Newberry: It’s Time to Retire

Aug 8, 2006 at 10:23 PM

Okay, so let me get this straight: Jeremy Newberry can barely walk, drive, or wake up without feeling pain in both his knees. He had a "last resort" surgery on one knee only to have to consider doing the same thing to his "good" knee months later. All the while he can't practice more than two sessions straight without taking time off. And now, he can't even partake in the "low intensity" conditioning he could complete at the beginning of training camp.

Jeremy Newberry is like that girlfriend you can't get rid of. Sure, when it was great, it was great. But now she won't admit it's over and keeps lingering around hoping for some miniscule opportunity where she can show you she's changed.

Unfortunately, Newberry's condition has not changed after another season in limbo. Frankly, it's time to hang 'em up.

I admire Newberry for hanging on this long. He had absolutely no cartilage in his knee. Imagine that for just a second. imagine rubbing bone on bone over and over - slowly grinding away at the top of each bone - every single time your knee moves. In order to alleviate the pain he - well, technically a surgeon - literally drilled holes into his left knee just so the bone marrow could grow and replace the cartilage his knee is missing.

It's a feat by any means. But by the looks of it the micro-fracture surgery was not successful. Newberry is not able to practice due to pain in the knee. To make things worse, his left knee, which acted as his de facto cane during his rehab, is now mimicking his right. Symmetry sucks.

So he is now toiling around on the second team, unable to practice. It's a foregone conclusion that Heitmann will open the season as the starting center. The offensive line needs continuity in order to succeed. If you take away continuity you may as well take away a lineman's arms and hope they can provide enough of a hurdle before the quarterback is trampled.

If Newberry cannot practice he hurts the team more than he helps. Last season Newberry played in 10 games while not practicing in order to limit wear on his knees. During this span the 49ers averaged 99.3 rushing yards per game. When Eric Heitmann, the center that practiced with the team instead of Newberry, stepped in the final six games of the season the team averaged 116 rush yards per game. The final two weeks, after the line had 4 games to gel with a consistent center, they averaged 199.5 rush yards per game.

If Newberry makes the team as the second team center, I have little doubt he would cost a younger backup a roster spot. A backup that would, presumably, remain with the team longer and in better health than Newberry could. And if Newberry were forced into action, could he be effective without practicing? Would the team be forced to bring in a temporary solution off the street because Newberry could not hold up?

Beyond the football questions, there is also the question of quality of life. Newberry turned 30 this year and he has already, literally, worked his knees to the bone. He can barely drive anywhere without using cruise control to rest his ailing knees. Football is a violent game and it wreaks havoc on the body. Without the constant bludgeoning and flying mass of bodies there is no doubt Newberry would be able to lead a relatively normal life. He virtually had no pain when he entered camp. Is one season of playing second-string center worth a lifetime of pain? What if someone rolls the knee in a pile, then what? The risks are innumerable.

It looks like Newberry's vision is clearing and he is beginning to see what Coach Nolan saw last season. Newberry is hanging on be a tiny sliver of cartilage and unfortunately, it is not enough to keep him in the NFL.

He was a helluva player for the 49ers, and no one can dispute that he is tough for having the will to stick it out this long. At this point, though, he needs to do the 49ers and himself a favor.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • No Comments

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

John Lynch optimistic 49ers will get players back from COVID list in time for Rams game

By David Bonilla
Jan 7

The San Francisco 49ers have six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Five are defensive backs. Those defensive backs are Dontae Johnson, Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas, Jimmie Ward, and K'Waun Williams. General manager John Lynch joined KNBR on Friday morning and sounded optimistic that at least some of those players will be available for Sunday's playoff-impacting regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. "Yeah, I believe we will because the league altered their rules some time back when the CDC did as well," Lynch said on the Murph & Mac show. "Our vaccination rate was as high as there is in the league. And I think we've also been the

49ers had lowest minimum win probability of any team to eventually win a game of all-time, per Next Gen Stats

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 9

According to Next Gen Stats, The 49ers had the lowest minimum win probability of any team to eventually win a game in the NGS era, including the famous Miami Miracle and Super Bowl LI. The 49ers had the lowest minimum win probability of any team to eventually win a game in the NGS era, including the famous Miami Miracle and Super Bowl LI.#SFvsLAR | #FTTB

Peter King awards 49ers' Kyle Shanahan Coach of the Week for second time

By Romelo Bracy
Jan 10

The San Francisco 49ers are playoff bound once again after a thrilling overtime victory against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers trailed 17-0 late in the second quarter but came away with three points to end the half. With the 49ers dealing with their quarterback situation all season, fans were hollering to see Trey Lance after the Niners laid an egg in that first half. Like head coach Kyle Shanahan has done all season though, he stuck with his guy Jimmy Garoppolo, and he would lead the 49ers to one of their most exciting victories to date. San Francisco would answer back with a 75-yard scoring drive after halftime, a forded punt on the Rams ensuing possession, and another scoring drive to tie the game at 17. The defense came up huge with two turnovers in the second half, one

John Lynch says Deebo Samuel will be with the 49ers for a long time

By David Bonilla
Jan 13

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is becoming one of the NFL's biggest stars. He racked up 1,770 all-purpose yards this season and 15 total touchdowns (6 receiving, 8 rushing, 1 passing). Samuel has frustrated opposing defenses as a receiver, as a rusher, and even tossed a touchdown pass this past weekend against the Los Angeles Rams. Samuel is in his third NFL season, which means it's time to start thinking about a contract extension for the 25-year-old star. He's positioned himself to be among the highest-paid players at his position. However, Samuel is unique in that he does so much more than just playing wide receiver. "Deebo's going to be well compensated, and we plan on him being a Niner for a long time," general manager John Lynch said


More by Oscar Aparicio

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone