After Super Bowl injury, Seattle's Lane on verge of return
RENTON, Wash. (AP) In the span of 11 seconds, Jeremy Lane did the unexpected by intercepting Tom Brady at the goal line in the first quarter of the Super Bowl and then suffered one of the more gruesome injuries in Super Bowl history.
It's why Lane made sure the scars on his left arm were covered with a sleeve on Wednesday as he got ready for his first game-week practice of the season with the Seattle Seahawks.
''It makes me mad and happy at the same time because it was such a big play, but such a sad moment just like that,'' Lane said. ''I cover it up every day. Like I said, it brings me back some bad memories.''
After suffering two major injuries on that one play - an ugly fractured arm and a torn ACL that was discovered weeks later - Lane could make his season debut this week when the Seahawks host Arizona. Lane officially returned to practice on Monday and Seattle now has three weeks to activate him from the physically unable to perform list.
Lane's return would complete a complicated recovery that involved multiple surgeries coupled with getting past the disappointment of what occurred in the Super Bowl he was forced to leave early.
''We need to see a little bit of durability and handling the work load and a little bit of the movements that you really can't get it exactly the same in the workouts,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
As Seattle's nickel cornerback, Lane was going to play a major role in the Super Bowl because of the way New England wanted to throw. He was also one of the few healthy bodies with Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas all playing through significant injuries.
On his biggest moment, Lane was playing Cover Two and dropped into coverage as Seattle brought a three-man rush at Brady. Michael Bennett looped around the offensive line and was coming free, forcing Brady to release the errant pass.
Lane caught the ball at the goal line and dodged in and out of traffic until reaching the sideline, where he was cut down by Julian Edelman's hit on his left knee. Lane put his left arm down to brace for the fall, but his forearm snapped at a 90-degree angle, the bone poking through his skin. Thomas reached down to help Lane off the turf, but recoiled upon seeing the severity of the injury.
Lane said he's watched the play 20 or so times. And he's watched it all the way to the end.
''I just wanted to know what happened,'' Lane said. ''Plus, I wanted to see the interception.''
Lane was immediately taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery to stabilize the fracture. But while the surgery repaired the bone, the injury became infected and required another surgery a few months later.
He awoke from the initial surgery in Arizona and the television in the hospital was showing Russell Wilson's pass from the 1-yard line in the closing seconds that was intercepted by New England's Malcolm Butler.
''I saw that play and went back to sleep and after I woke up I was like, `Was that a dream?''' Lane said.
What wasn't apparent to anyone at the time of the arm injury, and what eventually kept Lane out this long, was the torn ACL suffered on the play, likely from the hit by Edelman. Lane said he remained in Arizona for about a week after the surgery and noticed when he returned to Seattle that his knee was bothering him to the point that his leg buckled one day in the grocery store.
An MRI finally revealed the ACL tear.
Lane's value is his ability to play both inside and outside cornerback positions. He was the Seahawks' nickel cornerback for all of last season, but has filled in as the starter on the outside in the past. He's also been a key special teams contributor since his arrival in Seattle.
''He just brings experience,'' Sherman said. ''Experience, scrappiness, especially on special teams as well. He'll do a great job at gunner. So he'll make an immediate impact when he comes back.''
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