Stafon Johnson suffers heartbreaking setback in comeback
By Doug Farrar
Sat Aug 14 10:36pm PDT
One of the first rules of journalism of any kind is that you must remain objective. You can't get emotionally wrapped up in the people you talk to, because it will generally affect your coverage in a negative fashion, and it can bring your credibility into question in serious cases. However, there are those rare people you meet along the way who make objectivity an impossible exercise. Former USC and current Tennessee Titans running back Stafon Johnson(notes) is one of those people. I first interviewed Johnson for the Washington Post before the draft, after I did a piece on Travelle Gaines, his personal trainer.
When I talked to Johnson in early March, he was about six months removed from the terrible accident that almost claimed his life. On September 28, Johnson was lifting weights at the USC facility, and a barbell with 275 pounds stacked on it slipped. The bar came down and crushed his larynx, and Johnson had to undergo emergency surgery. He had a breathing tube through most of October, and doctors told him that he could have died had his neck muscles not been so well-developed. Few expected Johnson to make a comeback that included the NFL, but Johnson started working with Gaines, got his strength back, and got on with the Titans as an undrafted free agent.
Rest of the story is worth reading:
This is a team who is battling several major injuries to
key players including Pro Bowl talents like Lee, Austin, Jenkins, Murray,
Carter and Ratliff. Other key starters missing include Costa, Smith, Church and
Coleman. That is 11 key players - that's half the starting lineup. Yet we still went 8-8.