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NFL teams consider signing Mark Herzlich, research Lance Armstrong

Draft Herzlich Football AP

Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the 2008 ACC defensive player of the year who missed all of 2009 while battling cancer, returned to football in 2010 and then was passed over in last week’s NFL draft, has cited Lance Armstrong as an inspiration. Now NFL teams may examine Armstrong as a guide to what they could expect from Herzlich as an undrafted free agent.

According to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, teams considering signing Herzlich have reached out to Armstrong and his doctors to learn more about how elite athletes respond to chemotherapy. What they’ve been told is that it can take 18 months for an athlete who’s gone through chemo to get back to full speed.

For Herzlich’s NFL hopes, an 18-month time frame for complete recovery from chemo would be a great sign: It would suggest that he should continue to improve after battling cancer in 2009 and become a better player than he was on the field for Boston College in 2010.

Herzlich can’t sign with any NFL team until the lockout ends, but when he is able to sign, he’s expected to get a shot to prove himself at a training camp or on a practice squad roster. If Armstrong’s recovery from chemotherapy is any indication, Herzlich still has a real chance to regain his 2008 form on the football field.

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36 Responses to “NFL teams consider signing Mark Herzlich, research Lance Armstrong”
  1. vahawker says: May 5, 2011 8:22 PM

    Don’t understand why he wasn’t worth a seventh pick for some team. Pats took Marcus Cannon and he has just recently been diagnosed.

  2. stupadassle says: May 5, 2011 8:33 PM

    That would be okay if they waived the steroid testing for the kid.

  3. winskins says: May 5, 2011 8:37 PM

    I love it when guys overcome a challenge like this and succeed in the NFL. I hope Herzlich gets a serious shot.

  4. fooath says: May 5, 2011 8:38 PM

    Didn’t the Patriots just draft a guy who’s going to need Chemo?

  5. jasku880 says: May 5, 2011 8:43 PM

    Now the question is who’s going to use him as a pr move? The NFL team or the nflpa*?

  6. Gordon says: May 5, 2011 8:44 PM

    Is Armstrong’s recovery the best point of reference, considering the rampant rumors about “you know what”?

  7. eaglesfan290 says: May 5, 2011 8:44 PM

    I hope Mark gets his shot, nothing but the best for the kid!

  8. indo501 says: May 5, 2011 8:46 PM

    If he can recover in 18 months after chemo I have no clue why he wasn’t drafted

  9. realitypolice says: May 5, 2011 9:14 PM

    As someone who has held the hands of way too many people as they went through Chemo, I would take a look at this guy simply because he made it back to the field at all after going through that hell.

  10. profootballwalk says: May 5, 2011 9:25 PM

    I love Lance for beating the Frogs at their own game, but you know he was loaded to the gills with PEDs, so I don’t think I’d be asking him about coming back from cancer.

  11. cliverush says: May 5, 2011 9:37 PM

    Had the pleasure to watch him in “08” at the Heights and his motor was running the whole game, every game. Great nose for the ball and a skilled pass coverage guy. Are you listening BB?

  12. canadianvikingfaniii says: May 5, 2011 9:47 PM

    This guy is one of the guys you just have to cheer for. Hopefully all goes well with this young man.

  13. oumoonunit says: May 5, 2011 9:50 PM

    I hope the best for him. It is a shame that cancer has held him back, but I can’t really blame a team for being worried. Marcus Cannon’s cancer is not nearly as bad as what Herzlich had to go through. Cancer is a red flag like no other. I just hope to see him beat the odds and make it.

  14. snnyjcbs says: May 5, 2011 10:01 PM

    A Team should give him a shot and bring him to camp. What this guy has fought through and done all for his love of the game of Football is stunning.

    The NFL could use more players with this kind of Heart and love of the game then much of what they are Drafting today.

  15. justinnelson71 says: May 5, 2011 10:09 PM

    lets keep the same colors of BC going and sign him in SF!

  16. schlereth says: May 5, 2011 10:16 PM

    Thanks PFT for reporting on something other than the lockout, drug abuse, the Dan Snyder circus, and low-class players who don’t know when to shut up…a hopeful story, finally. I must admit though, I didn’t read it all.

  17. hobartbaker says: May 5, 2011 10:26 PM

    #neverquit.

  18. plundergrunge says: May 5, 2011 10:33 PM

    This is one thing that really left me scratching my head on draft day. I was riding on nearly every pick for Herzlich’s name to be called. I was even banging the drum on a few team’s facebook pages (whether legitimately affiliated or not).

    Patriots, Broncos, Chiefs, Colts, Vikings would all be good fits for him.

    You couldn’t possibly persuade me to believe Cheta Ozougwu is better than Herzlich. He was worth at least a 6th or 7th round pick.

  19. realitypolice says: May 5, 2011 10:55 PM

    profootballwalk says:
    May 5, 2011 9:25 PM
    I love Lance for beating the Frogs at their own game, but you know he was loaded to the gills with PEDs, so I don’t think I’d be asking him about coming back from cancer.
    ======================

    No athlete in the world has taken and passed more drug tests than Lance Armstrong. He was hounded by officials at every race, tested at a far, far, greater rate than his competitors, retested for ridiculous reasons, and harassed by cycling officials around the globe.

    And not one of those scumbag cowards could come up with one, not one, positive test.

    But you, through your many minutes of thorough, exhaustive investigation, know that he was “loaded to the gills” with PED’s.

    For someone who enjoys seeing the “frogs” beaten at their own game, you sure do sound like one.

  20. tangysizzl says: May 5, 2011 11:09 PM

    With Herzlich, I worry less about the Chemo or the chance that the cancer would come back and worry more about the big metal rod the guy had inserted into his Femur.

    I wonder how much of a pounding his leg can take over the next 3 to 5 years. It can’t be easy running around with a big metal rod in your leg.

    I have a friend that broke his femur racing dirt bikes, had a rod inserted into his leg and he still has a good amount of pain in his leg whenever he runs or jumps and that happened 4 years ago.

  21. genericcommenter says: May 5, 2011 11:23 PM

    Why are people down voting the comments about steroids? It’s an important distinction. Personally, I don’t mind if a cancer survivor uses steroids, to be honest.. but is the NFL suspends players for using GNC supplements. You can’t expect them to let Herzlich use serious drugs. So he might have a disadvantage compared to someone who is allowed to use other medicine.

  22. dbellina says: May 5, 2011 11:36 PM

    I honestly wish him the best of luck.

  23. realitypolice says: May 6, 2011 12:02 AM

    genericcommenter says:
    May 5, 2011 11:23 PM
    Why are people down voting the comments about steroids? It’s an important distinction. Personally, I don’t mind if a cancer survivor uses steroids, to be honest.. but is the NFL suspends players for using GNC supplements. You can’t expect them to let Herzlich use serious drugs. So he might have a disadvantage compared to someone who is allowed to use other medicine.
    =========================

    Cancer patients don’t use steriods for the rest of their lives.

    They use the steriods during their chemo treatments because the steriods mitigate the negative effects of the treatment.

    So Herzlich should have no trouble passing NFL drug tests unless he is undergoing chemo while on a roster.

    The ignorance about cancer treatment in this country never ceases to amaze me.

  24. ernestbynershands says: May 6, 2011 12:04 AM

    It suggests that Herzlich will become a dominant force. He will single handedly destroy the opposition. Any team that signs him will win seven straight super bowls. And have convincing evidence if doping and cheating emerge frequently. And have a team member with the character of a dog turd who would use a charitable foundation to fund a lavish lifestyle. A team mate who would abandon them at crucial times.
    Just like Lance abandoned his wife who helped him through cancer. Just like Lance abandoned Sheryl Crow upon her diagnosis with the same disease he suffered.

  25. givetheball2antowainsmith says: May 6, 2011 12:09 AM

    Kid is all class… Could be a solid 3-4 ilb.

  26. hobartbaker says: May 6, 2011 12:18 AM

    Regardless of how his pro career turns out, Herzlich is immortalized in the Everything To Prove series.

  27. gtfan says: May 6, 2011 12:25 AM

    Kid’s a hell of a player. I’d like to see him with the Falcons.

  28. rlr79 says: May 6, 2011 12:54 AM

    First there is no actual proof that Armstrong took or did anything, just rumor, suggestion, and accusations from the guy that did take them. There is absolutely no proof however, even if he was it wasn’t like he was the only one. 90’s baseball is shocked at how much drug use was going on in cycling, the question is not who was using but who wasn’t cycling is the worse sport for drug use, right there next to bodybuilding. Either way user or not Armstrong did a feat I don’t think anyone else could do he got cancer, fought it, retired, came back and then broke a record that will never be broke again when just about all his compitition was using, whether or not he was. You could pump me or anyone else for that matter full of steriods or other PED’s and we would never do anything close to what Armstrong did. Armstrong is a stud plain and simple.

  29. goawayeverybody says: May 6, 2011 1:06 AM

    The person they should get is Usain Bolt. Pay him whatever it takes. Whatever. It. Takes.

  30. highwaiianjahwaiian says: May 6, 2011 1:43 AM

    still think it was a shame that he wasnt drafted. if free agency opens i sure hes gonna get signed.

  31. revengeofthefilthymcnasty says: May 6, 2011 5:07 AM

    SKINS….GRAB THIS GUY THE SECOND THE LOCKOUT ENDS!

  32. iceman1414 says: May 6, 2011 7:26 AM

    Bills are in desperate need of linebacker help and Merriman is so overrated and injury prone. I would rather have this kid giving 100% rather than Merriman worrying about his next tweet…………Good luck wherever you end up………pick up the phone Buffalo, when the lockout ends

  33. unbreakable02215 says: May 6, 2011 7:28 AM

    If he makes it, I’d be shocked if he wasn’t a Patriot.
    He’s got Patriot written all over him.

  34. gregjennings85 says: May 6, 2011 12:26 PM

    Come on up the Green Bay, sir.

  35. gregjennings85 says: May 6, 2011 4:10 PM

    …TO Green Bay, sir.

  36. covercorner says: May 7, 2011 1:18 AM

    The Giants should sign him. They should have drafted him.

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