Will Dissly‘s first two seasons in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks have both ended in the early fall with major injury recoveries to endure over the offseason.
A torn patella tendon ended his rookie season after just four games in 2018 and a torn Achilles brought last season to a close after just six games. But Dissly’s recovery went well and he was able to pass a physical to be ready for the start of training camp without a stay on the physically unable to perform list.
“Unfortunately, Will is really good at rehabbing. He’s had two big challenges back-to-back,” head coach Pete Carroll said on Tuesday.
“He’s a remarkable person and the character that drives a guy to overcome those kinds of obstacles, sometimes it breaks guys down, they can’t find the motivation. But Will has been able to do that.”
Dissly had got off to a strong start last year with 23 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns prior to his injury in mid-October. And Dissly admitted that the prospect of another long rehab initially had him a bit miserable.
“When you went down for the second time, I was on such a high. We have done a great job with my knee and and worked tremendously hard and was super prepared and the team was winning and we’re having success and then to go down again on kind of a fluke deal it was kind of crushing for sure,” he said.
“I don’t want to say that lightly. There was a you know a good week or so where I was in a bad place mentally. That was the beauty (of it). I was able to talk about it. I think that’s one thing, you know, if you’re in a bad place you should be able to talk about with your friends and family and lean on those to kind of bring you up. You’re isolated a lot when you get hurt. You’re removed from your team, your environment that you’re so used to. You’re not allowed to exercise to kind of stress relief and it’s hard emotionally. But you know that’s one thing you’re able to talk about and work through those things with those close around you that helps a ton.”
Having negotiated those hurdles to get back on the field, Dissly said the first day back in pads was like “Christmas morning.”
“I was excited to hit somebody again,” he said.
“I had a ton of confidence from rehab and so there was never this fear of I don’t know if I’m ready to put pads on. So it was more of just the excitement. I’m putting pads on again. I’m playing the sport. I worked my tail off. There was a bit of celebration in my mind that, you know, when you go through rehab, you have to celebrate the little moments and that was definitely one of them. But there wasn’t this anxiety or fear that I had to get over it was excitement to get back to doing the thing that I love.”