After yesterday’s Saints-Bucs game, the biggest injury was to Saint’s head coach Sean Payton, who suffered a fractured tibia and torn MCL on the play shown above.
Today, head coach Mike Shanahan remembered a time that he suffered an equally tremendous blow, while serving as head coach for the Denver Broncos.
“Yeah, it has happened,” he said. “I remember one time, we were playing Kansas City, and a guy was only about three feet in front of me. An offensive lineman, at the last second pushes the guy, and he hit me. I went back and landed on the back of my head and just saw stars.”
While Shanahan was shaking out the cobwebs, he instructed his assistant coach, standing next to him, to call in the next play.
“By the way, it was a good play,” he said with a smile. “I wish that had happened more often for me.”
Unlike Payton, however, Shanahan was unaware of the extent of the injury until he was taking the field to play the Raiders one week later.
“We’re jogging along the sidelines, and I actually went down on one knee,” he remembered. “I went and got it X-rayed, and I actually had a crack in my vertebrae and didn’t even realize it.”
For those of you that have never fractured a vertebrae, it’s kind of like a paper cut that can kill you.
“It’s those type of things that you don’t even think about, but it just happens, and it happens so quick,” Shanahan continued. “You’re around these guys all the time, and I’m sure that’s what happened to Sean. You gotta be kinda careful.”
Check out Shanahan’s full press conference and war stories below:
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