When the Indianapolis Colts lost Pierre Garcon in free agency to the Washington Redskins, they needed a burner who could go deep and stretch the field. Donnie Avery, who had run a 4.27 40-yard dash as a senior at Houston's pre-draft pro day, caught 100 passes for 1,263 yards in two seasons with the St. Louis Rams, and showed promise.
Then he blew out his right knee in a preseason game before the 2010 season. His right anterior cruciate ligament was surgically repaired, and the Rams cut him before the 2011 season.
Avery eventually landed in Tennessee, but from all media accounts, he couldn't supplant the young receivers the Titans were playing, guys that needed the reps to learn and grow.
Avery finished with three catches, one for a touchdown.
"The focus this year is all about staying consistent, staying healthy and just contribute as much as possible," Avery told the Indianapolis Star.
Asked if he was still fast, Avery replied, "I'm fast, yeah." He claims he was able to run a 4.25 40-yard dash after the knee was reconstructed.
Avery told the Star that his ACL injury wasn't bad luck, but that "everything happens for a reason."
"That year I was out, I did learn a lot, not just from the guys on the team but around the league, on how to be a pro, how to study film, just waiting my turn," he added.