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Tim Hightower feared his career was over during long absence

AP

After signing with the 49ers this offseason, Tim Hightower can be confident that he’s on a team that expects him to make a significant contribution to the offense. But it wasn’t long ago that he wasn’t confident he would ever play again.

Hightower’s once-promising NFL career looked like it had been derailed as a result of a torn ACL he suffered during the 2011 season. That knee injury, as well as a post-surgery infection, led him to spend the next three years out of the NFL. Now Hightower says he feared during that absence that he would never return.

“It was a long process,” Hightower told ESPN. “It was scary. One thing, when you are playing this game, there’s a level of confidence that comes along with it. You get used to competing and playing at a high level and being very confident in what you do. For the first time in my life, I really felt like like my confidence was challenged. Everything that you’ve known, everything that you’ve been accustomed to and worked for, you can’t do it. You have to kind of re-identify — who am I? What if this is really over? Where do I go from here?”

It wasn’t until 2015 that Hightower finally got back into the league with the Saints. In 2016 he bounced back in a big way, with 133 carries for 548 yards, plus 22 catches for 200 yards. And now he feels prepared for a big year in San Francisco. He’s come a long way from the years when he wasn’t sure he could ever play football again.

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11 Responses to “Tim Hightower feared his career was over during long absence”
  1. cardsfann1 says: May 30, 2017 8:33 AM

    Good for him. He is a good dude and a good ball player… I wish he wasn’t on the 9ers tho. That really does suck…

  2. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: May 30, 2017 8:53 AM

    I love stories like this. He’ll be one of my favorite players to watch this year (assuming I’m watching this year – I didn’t watch last year because of the anti-American players the teams in the league employ).

    Good luck!

  3. toothfairyretributionmanifesto says: May 30, 2017 9:03 AM

    Always been a fan of Hightower’s game. Hope he can have a big year. Lord knows that Hyde will go down at some point.

  4. winningisabrees says: May 30, 2017 9:23 AM

    Don’t know why Saints didn’t keep him instead of signing Peterson….. I can only think it was so that he can go a team where I will be the lead back. He deserves that, Great guy on and off the field, and locker room leader

  5. ninerfan81 says: May 30, 2017 9:39 AM

    amazing

  6. nyneal says: May 30, 2017 9:45 AM

    Isn’t that why he went to college, to help plan his future beyond football?

  7. tdskinz says: May 30, 2017 9:51 AM

    We need more stories like this in the off season.

  8. tylawspick6 says: May 30, 2017 9:54 AM

    His career IS over. He just doesn’t realize it yet, apparently.

  9. mcniner55 says: May 30, 2017 10:18 AM

    Between hyde, high tower and joe williams the 49ers will have some good competition in the back field.

    If hightower can contribute at all like he did for the Saints last year that would be a load off Hydes back that he clearly needs.

    I like hyde he just cant be a 3 down back all game every game without getting hurt. He needs someone to spell him every now and then.

  10. mysterytonite says: May 30, 2017 1:14 PM

    The NFL’s most fickle position, for him to make a comeback 3 years later is nothing short of amazing. Give the Saints credit too for giving him a shot as most organizations just go for the younger/cheaper options. I wish nothing but the best for this guy and am so happy for him that he was able to land a free agent deal in the offseason.

  11. shooter28 says: May 30, 2017 2:45 PM

    mcniner55 says:
    May 30, 2017 10:18 AM
    Between hyde, high tower and joe williams the 49ers will have some good competition in the back field.

    If hightower can contribute at all like he did for the Saints last year that would be a load off Hydes back that he clearly needs.

    I like hyde he just cant be a 3 down back all game every game without getting hurt. He needs someone to spell him every now and then.
    ————————————————————-

    Hyde’s problem isn’t that he is being used as a 3 down back, its that he is brittle. He gets hurt early in the season & early in games, he just isn’t all that good. I don’t think Hightower is going to be all that great either, we will need to wait and see what Williams brings.

    The big thing for SF is their O-Line, their offensive line is absolutely horrible. The 49ers have
    a terrible RT who ranks among worst via PFF & all of their OGs ranked amongst the 10 worst in the NFL last year especially in pass protection via PFF. The starters likely will be Beadles/Garnett and neither can play, the good linemen SF has is Staley. Behind that line the run game is going to have a lot of issues.

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