The first thing one noticed upon hearing John Lynch speak about his neck injury Thursday was the dramatic contrast in the tone of his voice from just 21 hours earlier when he answered questions on the same topic as he left the practice field following the Wednesday session in which he did not take part.
Where there was trepidation Wednesday, there was confidence Thursday — and it was entirely due to the results of the MRI examination, which revealed that the neck stinger he suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Green Bay Packers caused no further damage.
“It eased any fears that I might have; it eased any fears that the organization and the doctors might have had as well, so it’s all good news,” he said.
“Structurally there’s nothing wrong. That’s good. I think that was the fear, that something might have been wrong there. He looked at it; that was confirmed by our (team) doctors here and by Dr. (Robert) Watkins out there (in Los Angeles). That was very uplifting and I feel good about it.”
Lynch — who said he was “hopeful” that he could play Sunday at Detroit — was in uniform, helmet and all, when the Broncos took the field for the two-hour practice session.
“I’m comfortable playing — provided the symptoms subside,” Lynch said. “When you have the symptoms, you have some weakness. The strength has come back and that’s a good thing, but when you have a stinger, your nerves get inflamed, and you try to let that inflammation in the nerves die down. That’s happening, and I’m going to go out there, try to practice today and see where we’re at.
“(The symptoms) are much better than where they were Monday night and they’re improving every day.”
Granted, Lynch’s neck MRI “isn’t good,” by his own admission, but that is because of the 2003 neck injury and early 2004 surgery — which Watkins performed — and not because of the Monday night collision.
“My neck’s not a pretty picture, but from where it was after my surgery, nothing’s changed there, and (Watkins) is comfortable with my playing,” Lynch said. “It’s just a matter of the symptoms getting better and they continue to get better. Everything’s very positive, and more than anything, everyone can put their mind at ease, and I can put my mind at ease about anything being wrong with my neck.
“When you’ve been through that before, it’s always a concern, so to have our doctors — who I respect a great deal — look at it and feel good about it and then have the doctor who performed my neck surgery look at it and say it’s got nothing to do with your neck, that makes you feel real good.”