Former All-Pro defensive end Jason Taylor shed light on what many players go through just to get on the field in a must-read interview with the Miami Herald's Dan Le Batard that ran in Sunday's edition of the newspaper.
We can't stress enough that you should read the entire interview yourself: Click here.
However we will point out a few of the takeaways from Taylor's tales.
» The headline story was the former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant relaying how he almost needed his leg amputated.
After being leg-whipped during a game, Taylor says the pain was so bad that he couldn't sleep unless he was standing. One night he fell asleep standing on the staircase of his home, before finally calling the team trainer. When doctors recommended surgery, Taylor adamantly insisted on avoiding any option that would keep him from playing. But after a call to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, Taylor relented. Had he waited just two more hours, his leg would have needed amputation because of effects from compartment syndrome, which occurs when muscle bleeding causes severe nerve damage.
» Taylor also goes into detail about what he'd do to get on the field for games, from pregame Toradol shots to postgame pain killers and prescribed sleeping pills. Unfortunately, that's not an uncommon routine in the NFL.
» There also is a grisly anecdote of Taylor stuffing a towel in his mouth to muffle screams during excruciating shots in the bottom of his feet to ease the pain of plantar fasciitis -- a foot condition Le Batard points out might have been caused by the Toradol injections.
» After all the horrific stories, Taylor ends the way many NFL players end their stories, saying even with everything he went through, if given a chance he'd do it again.
"Would I do it all again? I would," Taylor said. "If I had to sleep on the steps standing up for 15 years, I would do it."
Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.