Any injury is hard to deal with, but Jason Verrett’s Achilles injury suffered on Friday is a particularly tough one to swallow.
After all, the cornerback worked so hard to return from a pair of ACL injuries the past two seasons, finally feeling like his old self toward the end of OTAs.
Unfortunately, Verrett was injured while simply running in the team’s conditioning test on the day the Bolts reported to camp. He was diagnosed with a torn Achilles tendon later in the day and is set to undergo additional testing on Saturday.
As popular as any player in the Bolts’ locker room, Verrett’s teammates were understandably heartbroken to see him go down.
It especially hit Denzel Perryman hard as the pair spent a lot of time a year ago rehabbing their injuries.
“I missed half the season last year, and he missed the whole one, and we went through the rehab phase together,” he said. “So to see him go down, it was devastating. It was sad. It was a comeback season for the both of us, so this hurts my heart. But he’s in my prayers and his family is in my prayers. I just wish him a speedy recovery.”
Keenan Allen has also been through tough injuries in the past, so his heart goes out to Verrett, as well.
“I’m very emotional over it,” Keenan Allen said. “It’s hard to watch him go down like that after he worked so hard to come back this season. I know how tough it is. I’m just sending him prayers.”
There may not be anyone on the team closer with the cornerback than Jahleel Addae, which is why the safety best summed up the situation while also noting how the injury motivates the team even further.
“This hurts,” he said. “I saw what he went through to bounce back from his knee. I saw his loyalty and his dedication to the game, his family and to his craft. To see it happen like that in a conditioning test, I love him like a brother, so to see him go down with a freak injury, it’s tough. But we’ll be praying for him and we’ll be out there for him.”
As upsetting as it is to see Verrett suffer another injury, the Bolts know they have no choice but to move forward without missing a beat.
They are confident they will do just that.
“Jason will bounce back, so we as a team have to come together,” Addae added. “It’s next man up. That’s a big piece we lost as a group, but the next man up is more than capable of the job. We’ll keep it moving.”
“In this business, it’s always next man up,” mentioned Trevor Williams. “That’s how it has to be. It’s unfortunate, but you’ve got to keep moving. We have a good group, so we’ll rally. But this is tough. I’m praying for my guy. He’s been resilient and trying to persevere the best way he can. I know it’s tough for him. I know he’s frustrated. All of us, we’ve seen how hard he’s worked. After coming back, it’s got to be tough for him. But he’s a tough guy mentally so I’m sure he’ll push through.”