Even in a brutal sport like football, Romar Morris injury feels unfair
It’s rare that you ever hear anyone around the Calgary Stampeders refer to anything in football as being unfair.
That’s just not the way athletes think about their sport, especially in football.
But what happened to Romar Morris on Thursday night? Yeah, that feels unfair.
After working tirelessly for almost eight months to recover from a torn right Achilles tendon suffered in last year’s West Division Final, Morris triumphantly returned to the field and was the Stampeders’ starting running back for the last two games.
But on Thursday night against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Morris was dealt a brutal hand. It appears that the young running back has suffered yet another Achilles tendon injury, this time on his left leg.
“Yeah, it sounds like it’s the other ankle or the Achilles,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson on Friday. “I didn’t see him this morning, but I’m not going to try to hide a serious injury. It’s just heartbreaking for the kid, and also, it’s not fair.
“You don’t know why things like that happen, but ultimately he’ll be through another long rehab and hopefully he stays positive and things work out for him.”
Football is tough. Injuries happen, maybe more than in any other sport. You’re unlikely to find many players make it to the professional level and stick around who haven’t had to fight through an unimaginably painful injury and rehab at one point or another.
Every Stampeders player knows what they signed up for, but even then, they’ve all been deeply affected by what happened to Morris on Thursday. Having to go through it twice in one year is just brutal, and especially suffering the same injury on different legs.
This is a guy who broke into the Stampeders team as a rookie last year after trying to go the NFL route in 2017 – he signed with the Jets as an undrafted fee agent agent.
He immediately found a home with the Stampeders, rushing for 376 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games. Morris also had 409 receiving yards and a touchdown, as well as a punt return TD.
The Achilles tendon tear ended his season early last year in the West Division Final, but he was up on stage celebrating with his Stampeders when they won the Grey Cup a week later.
In the off-season, he devoted himself fully to his rehab and got married to his new wife Chelsea, who he’d met when they both attended the University of North Carolina.
When he got back on the field last Saturday for the Stamps’ matchup with the Edmonton Eskimos, his teammates were amazed.
That only made what happened on Thursday feel even worse.
“I feel for the kid, man,” said offensive lineman Shane Bergman. “That kid put nothing but effort and time in to get back. For that to happen on his other leg, my heart breaks for him. I think that goes for every single guy along the o-line and probably on the team. I just feel for the guy. He works too hard for that to happen.”
The full extent of Morris’ injury hasn’t been confirmed, but the Stampeders all seem to understand that he likely faces a long and difficult recovery.
Nobody should be ruling Morris out, though. The way he recovered from his first Achilles tear blew his teammates away, so if he sets his mind to getting back on the field nobody should be surprised if he makes it happen.
Receiver Eric Rogers knows a thing or two about serious leg injuries, having suffered a brutal knee injury that kept him out of football for almost two years back in 2016.
“Going through it a second time, I’m sure he’s already like, ‘Man, I just got back, and it’s another long journey,’” Rogers said. “The only thing about it is that he’s been through it once before, so maybe that gives him a little more encouragement to know what’s coming, whereas the first time he didn’t really know what to expect. And he got through it pretty quickly the first time, so maybe with that experience, he’ll be back even faster.
“But you never know what he wants to do. You have an Achilles injury two times. The most important thing is his health and being able to walk around in your life after football. You just hope for the best for him.”
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