Injured Reserve

Several members of the Carolina Panthers whoop it up for the cameras during their 38-10 win over Tampa Bay, January 3, 2016.

It was as bad an injury as I’ve seen watching the NFL in over three decades.

Jovorskie Lane of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was injured on the very first play offensively for visiting squad traveling to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers. One part of the leg was pointing the right way, the lower part was mangled and twisted around in a direction legs were not meant to bend.

The injury was so gruesome that the venerable Dick Stockton, who’s called or been a part of NFL games going back to the 1960’s, announced to viewers that the replay of the injury would not be shown due to its graphic nature. I’m sure it reminded many of the Joe Theismann injury which he suffered on Monday Night Football in 1985 in a game against the New York Giants when a shoddy tackle split one of the veteran QB’s legs in at least two places, ending his career.

I’ve been very lucky in my life not to have ever been so seriously injured. The worst injury I ever had was in 1999 when I was at my aunt’s house in Charlotte. I went into a closet pantry to get things for breakfast, having to duck my head to gain access because I’m six-foot-one and the maximum height of the door was shorter.

When I retrieved what was needed, I was in the middle of a conversation with someone, and I literally forgot to duck. WHAP!!! I slammed my head against the top frame of the door, and yes, I could see stars that weren’t really there for a few moments.

I had a cut on my forehead just above the hairline that a professional wrestler would have loved, and my forehead had streams of red running down it from the blood. It was quickly off to the emergency room to get patched up. Luckily, I didn’t need stitches for it, just a lot of gauze to get the cut healed up, much like boxing cutmen use.

I have a hard time imagining what a broken leg must feel like, but that’s why I write, and the great athletes out there in the world of sports play their games.

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