There was the time Steve McNair underwent surgery to repair a broken chest bone. Doctors inserted wire to help the bone heal and sent him off to recover.
Under no circumstances was McNair to play football. But then Neil O’Donnell got hurt, and McNair did what he always did. He answered the bell for his teammates and his franchise and his coaches and the people who cared about the Tennessee Titans.
Later, the Pittsburgh Steelers would tell of hitting McNair and hearing him wheeze through the wire, hearing him groan and then watching him get up and run another play. McNair was in unimaginable pain that afternoon, yet he wouldn’t come out of the game.