What Ja’Marr Chase’s hip fracture and Bo Jackson’s from 1991 have in common

Bengals’ WR Ja’Marr Chase will avoid the IR, but is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a hip fracture.

The news of the injury seemingly came out of nowhere when it was announced last week. Chase had just racked up 130 yards while scoring twice against the Falcons and didn’t appear to be hampered by an injury at all. There was one point where he was briefly evaluated by medical staff, but there was no indication that it was serious.


Unfortunately, further testing showed that he was dealing with a fracture in his hip. The most common fractures that end up being diagnosed as hip fractures occur in the femur near the hip joint. But based on footage from the past two games, it’s more likely that Chase is dealing with an acetabular fracture.

Acetabular fractures are breaks in the socket portion of the “ball-and-socket” hip joint, and they occur less frequently than the aforementioned femur fractures. The majority of acetabular fractures are caused by a sudden jolt of high-energy going up the femur and essentially slamming the ball of the femur into the wall of the socket.


Such a force can be seen on Chase’s third quarter touchdown catch in Week 6 against the Saints. On the play, Chase plants his right leg firmly into the ground while the weight of his body pulls him forward. At the same time he is being dragged down by Saints’ CB Paulson Abedo. The action of planting his leg so hard into the ground is the exact type of high-energy event that could cause the ball of the joint to slam into the wall of the socket.

Chase went on to play in Week 7 against Atlanta and looked good. This is a positive because it likely means the fracture is not severe. In severe cases, acetabular fractures can cause extensive bleeding and other significant injuries that require immediate attention.

Bo Jackson suffered a hip fracture and traumatic chondrolysis in 1991, ending his football career.

An example of this in football terms would be what Bo Jackson dealt with in 1991. That, though, was a much more serious injury that involved a dislocation and additional damage to the joint.

Our algorithm classifies Chase’s injury as a Grade 2 and gives him an Optimal Recovery Time of 28 days. Until then, his Injury Risk is High (22%) and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average (51%).


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