Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson has had several injuries over the course of his 13-year NFL career. None worse or more difficult to overcome than the achilles tear he suffered in his third preseason last year game as a member of his new team, the Baltimore Ravens.
Watson joined The Jim Rome Show Thursday on CBS Sports Radio and relived the physical and emotional pain this past year brought on him. Pain that he believes made him a stronger person.
“The calf muscle wastes away, your incapacitated for a number of months, it takes so long to get a little tendon that has little blood flow to get to work again, and it still doesn’t want to act right sometimes,” Watson said of the physical side of his injury. “And then emotionally, being out for a whole season and seeing the guys go and play and not being able to contribute, watching the games on TV is always hard. And then at home, my wife basically has to take care of all of us for a little bit and that creates strain as well. So it’s a tough thing to overcome, but when you do go through things like that, it does bring you together and makes you stronger.”
Watson said from the moment the injury occurred he knew what he’d be done and found counsoling from a veteran teammate who had gone through the same thing.
“I remember coming into the locker room, sitting on the table during the game, turned around and Steve Smith was right there,” Watson said. “He had followed us into the locker room. He wasn’t playing in that game, and I turned around, he’s standing right there with me. We spent some time together, shed some tears, because he knew exactly what I was about to go through, and he’s someone that I’ve really been able to lean on through this whole thing, being that he’s been through it.
“But he knew the physical and the emotional side of it, and now I can be that for somebody else when they go through this injury, because physically, it is very tough.”
The Super Bowl champion Watson said there’s a whole different side to Smith than the fiery competitor most see on your television.
“People don’t know that he really is a kind-hearted and caring person. He is very loyal. He’s one of those guys that if he’s your friend he will give you the shirt off his back,” Watson said. “He’s very thoughtful, a real smart guy. Obviously, when you watch him on the field, he’s different. He’s very aggressive. He plays hard. He plays with a big chip on his shoulder, and that’s the persona he takes on when he’s on the field. But off it, he loves his family, he loves being around the guys, he’s a mentor, he’s a coach, he’s all those things, and he’s a great friend.”