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Botched Rehab Has Left Steelers WR Markus Wheaton With A Messed Up Finger


Have you ever seen the pinkie finger on the right hand of NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger? By the sound of a Tuesday report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that’s sort of what the pinkie finger on the right hand of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton currently looks like.

“It looks horrible, but it feels real good,” Wheaton said on Tuesday about the finger he broke during the game in London last season against the Minnesota Vikings. “I’m pretty much out there not even thinking about it.”

If Wheaton does ever think about his messed up finger, he probably knows that it’s likely his own fault that it looks the way it does because of him failing to follow directions during rehab following the surgery to repair it.

“The surgeon did a great job, but the rehab, it was on me. I should have been pushing it a lot more than I was,” Wheaton told the paper. “I got pretty complacent in where I was with my rehab and thinking, “It’s just my pinkie,” and not giving it as much time (to heal) as it needed.”

According to Wheaton, he should have been exercising the repaired finger post surgery instead of keeping it immobilized. That miscommunication wound up resulting in too much scar tissue building up. Another surgery took place after the 2013 season ended, but it appears as though that didn’t help that much.

Hands and fingers are a wide receiver’s tools and you hate to hear that Wheaton has likely already permanently damaged one of his so early in his career.

Prior to him being drafted by the Steelers, Greg Peshek of Second Round Stats reported that in his 2012 tape study of Wheaton that the Oregon State product had a 10.2% drop rate. In addition, it’s worth noting that Wheaton only has 9 1/8 inch hands. Now, one of those hands appears to have a permanently damaged finger attached to it.

Is it too early to have serious concerns about Wheaton moving forward? Probably, but it is worth filing all of this information in an easily accessible part of you memory bank just in case. If reports of excessive drops start to surface over the remainder of the summer, it won’t be hard to understand why that’s happening.

Wheaton, on the other hand (excuse the pun), doesn’t sound too concerned about the finger.

“I can still catch. I can still block,” he said.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Steelers12328882

    Wow! How can a WR not think properly rehabbing one of his fingers is important?

  • israelp

    Pleased that he knows to say “I can still block.”

  • Superdriller316

    If it gets to bad, just cut it off.

  • JAMESH

    Martavis Bryant.

  • ApexSteel

    It doesn’t affect you that much. Go look at Torry Holt’s finger.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    And Santonio Holmes?

  • Crazy Bone

    Of course we should be concerned. The Steelers keep letting productive players leave (Sanders, Lewis) for guys who have proven nothing. This is the main reason the team is not getting better. I don’t trust Wheaton to do much of anything this year.

  • joed32

    Didn’t affect Holt any and it’s really ugly. I have one that’s at a right angle at the last joint and don’t even notice it except when someone asks about it.

  • taztroy43

    I was just about to bring up Holts finger. ..lol

  • westcoasteeler

    Disappointed that he thought so little of rehabbing anything!? Even something as simple as a finger! Is that his approach to other things?

    From the cleats up gentleman!

  • ApexSteel

    Sanders wasn’t worth the money he wanted at all and Lewis made it clear that he wanted to play for his home team. Not everyone wants to resign.

  • AndyR34

    Well…that’s premature! Bryant had a higher drop rate I believe and I’m betting his blocking isNot up to par with Wheaton at this point. Down the road(?)…who knows?

  • Craig Ressler

    Pathetic! Come on Wheaton!

  • Steelers12328882

    huh, maybe if it’s at an angle too it will help him catch passes lol.

  • treeher

    I’d like to know the exact condition. Maybe a picture. If the finger is permanently bent (curled) forward, then that’s a major concern. Not only will it interfere with catching, but it is likely to be broken again.

  • John C

    I agree with you on that one…..I don’t care if it doesn’t affect much or if Holts finger is mangled and plays fine….to me it speaks of what is between the ears of a player. You make a living with your hands…rehab the damn finger!!

