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Logan Mankins, noted tough guy, finally back on field

New England Patriots' Gronkowski jokes with teammate Mankins during a practice for the NFL Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis AP

Hopefully, Logan Mankins understood the irony.

After years of making fun of teammates who were coming back from injuries, Mankins was the one who needed extra time to get well this year.

After tearing his ACL at some point last year, his first significant injury, the Patriots left guard practiced for the first time Sunday.

“In years past, I was always one of the guys that made fun of the guys that got hurt,” Mankins said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “Now I got put in that position. I always felt like we were here to do a job, so you should be out there practicing and playing. The first few weeks of camp were tough not to be out there, but it was something that had to be done.”

Mankins hadn’t even missed a practice prior to last year’s knee injury, which came in his seventh year in the league. And as evidence of his toughness (or willingness to play along with coach Bill Belichick), he wouldn’t even say when he injured his knee, saying only that it “happened a long time ago, a lot longer than you would have thought it happened.”

But he never had an MRI or many tests during the season, and never indicated anything was wrong as he continued to play. He didn’t get those tests until after the season, and said he was surprised to find out the extent of the damage.

“It wasn’t 100 percent, but it was still functional,” Mankins said. “Put a brace on, tape an aspirin to it and go. . . .

“I could still run, so there was no reason to sit out. There were no MRIs or anything, so we never knew what exactly was hurt. If you can still run and play, there’s no reason to go see a doctor, right?”

It’s easy to hail Mankins’ toughness, and it’s great that he was willing to tape it up for the team. At the same time, players have to understand that the team ultimately doesn’t care if they do or don’t, because they’ll only get the chance to play through the pain if they’re still performing at a high level. As soon as they’re not, they’ll be former players, limping around on their own dime.

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9 Responses to “Logan Mankins, noted tough guy, finally back on field”
  1. floriosfuglykid says: Aug 13, 2012 9:29 AM

    Why would any player make fun of his injured teammates … and why would any coach tolerate it?

  2. pftcensorssuck says: Aug 13, 2012 9:32 AM

    My world just got a little better. Even my coffee tastes a little better now.

  3. ampats says: Aug 13, 2012 9:45 AM

    Great to have Mankins back now we need to get Waters back. Regardless,Scar will coach this unit up.

  4. jtchernak says: Aug 13, 2012 9:58 AM

    Spikes also returned yesterday hopefully Brady isn’t getting hit as much now

  5. playin2x says: Aug 13, 2012 10:37 AM

    This idiot better not sue the league when 10 years from now he’s in a wheelchair saying they took my legs

  6. onlysane1intheroom says: Aug 13, 2012 11:04 AM

    Not that Spikes has anything to do with protecting Brady….

    Darin, I think the players are FULLY aware by now that injuries sustained now will hurt them in the future. But, thanks for pointing that out.

  7. bringbacktheflex says: Aug 13, 2012 12:47 PM

    “limping around on their own dime.”

    PLEASE! This isn’t a grocery clerk who injures himself and has to figure out how to live the rest of his life from a minimum wage job on SSI. These are millionaires with college educations. And if they can’t figure out how to plan for their future, healthy or otherwise, then they don’t deserve our pity.

    I have pity for the old-timers, who played hurt until they couldn’t walk, made the league billions, and made only thousands of dollars during their brief careers.

  8. suhdidntstompanyone says: Aug 13, 2012 1:00 PM

    First of all what kind of teammate makes fun of players that are injured?
    Secondly let’s not forget that this is a guy that was going to potentially hold up a lockout settlement due strictly to his own greed.
    I guess the question is answered by the statement.

  9. homelanddefense says: Aug 13, 2012 3:02 PM

    you guys are overreacting to the comment about making fun of injured teammates. Im sure it was meant as a joke, NFL players are notorious for being jokesters.

    And enough about holding up the deal. It was a negotiating ploy, you cant blame some one for something you THOUGHT was going to happen, but didnt.

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