Take Brian Cushing, for example. When he suffered his 2012 ACL tear in the game against the Jets, he walked right off the field. Cushing told Dr. Walter Lowe, the Texans team orthopedist, that he was fine.
It would turn out to be the "roughest injury of his career," according to the Pro Bowl linebacker. When he went down in the third quarter at Kansas City, Cushing said the pain was actually worse.
"I guess the pain, why it hurt so much more this year, was because it was a break as opposed to last year where it was just a clean tear and I just walked off the field," Cushing said.
While he was down on the field being examined by team doctors in Week 7, Cushing was worried that pain was an indication of something worse.
"It's tough, especially when you're in that moment where you really hope you didn't just tear your ACL again," Cushing said. "You're staring up into the sky and you're just wondering and they are checking your knee out and you feel something different."
Now five weeks later, Cushing is walking without crutches and hopes to be 100 percent by January or February.