing field.

    The rule was put into place so you can avoid situations where one team has 5 or 6 injured players and the other team is fully healthy. In this case you’d have one team only suiting up 47 or 48 players while the other team has 53.

    It allows a team to carry injured players for a few weeks since all the injured players will take one of the inactive spots.

    If it weren’t for this rule any time a team had a player that was out for say 3 or 4 weeks (ala Branch and Engram) the team would have to IR them for the whole season and bring someone else in.

  24. firejimmoradotcom says:

    As far as him “being on his last legs” I can only assume this is the typical fan reaction to high paid players that don’t get the MVP in their first year.

    Hugh Millen on KJR today: “What is Deion Branch? His best game here was his first game against the Rams. Behind the scenes, (Belichek) will tell you there’s a reason he let Branch go. He’s a 5’8″ guy, who’s never lived up to potential. He’s a hard worker, but what is he really? What do we expect of him?”

    Branch is a bust, and people here have been saying it from nearly the time he’s been here. He’s fragile and fragile players don’t last around here anymore. See also: Anthony Simmons, Wistrom, Hackett, etc.

  25. UnofficialVoice says:

    As I said – typical fan reaction to high paid players.

    Coming from someone with the nick “firejimmoradotcom” doesn’t lend a lot of credibility to an argument.

    Never lived up to potential? His stats and accolades speak for themselves/ Granted, that was before he came to Seattle.
    Belicheck did not work the trade for those reasons, that is just the opinion of a single radio personality that is just parroting the same fan reaction that was just displayed.
    Belechik is notorious for letting players go when they start asking for money, they turn their player rosters over pretty regularly outside of their key players. Those key players have a supporting cast. Receivers are nothing more than a supporting cast to Brady. Yes, even Moss.

  26. nighthawk2 says:

    A cadaver’s tendon?? OK, that officially creeped me out.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Branch should be on IR and should have been placed on IR weeks ago. Yes, he is far away from being ready to play, and with a 1st round draft pick given away for him and the money they’ve got tied up in him, it is mega-stupid to play him at all this season. To say “Gee a quarterback is back at such and such a date so why shouldn’t a WR be” is foolish. When quarterbacks starting running routes and making cuts like receivers do, come back with that dumb argument.

  27. mister andersen says:

    Anybody here read ESPN the mag? They are pretty skeptical about our wide recievers, and the running back situation. Although, they still do have the Hawks winning the West, and Merril Hodge has them in the Super Bowl.

  28. nighthawk2 says:

    Yeah, ESPN fantasy thinks Carlson could put up “decent” numbers because of the “sorry state” of our receivers. I’d like to see Carlson put up good numbers, I’d also like to see Taylor, Kent, et al put up good numbers and ask ESPN how they like their crow, fried or barbequed.

  29. MUSAorg says:

    The Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA), a national organization, would like the public and media to know that information is available regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of meningitis. MFA was founded by parents whose children were affected by meningitis. In addition to supporting vaccines and other means of preventing meningitis, the MFA provides information to educate the public and medical professionals so that the early diagnosis, treatment and, most important, prevention of meningitis, will save lives. Meningitis is a dangerous and sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems such as deafness, brain damage and other disabilities, meningitis can sometimes result in loss of limbs. MFA would like to be considered as a news resource for the disease. For further information, visit the MFA website at

    MFA is proud to announce the new C.I.S.S. Container Identification Scratch System
    When we participate in sporting events or mingle at social gatherings it is possible to lose track of our water bottles and/or beverage cans, especially those served in containers that are very similar or identical to a container from which you are drinking. This carries the risk of transmitting an illness, such as meningitis or the common cold or flu. The Container Identification Scratch System, or C.I.S.S., is a fun way to make sure you always know your drink from others. Use it at sporting events or at a family gatherings and reduce the waste from forgotten drinks. Simply scratch your number from the C.I.S.S. label and identify your drink. For more information please contact Bob Gold at and

    Thank you,

    Ms. Jamie Callahan, General Manager
    Meningitis Foundation of America
    212 W 10th Street, Suite B-330
    Indianapolis, IN 46202
    (800) 668-1129

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