Playing injured isn’t generally a good idea in the NFL — especially when that injury involves vertebrae.
That, though, is exactly what Jarvis Landry did all season long.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver revealed on Thursday that he has been playing with a fractured sacrum — the triangular bone just below the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back — throughout the entire year.
“Just talking to the doctors and the early scans from OTAs and things like that, I began with a fractured sacrum and then from there everything else just kinda started going bad,” Landry said, via the Associated Press.
“My hip has been bothering me since then and it’s definitely been a battle. I wouldn’t say it’s gotten worse — I’d call it nagging — but it’s definitely not getting better.”
Despite the injury, Landry has shined with the Browns this fall. He’s recorded 1,092 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 81 receptions, all team highs. He’s just 65 yards away from setting a career-high, too, surpassing the 1,157 yards he recorded in 2015 with the Miami Dolphins.
“Jarvis is one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who also coached Landry with the Dolphins. “I can’t remember how many years we were together in Miami, but we were always really impressed with the way he approached Sundays and the expectations he had for himself. He’s a fierce competitor.”
While Landry will need to address the injury at some point in the near future — he was visibly limping when speaking with reporters on Thursday — he is postponing that trip to a specialist until next week.
He has yet to miss a regular season game throughout his NFL career, playing in 95 straight games over six seasons with the Dolphins and Browns, and he isn’t about to start now.
“Honestly, I have no real, true diagnosis at this point,” Landry said, via the Associated Press. “All I know is we have another opportunity this week. We are playing to go out there and compete and win. That’s why we play this game.”
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