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Why Bradley Chubb is “really happy” he tore his ACL

Zac Stevens Avatar
October 1, 2019


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Season-ending surgery. That’s about the worst news that can be delivered to a player.

Yet, less than 48 hours after partially tearing his ACL and 24 hours after being delivered the season-ending news, Bradley Chubb couldn’t have a more opposite mindset.

“It’s just one of those things. It sucks right now, but it’s going to make me a better person,” the 23-year old said on Tuesday, looking at the big picture. “So I’m looking forward to the journey. I’m looking forward to still being around this team, still being the guy, the leader I need to be. Just because I’m sidelined with an injury doesn’t mean I can’t be Bradley Chubb. My main thing is try to take as much positives from this situation as I can and move forward.”

As Chubb pointed out, the truth is there’s nothing that can be done. The damage that occurred to his ACL with 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter on Sunday can’t be undone. “Can’t do nothing about it. Just got to get better from it,” he said.

That positive mindset isn’t unheard of for a player to have in front of the media. But Chubb went five, or 55, steps further with his mindset on the injury.

“I’m happy this actually happened to me,” Chubb said, making every media member in the room doubletake to make sure they heard him right. “Because I feel like in life, I was getting a little too complacent. With 12 sacks as a rookie, it’s kind of hard to keep that same grind. So I’m really happy this happened to me because it’s a humbling experience and it’s going to get me back to the same guy that was hungry to get college offers, the same guy that was hungry to go out there and prove everybody wrong. I’m glad to be back in that same position… I’m excited for it.”

The sack numbers could lend credence to Chubb’s point. As a rookie, Chubb was flirting with breaking the all-time rookie sack record for much of the season. In 2019, however, it took him until Week 4 to record his first sack. But sacks don’t tell the full story as Chubb was still getting in the backfield and was a force in run defense.

Chubb has not set a day for surgery yet as he is in the process of getting second and third opinions. Whenever it happens, he’s “going to be full head of steam from there.”

And it’s not going to be his first time undergoing this surgery and rehab on his left knee. In fact, Chubb’s not only torn the same ACL before, he tore it on the exact same day seven years before in high school.

“It was actually crazy, seven years to the exact date I tore my ACL on the same leg. September 29, 2012, and then September 29, 2019. It’s crazy how that works,” Chubb said in a very upbeat tone on Tuesday.

“That was my first injury, and like I said, it made me who I am today. I remember I was on the hospital bed, not knowing if I was going to get college offers and stuff like that. And look where I am now. I can only imagine what this injury is going to do for me. I’m 23 years old. I’m still young, only my second year. So I’m just excited to get back and get into the rehab process. The technology from 2012 to now is 10 times different, so I know I’m going to be back even better.”

Sounds like a man who was just drafted No. 5 overall, not a top-five pick learning he’s sidelined for the season with a partially torn ACL. But that’s who Bradley Chubb is. Instead of dreading the rehab process, he’s welcoming it.

“Rehab was about six to nine months, I don’t really remember to be honest,” he said, recalling his first surgery in 2012. “And that’s in high school. That’s when I’ve got high school trainers that I’m going to see a physical therapy like twice a week. I’m going to be with the medical staff every day, getting better, getting in the weight room as fast as I can. Just making sure I take all the necessary precautions to be the best me I can in 2020 and excited for the journey.”

Despite it being the second time he’s torn his left ACL, he doesn’t believe it’s a chronic problem.

After he called his mom, dad, and brother, the No. 5 overall pick called the former No. 2 overall pick. Von Miller’s message to him was simple: “It’s going to make you a better person, a better pro.”

“I’m glad it happened in Week 4, not Week 14, Week 15 so I can get on top of it early, be back ready for next year,” Chubb said with relief.

As the Broncos are staring down one of the worst starts in franchise history at 0-4, many believe they should be looking toward the future. As Chubb is now forced to look to the future, as a centerpiece of the Broncos’ future, Chubb promises to be “back even better.”


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