Mohamed Massaquoi was a second-round pick in the 2009 draft because of his ability to catch a football, but he lost one of the hands that helped in that task after an ATV accident.
Massaquoi revealed the prosthetic he now wears in place of most of his left hand — his thumb is intact — in a video for The Players Tribune on Monday. Massaquoi described taking a turn too sharply on the ATV early last year and feeling like an explosion went off in his hand.
“What I’m seeing and what my friends are seeing are completely different. They’re seeing what actually happened, I’m seeing what I think happened,” Massaquoi said. “I’m thinking that I just broke my hand. My friend, on the other hand, thinks my hand just went through a meat grinder or something like that. Meanwhile you can see the panic and the fear in everybody.”
Massaquoi said doctors worked to save his hand, but that they realized over time that they had to remove his other fingers because they weren’t going to make it. Massaquoi said he dealt with denial and fear after the accident, but wound up with “a perspective of how precious life is.”
“I guess when I look at my hand, I’m just thankful,” Massaquoi said. “I’m thankful for the process. I’m thankful for the little things in life. I’m thankful for family, for friendship, thankful for real things.”
Massaquoi played four years for the Browns and saw offseason time with the Jaguars and Jets in 2013 before his playing career came to an end.