Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The injury bug bit the Arizona Cardinals on Monday when defensive end Darnell Dockett went down during practice with a torn ACL. According to NFL.com's Mike Coppinger, Dockett left the practice field on a cart due to the injury and will undergo surgery at some point in the future.

Coppinger adds that NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Dockett did not tear his MCL. MCL injuries frequently come along with ACL tears, and the lack of an MCL tear may allow the lineman to go under the knife sooner.

Shortly after the injury occurred, ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out that Dockett has missed only two NFL games in the past 10 seasons. Such an incredible statistic unfortunately proves that even the most durable players in the NFL can fall victim to an ACL injury. Frequently, all it takes is a perfect storm of awkward positioning, a planted foot and a sudden shift in momentum.

To analyze what possibly happened in Dockett's case—a clear video of the injury is not available—let's crack open the anatomy textbooks and take a closer look.

Getty Images

After battling a left patellar tendon injury last year, Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker suffered a right-side tear on Saturday during a preseason game against the Houston Texans. According to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal—citing a report by his colleague Ian Rapoport—the lineman will miss the 2014 season as a consequence of the injury.

Rosenthal adds that Baker appeared "emotional as he was helped up to his feet," and the entire NFL community certainly sends him its best wishes.

Later, ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that the injury constituted a tendon rupture. A rupture makes effective walking—not to mention playing in the NFL—next to impossible, and surgery will likely follow.

In fact, due to the underlying anatomy, that surgery will probably come fairly soon.

Getty Images

According to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have hip surgery on Friday, ending his 2014 season. He will come up short on plate appearances and will not be eligible to win the batting title, handing the lead over to teammate Justin Morneau.

With outfielder Carlos Gonzalez also likely to be shut down due to injury, per Saunders, the question shifts to the future for Tulowitzki and the Rockies. 

Tulowitzki is expected to have a procedure done to fix the torn labrum in his left hip. This labrum is similar to the one in the shoulder that is often a problem for pitchers. The shoulder (or glenoid) labrum and the hip (or ace tabular) labrum are both thin discs of cartilage that function to cushion and stabilize the ball-and-socket joint. 

When the ball (head of the femur, in Tulowitzki's case) grinds or even impacts the socket, the labrum can get caught in between, damaging the cartilaginous structure. Until recently, this was impossible to diagnose. It usually presented as groin pain and was treated as a strain. Given Tulowitzki's previous problems with sports hernia, he may have had two problems presenting the same way.

Getty Images

There are a lot of debates in baseball. It's what drives the sport, I think. It's the same for injuries. How much comes down to luck and how much is preventable? How much is workload and how much is genetics? With injuries to major stars like Justin Verlander, Manny Machado and Andrew McCutchen, injuries are once again deciding pennant races and creating new debates.

The downside here is a lack of data that allows anyone to create a debate. Just as any upside brings cries of "he must be on steroids," it seems that any downside brings the cries of "he must be hurt." Without being able to know what the athletic trainers and doctors are seeing (or without me calling my sources!) observers are left guessing, often wrongly.

The easy solution would be for teams to give more information. There's no advantage in holding it. Helping fans understand what's going on behind the scenes would make them feel more included. People read this column for the kinds of things that the team should be telling them. It's a huge opportunity for a team confident enough to be open.

Until then, we'll have plenty to talk about here, so let's look around the league... 

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

According to Cincinnati Bengals writer Geoff Hobson, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will start the season without one of his prime targets, wide receiver Marvin Jones, who is recovering from a foot injury. Jones suffered a broken fifth metatarsal over the weekend, an injury that necessitated surgery.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter added the Bengals are hoping Jones will return on Oct. 5 following a bye week, or about eight weeks after the injury occurred.

Fifth metatarsal fractures are not uncommon in football, and an eight-week recovery time is definitely reasonable. The surgical fixation of the fracture will help ensure such a time frame, as fifth metatarsal fractures often do not heal well on their own. Even with surgery, however, nothing is a guarantee.

