Justin Hunter back at full strength after spleen injury
At first, Justin Hunter tried to keep playing.
After taking a big hit on the Tennessee Titans' second offensive play during the team's November 30 loss to the Texans, Hunter stayed in the game. He pulled down one pass for 18 yards before eventually leaving the contest.
It's a good thing he did. It turned out Hunter suffered a ruptured spleen and was in need of serious medical attention.
“When I got hit – I had never been hit like that before so I thought, ‘Dang, it’s bad,’” Hunter said, according to the Nashville Post. “But I tried to come back and then I came back and played two more quarters. They told me it was my spleen probably if my shoulder started going numb or something. I kept playing until I felt it, felt it, felt it and the air was tight.
“At that moment I felt like I needed to sit down.”
Hunter spent the night in a Houston hospital and missed the final four games of the season. It could have been far worse.
“It was scary after the fact,” Hunter said. “After they knew everything that was going on, they said if I got hit one more time I could have bled out. I was like. … ‘I was in there fighting off the jam and everything.’”
After an offseason of rest, the 6-foot-4, 203-pound receiver says he's recovered and ready to reclaim his starting job.
“They said I should be perfectly normal,” Hunter said. “I feel good running – no shortness of breath or anything. I feel 100 percent with everything.
“I feel like it’s going good. Since I got hurt last year I had to take some time off. When I came back I felt like I came back running. I haven’t had any problems getting back into the rhythm of it. I feel like I’m catching the ball good, running and staying in shape.”
Hunter will compete with second-round draft pick Dorial Green-Beckham and free-agent signees Harry Douglas and Hakeem Nicks for spot in Tennessee's starting lineup this season.
(h/t Nashville Post)
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