Most NFL players are no strangers to strengthening and rehabilitation but physical therapy following a serious injury and surgery can prove challenging to even the toughest professional footballer player. Months of ongoing rehab have become a part of many athletes daily routines.
The way Brendon Ayanbadejo remembers the first significant injury of his football career, it came on a routine play. It was the fourth quarter of a road game at New England early last season, and Patriots running back Sammy Morris had eluded one of Ayanbadejo's teammates. When the Ravens' linebacker went to bring Morris down, Ayanbadejo's left knee bent the wrong way under the added weight of a couple of other players helping with the sideline tackle. Ayanbadejo later learned that he had torn the quadriceps completely off the knee. Given the fearless manner in which Ayanbadejo played throughout high school in Santa Cruz, Cal., college at UCLA and a pro career that included stops in the Canadian Football League and NFL Europe before he landed in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins in 2003, the odds had finally caught up with Ayanbadejo.