Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees already had seen an epic comeback story unfold in front of his eyes in the past.
It was initially thought that Bruschi would miss the entire season, and there was doubt about him resuming his career, but he made it back that season and was named the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
On Sunday, Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain made his return from a spinal cord contusion suffered 10 months ago against the Washington Redskins that endangered his career. McClain started and had five tackles on defense and another one on special teams during a 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Amazing," Pees said. "For a guy to be out 10 months and come back and practice three days and play 28 plays in that game, amazing. I’ve seen one other guy do it, Bruschi after he had a stroke. And I saw Jameel do it here. This guy had been told a few months back he was never going to play football again.
"So, to mentally stay that into it and that in tune and have no missed assignments in that game whatsoever ... You could tell he was a little tentative maybe in taking on some blocks at times, but I don’t think it was because he was scared. He just hadn’t been out there doing it. It was more that than I didn’t see anything backing off. That’s an amazing feat to me.”