Henry Anderson’s larynx injury was close to being much worse

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We’re used to hearing about football players who tear ACLs or break arms, and there’s a general sense of how serious those injuries are and how long they take to come back from.

But Colts defensive tackle Henry Anderson‘s laryngeal fracture is not the typical football injury, and he didn’t realize at the time how serious it was.

Via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star, Anderson was asked what could have happened if he tried to return this season, instead of going on injured reserve and getting surgery to repair the damage.

Death, maybe,” Anderson said.

Such a matter-of-fact assessment is jarring, but Anderson found out in a hurry how serious it was, after he was hit in the throat during a play against the Texans.

“I was lucky,” Anderson said. “I didn’t think you could hurt your throat that bad. I thought I’d be fine in a few days, it’d go away. Then I got the call from the doctor after the scan. He told me what it was. I was pretty bummed. Right when I was starting to get comfortable, . . .”

“If I got hit again there, if you don’t have a solid structure in place protecting your airway, it could collapse the airway. And you don’t want that to happen.”

Five days later, he was undergoing surgery to repair the damage, ending his season. And fortunate that he can breathe more easily, knowing how close he came to a more serious problem.