WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Former Florida State running back Chris Thompson, a guy who’s been compared to Warrick Dunn, thought about never playing football again after breaking his back during his Junior season.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, when faced with a third and one in a game against Wake Forest, Thompson fatefully elected to move the chains rather than turn the ball upfield.
“I actually should have just bounced outside and took it for forty yards down, possibly a touchdown, but I was just thinking about getting the one yard at that time,” Thompson told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Monday. “And a defender was standing in my way, and I just tried to run through him a little bit just to get the first down, but when I hit him it just felt like I hit a brick wall.”
“My whole body completely stopped and I just fell over,” he continued. “I knew that I wasn’t paralyzed though because I made sure I could feel my legs, feel my toes moving and everything. I just couldn’t breath, and that was pretty much the worst part of it.”
“For a couple months, I didn’t even know if I wanted to continue to play football, but now thinking back on it I’m glad I did,” Thompson said.
He would ultimately overcome adversity, and return to the football field the following August.
But just over a year after suffering his first horrific injury, and returning to form to lead the Seminoles in rushing (687 yards, 5 touchdowns) his Senior season, Thompson was dealt yet another season-ending blow.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, he went down with a knee injury in a victory over Miami that he would later learn was a torn ACL.
“Actually when it happened, it didn’t dawn on me at first because I was walking afterwards, like in the locker room after the game,” Thompson said. “I was walking around; I told all the guys that I was fine; they’ll see me playing next week. But then that Sunday is when Coach Fisher broke the news to me.”
“I was kind of wondering ‘what did I do wrong?’ Because seriously my mom kept me in the church since I was a little boy, so I’m sitting just wondering what was I doing wrong,” Thompson continued. “Was I making bad decisions or what was it? After awhile I just realize I pretty much had to refocus myself, because I don’t know why it happened, I just assumed it happened for a reason.”
His harrowing tale of misfortune proved to be one of inspiration, and his perseverance was rewarded.
With two picks to spend in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Mike Shanahan and the Redskins took a chance on the 5-foot-7, 192-pound back, selecting Thompson 154th overall.
“Actually, I’m so glad the Redskins organization just kind of overlooked the knee and realized that after awhile I’ll be back and able to play again. I’m just thankful that I got drafted,” Thompson said.
Trainers tell him he should be good to go for training camp.
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