As some of you will surely remember, Sharrif Floyd sent out a very worrisome and semi-cryptic update on his Instagram last week, as we covered in an article last week. Here’s the post itself:
My ?? to the big guy #upabove we've been on this train ? for so long, you have blessed me in more why's then I could've possibly imagine. For that I I'm truly thankful. You've been there when there was no one around, you've held me together when I thought I was at my edge, you've aloud me to play a game that kids dream about to this day. For that I continue to place my hands together ?? I come to you tonight that same kid in 2006, not moved by greed, not moved by negativity, not moved in bad behavior. I'm down on one knee praying my road doesn't end here…. there are so many more lives to touch, so much more joy to spread. You've believed in me for to long to turn your back on me now. Don't let me go out this way. All I ask is for a fighting chance… this game means so much to me and the foundation is still being laid one stone ? at a time. I'm hurting and I don't know how to say it aloud, I am truly humbled in your grace. Grant me one last run, I promise I'll lay my soul on the line. #humbleandhungry #215raisedme #begreat73 #savagelife #unlockthecage #notdoneyet #cametofartogiveup #watchmework #pleasedoubtme #level40training
As you can tell, the post alludes to something bad, physically, that clearly was able to end the 24 year old’s career. We speculated about what this could mean on this week’s purpleJOURNAL podcast, thinking that it was either nerve damage or perhaps some sort of post-surgery infection. The mystery continued when Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was on SiriusXM’s NFL Channel earlier this week and didn’t mention the post and then also avoided the issue when talking with a group of reporters in Arizona earlier this week as well. It’s not hard to see why, as a video of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was posted, also on Instagram, before that semi-press (Which dominated the questions in that) conference.
The good people at USA Today, though, weren’t satisfied with the ambiguity surrounding Floyd’s status and decided to delve into it face first. According to Tom Pelissero, a writer for USA today and an anonymous hero in the Vikings organization:
The nerve that controls Floyd’s quadriceps was disrupted during surgery in September to clean up the meniscus in his right knee, and nearly six months later, the quad still isn’t firing, people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
What?!? How does that happen? I know that when I broke my foot and ankle back at the end of September/beginning of October, I ended up over at the urgent care for Twin Cities Orthopedic and based on my experience there ended up getting my surgery done at Hennepin County Medical Center. I bring that up because you’d assume that the surgery done on an NFL player would be done by the best available people in a state that has some of the best healthcare facilities on the planet. I’m not sure if this is a common side effect/outcome from a surgery that was meant simply to clean up a tendon, but essentially while doing so the surgeon(s)/doctors (See below) somehow damaged the nerve in Floyd’s knee to the point that he may never play football again.
Despite the above, that doesn’t surprise me, and I’ll tell you why. Before my foot and ankle surgery the anesthesiologist (Spelled that right on the first try!) came in to the prep room/area I was in. I was sitting on a hospital bed, in my gown, with nothing on underneath. Now, as this picture will show, I’m a larger man (About 6’3″, 250 lbs.), so essentially, no gown can cover my real estate. So, needless to say, I was already incredibly uncomfortable. But had zero idea of what was to come.
Now, my mom was in the room with me, because I’m a man-child who has no wife (See the first picture above for proof) and the first thing that the anesthesiologist said, to my mom, was: “Do you have a week stomach? You might want to leave for this” which got me to thinking… What exactly are we doing here (Keep in mind that I had zero idea what was going on and was under the assumption that she was there to start pumping me full of fun juice). My mom ended up staying and the next thing the doctor said, to me, was “This is going to hurt”, which is something you never expect to hear from a doctor, especially when your expectation from her, again, was that she was going to come in and shoot some Xanax into my IV (Not shoot some caulk into my literal nerve). Apparently, she was attempting to block the nerve in my left lower leg with two gigantic syringes that were the size and width of a caulking gun.
Now, thankfully, I didn’t see the needles. I instead decided to put my face into the pillow on the bed and attempt to find my happy place like the narrator in Fight Club when he is suffering from a chemical burn…
Then, it hit me. It honestly felt like someone was pouring acid into my funny bone, in my leg. It shocked all the way down to the tips of my toes, to the base of my back. Involuntarily (I stress that word) my leg shot up like an angry horse showing a jockey who’s boss. The doctor YELLED “DON’T MOVE YOUR LEG!”, loudly with just enough concern that is actually made me extremely nervous over the course of the next few days as my leg stayed completely paralyzed/numb. After she yelled, I replied with concern of my own and my voice muffled by the pillow I was soaking with saliva “I DIDN’T TRY TO!!!”
Now, I bring up that story because I’m still not over it (It was, by far, the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve given birth to the aftermath of an hour and a half of jalapenos from Baja Sol Torilla Grill mixed an entire liter of vodka hangover bowel movement) and because the reason that the doctor did yell, I presume, is that she was digging my actual nerve and could’ve caused permanent damage. So, when it comes to Floyd, I really refuse to believe that in the process of cleaning up an iffy meniscus, this surgeon whose reputation is great enough that he’s working on a multi-million dollar lower leg in a relatively routine way, would accidentally nick or damage a nerve that has nothing to do with what he’s actually doing. Then again, I have zero idea what the inside of a knee looks like (Thanks, Obama) so perhaps they’re intertwined and therefore it’s super easy for this to happen.
Either way, this is bad news for Floyd while also being a strange sense of redemption. It did seem that Zimmer (And the fans) tired of Floyd’s inability to play through injury or to come back from an, again, relatively routine surgery (Safety Harrison Smith just had his ankle cleaned up this week and I assume released his own Instagram video in which he was juggling with his ankle). Now we know why he didn’t return and SPOILER ALERT, it’s not because he’s lazy. When it comes to the potential of getting back on the field, though, Floyd’s Agent, Brian Mackler, told USA Today that beyond praying to God on Instagram:
“Sharrif is rehabbing, has seen some of the best doctors in the country, will continue to rehab and hopefully, this will heal sooner than later.”
Considering it’s a nerve, later may be the reality (Or never). But, the fact that he’s seeing the best doctors in the country (I’m betting on the Mayo Clinic), plural, means that this is indeed additionally serious. Like with Bridgewater, there most likely is no time-table for Floyd’s return which puts the Vikings in a precarious spot as well. While they do have the recently acquired Datone Jones, who the Vikings have asked to put on some weight (To move back to the tackle position), the Vikes may need to look for a tackle in the draft, despite the fact that they picked up Floyd’s fifth year option last season and are due to pay him just under seven million dollars this season.
What a great week for Vikings news on Instagram! Both relatively huge stories started on Instagram and were about Vikings players who have rare and serious leg injuries. If this isn’t the Matrix, I don’t know what is…