SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO NOW?
Once players are put on injured reserve in the NFL and whatever corrective measure is taken to repair the injury is completed and rehabilitation schedules have been put in place, they have the option to either stay with the team, or as most elect to do, return to their hometowns and complete their rehab there.
You might think that the decision to stay in New Orleans after being put on IR is a no-brainer. But this decision for many guys is a tough one. IR means injured reserve, which also means I cannot play football the entire season. So on one hand I have a home, family, and my business (Elite Athletics) all in California that could really use my attention.
But, on the other hand, my biggest family is he New Orleans Saints. So the decision comes through the question, "Who needs me more and who do I need more?"
The next question that needs to be answered, and it's a very important question for a lot of guys, is where can I get the best treatment to get back on the field. Some guys feel by leaving they can get one-on-one attention to help rehabilitate their injury much faster somewhere else. Because staying here with the Saints means battling for treatment attention amongst the guys that really matter now. It is more important to get Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas ready to play than me, a guy who can't physically help us win the Super Bowl this season.
So why am I still here? I'm here because, right now, my Saints family is all that matters to me. I have made my decision based on my personality and the way I play ball. I'm loyal and would never leave my teammates for any reason. I'm not a quitter. I'm determined to finish out this journey that I started with my guys. Lastly, I have never been given anything. I've had to work extra hard for everything I have. So after I tore my Achilles tendon, I still knew that this was a very special group of guys who could do very special things.
How could I receive my ring without putting in some work myself?
So I go to all the meetings and watch more film now then I ever did to help Jeremy Shockey, Dave Thomas and Darnell Dinkins with any insight that I might pick up on their opponents.
To be honest, the decision was also very selfish because I need them now way more than they need me. I have built great friendships on this team, almost to the point of brothers. And, in my lowest points of doubt, these friendships help me get through.
Also, let's face it, without me around in the locker room, it's just that much quieter, jokes are just not that funny, and no one represents USC quite like me! (Devery Henderson and Randall Gay could do without that part).
So when we do complete this special season, I will be the guy getting a piggy back ride from Drew on stage and the only guy not in pads holding the Lombardi Trophy!
I thought you might enjoy this interesting story from this past weekend:
The night before and day of the Buffalo game, if you would've seen Pierre Thomas face-to-face, you would've thought he was on his deathbed. The guy couldn't even come out for pre-game warm-ups because he was so sick. Instead he was laid out in the training room underneath the stadium with 2 bags of IV and was tossing and turning with some weird moaning sounds. That being said, the man came out the second half and played an inspiring half of the game. And in my opinion sealed the game for the Saints! What an inspirational performance.