No one needed a Thursday reminder that Terry McLaurin is a complete professional in every sense of the word, just like no one had to be told once more that a Reese's cup is delicious regardless of what time it is. However, McLaurin provided one anyway.
During an interview on the Jim Rome Show, the Washington wideout revealed that he finished the 2020 season playing through not one but two high-ankle sprains. In other words, the receiver was dealing with an injury that's regarded as one of the more difficult in sports to deal with — on both of his legs.
"Not too many people know," he said.
Well, they do now. And, yet again, everyone was given another glimpse at the kind of maturity and attitude that makes McLaurin such a key part of Washington's foundation going forward, which came as he discussed why he felt he couldn't let the issues sideline him.
"Just seeing my teammates' faces when I’m on that football field," he said. "Being a captain and a young leader, the confidence that gives them when I’m on the football field. I wanted to continue that. Not being out there with them when I wasn’t, it hurt."
No. 17 was unable to suit up for the Burgundy and Gold's matchup with the Panthers in Week 16, a game they lost in unsightly fashion. Thanks to that defeat, they needed to win their finale versus Philly in order to make the playoffs.
So, leading into that matchup, McLaurin attacked his rehab to ensure he could start, which is precisely what he did. He went on to record seven grabs and a crucial touchdown at Lincoln Financial Field, as the visitors did indeed clinch the division title.
"My only thought was to get back and produce," he told Rome. "Even if it was just to take a little pressure off our other skill players to get them some clearer looks. I was willing to do that."
There's a reason this dude was voted to become a team captain in unanimous fashion. Things like his chase-down tackle on Thanksgiving highlight his uniqueness, too.
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As a few others have stated, McLaurin pointed to the battles that Ron Rivera and Alex Smith experienced in their own careers as motivation to persevere past his own pain. To him, there was no way he'd succumb to a pair of sprains after witnessing their courage.
"I had plenty of examples around my building to not use certain things or ailments, things you were going through as an excuse," McLaurin said. "Just try and put your best foot forward for the team."
Now, while the wideout's health troubles don't compare to Rivera's bout with cancer or Smith's lengthy comeback from his infamous broken leg, his scenario wasn't envious, either.
In fact, he literally didn't have a best foot to put forward, but he did so regardless. That sort of approach is why McLaurin is going to be a special player for many more years to come.