Hot Reads: Be Thankful for Fake Hamstrings?
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Hot Reads: Be Thankful for Fake Hamstrings?

November 23, 2016

Nebraska had a three-headed quarterback thing going on at Tuesday’s practice. It’s probably not ideal on a short week, but it qualifies as progress in this case. Tommy Armstrong Jr. might be available. Ryker Fyfe might be available. Zack Darlington is taking practice snaps just in case.

Given that Armstrong, unlike Fyfe, wasn’t under the knife over the weekend, it seems like he might be able to give it a go on Friday.

If he does, you can thank an artificial hamstring?

To help Armstrong return to the field after suffering a hamstring injury that kept him out of last week’s win against Maryland, Nebraska essentially attached an “artificial hamstring” to his leg to help reduce stress on his actual hamstring.

“Fake hamstrings out here,” Langsdorf said. “It is a little interesting. But they’ve got some pretty good tricks so hopefully we can get him going.”

To get to where he is now, Armstrong has been spending a lot of time with trainer Mark Mayer.

“He’s doing a great job, not only me but for everybody else on the team,” Armstrong said. “I just have to trust in what the doctors say and believe they have your best interests. That’s what I’ve learned over the past couple years of being around Mark and understanding. Me and Mark have a great friendship. My last year here, I’ve become probably the closest to him than anybody else because I’m in there so much, definitely this year. Just being able to go out there and do what I’m doing, just trusting in him to get me right each and every week. Like he always told us, it’s hard having bumps and bruises and turning around six days later and going out there and having another game. It’s a great feeling to have a guy like Mark to have our best interest and tell us what we can do and can’t do based on our performance throughout the work.”

Fake hamstring? Sounds like the future, but maybe it’s not that futuristic. Here, for example, is a video featuring a trainer at the University of Florida rigging one up.

I didn’t expect to find that as interesting as I did. My inner monologue went something like this: Wait, so they’re just going to use this band? Oh, and it just goes around the belt? Now under the pants? Feels kind of basic, but beautiful at the same time. I guess that might work?

Armstrong’s specific rig appears to be a little different, but I suppose the specifics don’t really matter here.

If it allows Armstrong to play on Black Friday, fake hamstring may go down in Husker lore. If it allows Armstrong to quarterback Nebraska to a win against Iowa and then a few other things fall into place, maybe fake hamstrings become a regular part of Husker Thanksgivings going forward.

“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for fake hamstrings.”

Got a nice ring to it. We’ll see what happens on Friday.

The Grab Bag

  • Interesting read from Jon Solomon on how the recruiting profiles at Michigan and Ohio State have changed over the past decade.
  • The NCAA ordered Notre Dame to vacate an as-yet-undetermined number of wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to academic misconduct. Notre Dame is appealing the ruling.
  • Good read on Houston’s “alien” defensive tackle Ed Oliver from Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN.
  • Iowa got some good injury news of its own on Tuesday as it looks like tight end George Kittle will be available on Friday.


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