Jason Taylor reveals pain of playing in NFL

Jason Taylor reveals pain of playing in NFL

Published Jan. 13, 2013 1:16 p.m. ET

How close was former Dolphins star Jason Taylor to having a leg removed during his playing days?

About a few hours, to hear him tell it. In a revealing interview with Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald, Taylor detailed the kind of pain he experienced during his 15-year NFL career.

In specific, Taylor described what happened after a game in Washington, during which he was leg-whipped. Le Batard relays how Taylor's calf hurt so much after the game that he couldn't sleep.

Eventually, Taylor called the team trainer in an effort to find some way to relieve the pain.

As Le Batard describes it:

"The trainer rushed to Taylor’s house. Taylor thought he was overreacting. The trainer told him they were immediately going to the hospital. A test kit came out. Taylor’s blood pressure was so high that the doctors thought the test kit was faulty. Another test. Same crazy numbers. Doctors demanded immediate surgery. Taylor said absolutely not, that he wanted to call his wife and his agent and the famed Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Andrews also recommended surgery, and fast. Taylor said, fine, he’d fly out in owner Daniel Snyder’s private jet in the morning. Andrews said that was fine but that he’d have to cut off Taylor’s leg upon arrival. Taylor thought he was joking. Andrews wasn’t. Compartment syndrome. Muscle bleeds into the cavity, causing nerve damage. Two more hours, and Taylor would have had one fewer leg. "

The article goes into detail on the many ways Taylor dealt with the pain of playing football during his stellar 15-year career. A few weeks after nearly losing his leg, Taylor was back in action, playing with a catheter running from his armpit to his heart, feeding antibiotics in an effort to stave off a staph infection that had developed.
But Taylor told Le Batard he had no regrets and wouldn't think twice about doing it all over again.