Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce won't play football again until next season.
Kelce, who tore two ligaments in his right knee in Sunday's 24-23 victory over Baltimore, was placed on the injured reserve list Tuesday after the team's medical staff determined that a comeback this season would not be possible.
Drs. Peter DeLuca and Chris Dodson performed an arthroscopic procedure Tuesday morning at Jefferson Hospital at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. While repairing Kelce's torn medial collateral ligament, they also saw that Kelce's partially torn anterior cruciate ligament would require surgery.
Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder had said on Monday that there was a possibility Kelce's ACL would not require surgery this season and that he may be able to return to the field in four to six weeks.
"The doctors found that Jason's knee was much looser than it was on the field (Sunday) or at (the NovaCare Complex Monday)," Burkholder said Tuesday in a phone interview. "The ACL is still partially torn, but it's torn enough and in the wrong area that we felt like he's going to need his ACL fixed (in a few weeks)."
Kelce will start rehabbing from the MCL operation immediately, then have the ACL reconstruction in three to four weeks. In that surgery, doctors will replace the ligament with a tendon, which Burkholder explained eventually regenerates into a ligament. The rehab generally takes between six and nine months.
Although he tore two ligaments, there was no addition damage to Kelce's meniscus cartilage, knee joint or nerves. Burkholder said he expects Kelce to be ready to participate in training camp before next season.
"We dealt with a similar situation with (safety) Colt (Anderson) last year," Burkholder said.
Anderson tore his ACL last December. He sat out all of this season's training camp and the first regular-season game, but played special teams for the Eagles against the Ravens.
The Eagles filled Kelce's spot on the 53-man roster by re-signing center Steve Vallos. Vallos, 6-feet-3 and 310 pounds, was with the Eagles during training camp and the preseason before being released as part of the final roster cuts. He has played in 40 career NFL games, including eight starts, during stints with Seattle (2008-09) and Cleveland (2010-11).
Vallos will serve as a backup to Dallas Reynolds for the Eagles.
Reynolds, who spent the previous three seasons on the Eagles' practice squad, replaced Kelce against the Ravens and played well. He was on the field for the team's final two touchdown drives, including the 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with quarterback Michael Vick's 1-yard TD run that gave the Eagles their one-point lead.
"This is a great opportunity for me, but it's also upsetting because Jason's a great player and competitor," Reynolds said Monday. "He's been a big help to me."
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