Former Indiana running back Tevin Coleman was playing hurt in 2014 But you're forgiven if you didn't realize he was given how well he performed.
According to Bleacher Report, Coleman played the final seven games of 2014 with a broken sesamoid bone in his right foot. Coleman ran for 2,036 yards last year and, as the math works out, 1,195 of those yards came while Coleman had the injury.
How crazy is that?
Coleman apparently first hurt the foot against North Texas in early October. Yet running backs coach Deland McCullough told BR that "He downplayed it completely to me."
The injury was initially diagnosed as turf toe and few people knew of it as the season proceeded.
Turf toe and a sesamoid fracture are closely related injuries. Turf toe, an innocuous name for an injury that can be excruciating for athletes, is soft tissue damage around the big toe joint, usually caused by hyperextension. The sesamoids are tiny seed-shaped bones in the knuckle of the big toe that act as "pulleys" for the tendons in the foot. Fracture the sesamoid, and you get symptoms similar to an acute case of turf toe: swelling, some limited motion and pain whenever you try to use your toe for something like running, cutting, planting or walking.
With three weeks to go the break was diagnosed. But since there was no risk of making it worse, Coleman kept playing. And playing well.
Coleman's 2014 was easily one of the best seasons of any player last year. He was the offensive focal point on a team that couldn't keep a quarterback healthy and had a struggling defense. As defenses kept keying on him, he kept running away from them. Two of his three biggest rushing totals came in the last three games of the season.
And the first sentence of the last paragraph doesn't even take into account Coleman's foot injury. When it's considered, it's hard not to wonder how many Heisman votes Coleman would have gotten if the injury was widely known.
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