Somehow we missed this earlier in the week — temporarily blinded by genitals to the face? — but it’s more than worth being late to the party for and mentioning.
During Alabama’s run to a second BcS title in three years, Josh Chapman was an unsung stalwart in the middle of the Tide’s stifling defense. The senior played in 12 of 13 games — the only one he missed was a Nov. 19 win over Georgia Southern — and, amazingly, played two-thirds of the season with an injury that would’ve knocked mere mortals out for six months or so.
On Tuesday, Chapman underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee. Chapman suffered the injury in an Oct. 1 win over Florida, but decided to delay the surgery for more than three months after an MRI revealed the severity of the issue.
“Normally I can deal with pain pretty well, but after three days I needed an MRI,” Chapman said according to the Birmingham News. “Dr. (Lyle) Cain said he’s never seen a guy that can have a torn ACL and still stay that stable. …
“I didn’t really want to give up like that. I enjoyed playing. As long as it stayed right, I could play.”
While Chapman’s ability to tolerate the pain and manage the injury was certainly a boon for the Tide’s top-ranked defense, it did come with a downside for the lineman personally. Because of the surgery, Chapman will miss the Senior Bowl as well as all miss everything but the bench press and player interviews at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine next month.
If I’m an NFL general manager, though, I don’t hold that against him. Those eight games on one good knee would’ve proven enough to me.