In 2009, I was drafted to the Colts in the 3rd round. I was blessed to have an awesome camp and become an opening day starter on an already-established veteran team. We went on to win 14 games in a row and clinch the #1 seed for the playoffs. Peyton Manning, Jeff Saturday, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne and Antoine Bethea were all established, core leaders on our team, and I was happy to be a part of it.
For the last two games of the season, Jim Caldwell wanted to rest the starters, which he did, unless there were any reachable season records/stats for some who might have money incentives. I thought that was one of the coolest things ever as a player — that there was a coach and front office who wanted to see their players get PAID.
Playoffs arrived and we played the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round. In the 1st quarter, I felt a sharp pain in my foot, but played through it. Finished the game with an interception and helped hold the Ravens’ offense to 189 passing yards. X-rays after the game showed I had a broken foot. I remember our head trainer suggesting that we go ahead and plan for immediate surgery. The thinking was that if we went deep into the playoffs and made it to the Super Bowl, I would have a slight chance to play, depending on how my foot healed.
I remember being disappointed but also thinking, “If we make it to the Super Bowl, I’m going to play.” Well, we made it to the Super Bowl and Mr. Polian had to make a decision on my roster spot for that game. I had to prove to him and to the rest of the front office, as well as my coaches, in a private workout, that I could play and be effective. I remember everyone from he organization being on the field, watching me move and me thinking, “I feel like this is a try out for the team.” LOL! We were then 17 days out of surgery and it’s Friday of Super Bowl weekend. It was time to make that decision and somehow, some way I was able to have a limited role with a play count and play in the Super Bowl. Trainers advised me not to play but understood it was a decision I had to make. I made the decision and do not regret it at all. Even though we lost the Super Bowl it was one of the greatest joys to be a part of it, whether I was in pain the entire time or not!