I generally have little sympathy for players in the National Football league, I mean, when someone is complaining that they’re making $5 million instead of $10 million… I would love to have that problem.
But this situation is impossible not to have sympathy for, and it was just compounded by the fact the team that’s partly responsible for this recent event happens to be the squad I support.
After battling back from a brutal weight training injury at USC, which severely damaged his vocal cords, adams apple, and tore numerous muscles, Stafon Johnson suffered a ghastly ankle injury in the second half of the pre season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Call it irony that it was the team of Johnsons former coach at USC that ended his rookie season.
After he went down Pete Carroll immediately ran across the field to check up on his former leading rusher. You don’t generally see the opposing coach checking up on the opposing players when injuries go down.
You especially don’t ever see an entire team take a knee and pray for an undrafted rookie for 10 minutes, never in my life have I seen this happen.
It almost brings a tear to your eye even if you have no personal or emotional connection to the guy. One can only imagine going from having your life flash before your eyes to battling back to make it to the NFL only to have that dream ripped away from you as soon as you set foot on the playing field.
As Johnson was carted off, it was depressing; you could see it in his eyes that he knew his season was over and that he had another steep uphill battle to realize his dream.
Fortunately, the Titans have no plans to rid themselves of Johnson, as coach Jeff Fisher clarified:
“We have not given up on him. This is the opposite of that, we are going to put him on injured reserve for the year, so we can have him next year. In order to do that in training camp you have to release the player. He is subject to waivers, he can get claimed, but it is unlikely that anyone would claim someone that just had major reconstructive surgery on the ankle. So he comes back to us once he clears and goes on injured reserve for the year that was the intention.”
The fact that there is a silver lining to this should be a telling sign the ridiculously resilient Stafon Johnson is going to rise from the ashes of anguish once again.