  • srdan

    This is a mountain out of a molehill. I broke my pinkie finger and it grew back totally crooked. It looks like a dogleg hole. Anyway people get grossed out when they notice it, but i think it helps me with sports, especially basketball. I have more control over the ball.

  • patrick Mayfield

    This could be a blessing in disguise, think of it as having 2 thumbs on one hand

  • Ike Evans

    Ive seen it….its not crooked really….its just bent a bit more towards his palm then his other fingers when its resting….when he flexes his hand tho it looks normal …dont think itll effect him at all….not nearly as bad as torry holt….that was a few months ago tho

  • SteelersDepot

    Sort of like a GI Joe kung-fu grip

  • SteelersDepot

    How many NFL receptions did you have?

  • StrengthOfVictory

    No one is saying his pinky doesn’t work, just that it looks a little funny. So what?

    All Steeler Nation has now is a reason to blame Markus any and every time he fails to catch the ball this season. #FingerGate

  • srdan

    As many as you?

  • RMSteeler

    Just use double sided tape and wrap it to the next finger. That little stickum just might help.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Nice, that made me lol

  • Virdin Barzey

    How does he not properly rehab his finger?
    Real simple…he was a rookie. Thought it would just heal as probably several of his other injuries.

    Should we be concerned?
    Why would we since he has not given us a reason to be concerned. He knows its a big year for him so the pressure is on him as his coach already mentioned.

    What happens if he starts dropping balls because of the finger?
    Many receivers play with messed up fingers. We’ll see how tough he is and if he isn’t…..Lance Moore.

  • joed32

    Maybe so. lol

  • joed32

    They were running passing drills yesterday. If he was having any difficulty catching the ball it would been reported.

  • Jacque Strappe

    You do realize free agency is a two way street, right?

  • Jacque Strappe

    Now it’s easier to understand your typos.

  • Dan

    I know some guys from New Jersey that can show him how to rehab a finger.

  • srdan

    lmfao! hahahaha

  • Iron Cadet

    Are u in Pitt? Or secretly work for the steelers? Hook me up bro!

  • Toddy Bravo

    Hines Ward played his whole career without an ACL. Wheaton will be fine, mangled digit and all.

  • Ike Evans

    Yea i am from pittsburgh and.i wish i did wrk for them….my uncle has worked on the grounds crew for like 40 years since 3 rivers stadium lol so i go and “help out” when im home from school sometimes at the stadium or on the southside field…so alot of my family have jobs workin with him, on clean up crew, ushers at the stadium blah blah…hell i was a towel boy when i was 11…love the steelers man

  • ATL96STEELER

    Admittedly I’ve been a skeptic from the beginning largely b/c Idk much about west coast college football…the hand situation definitely sheds some light here, but I still question whether he’s a #2 WR…Moore was a great insurance signing.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Or Philly.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Agree on all counts, and with the insurance of Moore. I think he brings veteran leadership, but the best scenario is MW to emerge out of that fray as the #2 receiver because he’s simply better. I think Moore is exactly what you say, insurance.

  • Iron Cadet

    That’s awesome! I wish I could say I’ve done that. I’ll hopefully being to school up there after I finish in Virginia. But a whole steelers family? I’m jealous

  • steelster

    Moore is a lot more than insurance. He will play a big role as #3 slot receiver. If MW doesn’t play well they might use Bryant to replace him on the outside. I can’t see moore playing outside and I don’t think he ever has.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well there goes any chance of him being a concert pianist if the NFL thing does not work out.

  • Matt Manzo

    That would suck, for Wheaton! Would suck for us if he starts declining! This is deffinetly his year to prove himself!

  • steeltown

    I’ve had sort of the same thing for years, broke a pinky finger and it never healed ‘properly’ it looks funny, but it functions perfectly and feels fine

  • http://www.facebook.com/STEELMANIAC STEEL MANIAC

    This guy (Wheaton) should just pull a Ronnie Lott and lop that finger off because apparently, it never heals. I don’t know about this kid.

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