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Mailbag: OL's Lingering Injuries? Difference Between Gregory & McClain?

Why are back injuries listed for Chaz Green and Tyron Smith each week, but we never hear of any details or updates to their conditions?  Is there more to Smith's injury than meets the eye?  Is this one of those unspecified injuries that will have to be addressed in the offseason with a long recovery time?

Bryan: Smith started the season struggling with his back and even missed practice time because of it. The last few weeks he's been more back to normal and hasn't had to take time off. Green has dealt with a foot and now the back but like you have said -- we really don't have much information about him. 

David:Tyron Smith's situation is a great reminder of how life in the NFL works. The vast majority of the guys on this roster are dealing with some sort of pain. Tyron is on the injury report because it is problem that has kept him out of a few games and limits him in practice. It's not going to keep him from playing – but it's not something that's going to go away amid the rigor of a weekly schedule. The same can be said for Green, who is only getting three-to-four days of rest between practices. It's frustrating, but that's the very real toll of playing professional football.

Their stories may be very different, but why does it seem Randy Gregory is getting such a benefit of the doubt whereas Rolando McClain appears out of the picture? Production is essential to how much rope a troubled player gets, and both of these guys have been very effective when in.

Bryan: It is different because one chooses to get help and try to continue his career while the other doesn't love to play football. 

David:Two reasons spring to mind. Firstly, Gregory is in the facility working out, attending meetings and generally trying to work his way back to the field. McClain has been absent since June, with no indicator that he cares to return. On top of that, Gregory is a high draft pick, which gives the organization much more incentive to help him turn things around. McClain was signed to an affordable, one-year free agent contract. You can cut ties with that without a second thought.

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