Patriots running back Brandon Bolden revealed on Thursday that he had cancer in 2018, having a carcinoma removed from his face during the offseason and then playing all 16 games that year.
Bolden, who posted pictures from his experience on Instagram, said that when he was first diagnosed, he feared his football career could end, but he responded well to treatment and now feels fine.
“It was just one of those moments where I was messing with my son and my little brother about this, I actually looked in the mirror and I was like, ‘I’ve got my full face back’ and that’s what made me go through the pictures and everything else,’’ Bolden said, via the Boston Globe. “Just to show like I had cancer and I didn’t think I was going to play another down in the NFL and here I am three years, going on four years, after having the surgery and still working strong. It was kind of one of those inspirational type deals for me because that took a lot. It was a lot of naysay from doctors and everything else and then I am here to prove people wrong and grow and get stronger.”
The 31-year-old Bolden played for the Patriots from 2012 to 2017 and was diagnosed shortly after playing in the Super Bowl following the 2017 season. He signed with the Dolphins in free agency that offseason, played 2018 in Miami, returned to the Patriots in 2019, opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and returned to the Patriots this year, when he has played in all 15 games.