New York Giants 2010 draft pick Chad Jones has decided to halt his football comeback. Instead, he will focus on baseball. His decision comes three years after a devastating car wreck nearly claimed his leg and foot.
Back in high school, Jones was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round in 2007, but he opted to focus on football instead by playing for LSU. Three years later, the Giants selected Jones, a safety, in the 3rd round of the draft.
The team was enamored with Jones’ physical gifts in that he had “the size of a linebacker and the hands of a receiver,” according to a 2010 draft report. He was drafted to be an immediate contributor on special teams and defense, particularly in certain defensive packages.
But then, June 25, 2010 happened: Jones was in a single-automobile wreck, suffering fractures to his left leg, shattering both his tibia and fibula. The accident was so bad that he had arteries and nerves exposed. The axle of the SUV mangled his leg and doctors succeeded in saving it.
Jones fought to overcome his injuries, enduring numerous surgeries and rehab stints to regain some of the speed he lost. In his attempt at a comeback bid with the Giants, Jones reportedly ran a 4.84 in a 40-yard dash drill in 2011. But last year, he failed a physical and was cut by the team.
Jones’ decision is perhaps anticlimactic considering that so many supporters from his LSU and Giants’ families were hoping he could return to the gridiron, if only because football seemed like the thing he most loved.
“His heart was and probably always will be in football,” said John Moran, a physical therapist from the New Orleans-based Southern Orthopaedic Specialists, who helped Jones get back to walking and running.
Moran confirmed on Wednesday that Jones will concentrate on returning to baseball, saying that Jones “knew it was time to transition to baseball as a pitcher and/or outfielder.”
While it may not be the ending many Giants fans were hoping for, perhaps it’s an appropriate detour. A tremendously gifted athlete may overcome life-threatening injuries because he had the ability to attempt professional comebacks in two sports. It’s an uncanny story, much like its protagonist.
Tacuma R. Roeback is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TacumaRoe, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+