Reporters in the state of Texas have suddenly become very familiar with cracks in the transverse processes of a back.
The term first made headlines when Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, a Heisman Trophy candidate, was diagnosed with the injury after being hit in the team's opener against SMU. Now it's being discussed daily after Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received the same diagnosis following the team's loss to Washington two weeks ago.
Petty ended up playing most of the first half after taking the hit on the first series of the game but sat out the Bears' next game following the injury, returning nearly two weeks later against Buffalo. As somebody who has been through the rehab process, Petty said he thinks Romo playing against Jacksonville on Sunday might be a little optimistic.
"As a quarterback, it would be tough because of the rotation -- that's what gets you," Petty told CFB 24/7. "It's not so much the vertebrae itself as much as it is the muscles around them. That's what you rotate with. It is extremely tough to play like he's trying to play, if he's trying to play in London. Trying to get back is tough. I did come back against Buffalo, but I could still feel it on certain throws."
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has remained hopeful that Romo will be the team's starter when they take the field in London. Unlike Petty, Romo will have to deal with a long flight across the pond this week but should have roughly the same amount of rest the Baylor quarterback had after missing Sunday's loss to Arizona.
While nobody in Dallas wants to see their team captain and star player suffer an injury, Petty said it is still better than one would think for such a sensitive area.
"As far as a back injury, that's the one to have," he said. "It's one of those things where you can't do extra rehab to get back faster though. It's a timetable kind of thing that you have to let heal on its own. Once it does, then you're fine. One thing I struggled with was just a confidence level, trusting that it is healing and OK. You can't try to not get hit if that makes sense. You can't play timid, and that's what I was doing. So I would definitely tell (Romo) not to play timid."
If there is one thing Romo has rarely done it is play timid, so that shouldn't be an issue against the Jaguars.