As is often the case with injuries, it all comes down to blood flow.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The injury bug bit the New York Jets secondary over the weekend when cornerbacks Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle went down with ankle and knee injuries, respectively.

According to Jets editor-in-chief Randy Lange, McDougle suffered a torn ACL. Unfortunately, the prognosis for such an injury is harsh but simple: It will presumably end his 2014 season before it begins.

Milliner's outlook, on the other hand, is less clear.

New York Daily NewsManish Mehta noted Sunday that the Jets diagnosed the cornerback with a high ankle sprain and expect him to miss a "few weeks."

Chris Schneider/Associated Press

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball underwent an appendectomy on Monday. Schefter's source added the Broncos expect Ball to recover in time for the regular-season opener.

The Denver Post's Mike Klis noted the running back returned home by Wednesday to continue his recovery.

While it's a surgical emergency, when doctors catch appendicitis early and operate soon thereafter, appendectomies represent one of the more common and routine surgeries out there. As such, there is no reason to expect any limitations for Ball after he returns to full speed.

A brief look at the former University of Wisconsin Badger's condition—and the surgery he needed—shows why Broncos fans can breathe easy.

USA Today

A.J. Preller is the new general manager of the San Diego Padres. He's a great pick in my opinion. He's the consummate scout with the ability to find and manage international signings in the new limited environment, as well as a snappy dresser.

Preller obviously has the scouting background but also has a scouting mandate in his new position as well. The Padres were focused on people with similar backgrounds, with Billy Eppler and Mike Hazen the other finalists for the position. The Padres are obviously looking to build through the draft, which Preller should be well set up to do. 

However, the Padres should focus on one other area, one that could pay more immediate results. The team has some of the worst team health results around. Only the Yankees are worse over the last three years at keeping their players on the field. The Padres have lost over 4,000 days to the disabled list, something they can't absorb the same way the Yankees accept. (Data is from my proprietary Injury Database.)

Finding and developing players can take years to pay off. Even with top Preller finds like Jorge Alfaro and Nomar Mazara making it to Double-A more quickly than many expected, it's still a timeline that is tough to sell to a fanbase. Fixing team health can be done quickly. We've seen several massive turnarounds with renewed focus around the league.

John Froschauer/Associated Press

As if the San Francisco 49ers needed another serious injury, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey suffered a torn biceps over the weekend, an injury that might end his 2014 season before it begins.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news Saturday afternoon.

Schefter later followed up on the injury, adding that Dorsey needed surgery, one reportedly scheduled for Monday.

Despite the troublesome news, CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco wrote Sunday that the 49ers "are holding out hope [...] Dorsey will be available to play late in the regular season." Nevertheless, a biceps tendon tear, which is similar to many major muscle tendon tears, will almost definitely cost Dorsey, at the very least, the vast majority of the regular season.

USA Today Images

Paul George suffered a gruesome injury on Friday, fracturing both the tibia and fibula of his right leg. George's leg collided with the stanchion below the basket and snapped the bones, necessitating immediate surgery to correct the issue. The Indiana Pacers star now faces months of rehabilitation and years of questions. It is very unlikely that he will be able to play in the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

George was taken to the hospital in Las Vegas, where Dr. Riley Williams, the team doctor for both USA Basketball and the Brooklyn Nets, performed a procedure called an open reduction, internal fixation (ORIF). The procedure is very common and involves inserting a rod or plate over the fracture(s) and then pinning or screwing it into place

The key to this procedure is alignment. The surgeon needs to make sure that the bones are lined up properly to allow for clean healing. Given the violent nature of the fractures, it was unlikely to be a "clean break," leaving a lot of splintering at the ends. The surgeons may have had to clean up some of this before fixating the bones. They would have also had to check for circulatory and nerve damage. 

I spoke with Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, one of the top orthopedic physicians in sports medicine, about George's injury: