When a NFL player receives such a blow that it knocks him out of the season as early as Philadelphia Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver did in 2010, the general assumption is that the said player will rehab during the offseason and it's back to work the following year.
However, that might not be so easy for Weaver to do.
On Weaver's first carry of a highly anticipated 2010 season, he endured one of the more gruesome looking injuries I've seen in many years. In just a single hit, Weaver sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament, torn posterior lateral corner and nerve damage to his left knee.
Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com reported two days ago that according to a "NFL source with extensive knowledge of the injury" that ended Weaver's 2010 season, might just end his NFL career also. The same source went on to say that the chances of Weaver returning to play in the NFL again are "remote."
The Pro Bowl fullback has had three extensive surgeries since sustaining his injury in an attempt to aid him in regaining the ability to lift his left foot. NFL players have returned before from this type of injury, but according to the league source, there hasn't been a player who sustained such extensive damage as Weaver.
It's another potential loss to an already loss-filled offseason, but this news has more of an impact than some of the individuals who left Philadelphia recently.
Do you think Leonard will ever return to the NFL?
Leonard became a fan favorite the minute he walked through the NovaCare Complex pearly gates back in 2009. The coaching staff, existing players and fans all alike knew what type of player Leonard is and how his presence on the field demands attention. If Leonard's career is in fact over, can backup Owen Schmitt step up?
Schmitt is a good physical football player and I have no problem with him taking over only if Leonard can't return, but there is a very long offseason ahead of us so I'll remain optimistic—heck, the 2010 season isn't even over yet.
I had a chance to have an extremely brief chat with Leonard via Twitter and I have to say, his faith is unparalleled to anyone I've ever seen, and if there is one individual who is truly deserving of a chance to bounce back, it's Weaver.
There have been no official reports on the Philadelphia Eagles Web site, but Reuben Frank is a respected journalist so I'm left waiting for the confirmation.
This article is also featured on Bleeding Eagle Green.