WR Quinten Lawrence was on-again, off-again with the Chiefs in 2009. As a rookie, he was shuffled back and forth between the practice squad and never seemed to be able to fit for an extended period of time. NFL.com credits him with appearing in six games with one reception for nine yards.
He was a sixth round pick and not expected to contribute much right off the bat but those numbers are lower than I think most expected.
So what happened?
According to Josh Looney of KCChiefs.com, Lawrence played with a shoulder injury in 2009. The coaches, including Todd Haley, weren't aware of the extent of it.
"It's always a setback when you're not out there, but I think this kid has showed a lot of toughness, because (the injury) was something that he dealt with throughout the course of the year that we didn't really realize was quite what it was," Haley said after practice today. "That impressed me, number one, because we couldn't get him off of the practice field. He wanted to be out there and he wanted to compete."
He's been in the rehab zone for OTAs thus far but saw a little bit of time today, Looney reports.
This is one of those strange times where hiding an injury is actually a good thing. The coaches sometimes view that as a sign of toughness and willingness to compete.
It's also one of the biggest problems the NFL has with players not wanting to report concussions. While Lawrence's toughness is admirable, I wish the NFL could come up with a system where players weren't afraid to report injuries for fear of appearing "weak". Luckily for all involved, it was "just" a shoulder and not a head injury.