Seattle Seahawks defensive back Jeremy Lane says he is fully healed, both physically and spiritually.
And he is ready to face the same opponent that caused him so much bodily anguish and emotional turmoil from Super Bowl XLIX — the New England Patriots.
For the first time since suffering career-threatening injuries in the Seahawks’ 28-24 loss in the Super Bowl, Lane will once again see the quarterback he picked off on that fateful play — Tom Brady. And he will likely be matched up against the same wide receiver who undercut him and sent him flying on the sideline — Julian Edelman.
“It was football,” Lane said. “It’s all good.”
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Rewind to that Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona in early February of 2015: The Patriots were driving in Seattle territory late in the first quarter when Lane jumped high at the goal-line to snag a Brady pass.
Lane dodged two tacklers and took off along the right sideline. Edelman came through like a speeding bullet in mid-air to stop Lane’s gallop.
The collision sent Lane airborne toward the Seahawks side. As he was landing. he put his left arm down to brace his fall. The bone snapped.
Lane was carted off and taken to a local hospital immediately for surgery. A couple hours later in recovery, he woke up just in time to see Russell Wilson’s interception on second-and-goal at the end of the game.
That was only the beginning of his painful journey.
A few weeks later, he had to return to the hospital. An infection in his arm had formed, likely from the artificial-coloring chemicals found in the grass at University of Phoenix Stadium. Another surgery was performed to clean it out.
And in March, as he was walking through a grocery store, his left knee still felt sore from the hit he absorbed. And suddenly, it unexpectedly buckled. Doctors discovered his left anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL) was torn completely and required surgery.
Because of all of that, Lane began last season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, not returning to football until November.
“He battled back,” Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said. “I mean, I watched him the whole offseason.
“Look at him now, you don’t even notice he got hurt. That is what guys do here — get hurt, bounce back and play with their brothers.”
Lane hit free agency after last season, but did not stay there long. Seattle and the former sixth-rounder out of Northwestern State agreed to a four-year, $23 million deal.
“Ending up with the team that drafted me, that was fun,” Lane said.
It’s been an up-and-down season so far for Lane, who essentially has been the team’s worst regular cornerback since the September bye week, both with tackling and pass coverage.
But Lane admits there’s been some perspective to gain from all he’s been through.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle (that I am playing), but God was definitely with me,” he said. “I stayed confident throughout it that I would come back from it. Now I am here.
“Anything can happen. You never know.”