Dee Ford made headlines for his pass rushing ability and his boasting about being better than Jadeveon Clowney. The newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs also comes with a fairly extensive injury history as well.
Looks like Dee Ford won't be able to back up his claim that he's better than Clowney today. Combine medical crew scratching him.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 24, 2014
Dee Ford said medicals flagged a 2011 procedure for a herniated disc in lower back. Not major but advised not to compete.— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) February 24, 2014
That lower back injury occurred during the 2011 season, when Ford ended up having back surgery that cost him to miss the season after the first three games. He earned a medical redshirt and returned in 2012 to be the team's leader in sacks over the next two seasons.
However, Ford also missed games in each of those seasons. An abdominal injury knocked Ford out of a game against Arkansas, and he went on to miss the very next game. Then just before the start of last season, Ford injured his left MCL and missed the first two games of the season. He returned in the third and continued to blaze a trail toward the NFL Draft.
The fact that the Chiefs invested their first round pick, and the 23rd overall selection, in Ford is a clear sign that the team is not concerned about his previous issues. Ford was not only a dynamic pass rusher this last season, but he also tore up the Senior Bowl and earned MVP honors in the process.
As far as the medical issues popping up at the Combine, it should be noted that other players have been pulled from workouts in the past and it amounted to nothing. Star Lotulelei had the same thing happen at the 2013 NFL Combine and he enjoyed a very productive rookie season for the Carolina Panthers.
Still there are questions around this selection for the Chiefs in the minds of many fans, and some of those won't be put to rest until Ford makes an impact on the field this fall.