Thursday, April 14, 2016

UConn's Myers no stranger to pain

The season-ending ankle injury and subsequent rehabilitation process has not been the best of times for UConn tight end Tommy Myers. However, it is not the first time he has dealt with serious injury or incredible pain.

After Wednesday's spring practice Myers took a trip down memory lane to that time when he broke his jaw and caused plenty of damage to his teeth and mouth during an AAU game in between his sophomore and junior high school seasons.

"Two days after I got my braces off, I went to block a shot and a guy's elbow came down on my face and popped it out,' Myers said. "This one (tooth) right here is dead but it is not fake. It was dangling on my tongue and my dad told me to just push it back up. It actually turned out to be a good thing and they said 'you are going to need stitches too.' I said 'thank you.'

:You play sports and you have to expect injuries to happen, you have to be able to put it behind you."

Myers actually found a silver lining when he suffered the jaw injury.

"That was a process," Myers said. "Thankfully I didn't have to get my jaw wired shut because it was my top jaw."

Myers is back practicing without restriction. In Wednesday's practice his most memorable moment might have come when he teamed with redshirt freshman left tackle Matt Peart to seal the edge so tailback Ron Johnson could scamper untouched down the sideline.

Myers' true value to the UConn offense might have been best illustrated by the number of players pressed into duty to try to replace him following his injury. The UConn coaches used tailbacks (Max DeLorenzo and Josh Marriner), a quarterback (Garrett Anderson), offensive linemen (Steve Hashemi and Trey Rutherford) to try to make up for Myers' loss.

The toughest time for Myers might have come during preparations for the St. Petersburg Bowl. While he was thrilled that the Huskies were able to not only make it to a bowl game but have the additional practices but there was also times when his inability to play made for some frustrating moments.

"It is nice to watch but it sucks to be watching because you just want to be in there and it is how it was," Myers said. "I just wanted to play."

I also spoke to fellow tight end Alec Bloom and will have more on the tight ends leading into Saturday's spring game.



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