Sharpton: ‘The more I get hurt, the better I get’

Sharpton: ‘The more I get hurt, the better I get’
September 13, 2013, 2:45 pm
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(USA Today Images)

Darryl Sharpton’s NFL career reads more like a laundry list of injuries. The 2010 fourth-round pick has finished all three of his professional seasons on Injured Reserve.

But after passing the NFL’s concussion protocol this week, Sharpton will make his 2013 debut at home against the Titans and will split reps at inside linebacker with Joe Mays, head coach Gary Kubiak said.

“Very exciting,” Sharpton said at his locker on Friday. “Like I always say, being able to play for this team in an honor for me. Being able to play football at a high level, I just look forward to going out there and making plays for this team and helping us take that next step.”

Sharpton’s rookie season in 2010 ended with a shoulder injury, which sent him to the IR. In his second season, a bad quad injury ended his season. That same quad injury that put him on the IR the season before, left him on the PUP list to start last year. Then, a hip injury ended his season on Jan. 1 last year. He started last season on the PUP and ended on the IR.

“I never feel like I’m deteriorating,” he said. “Honestly, I feel like I’m rejuvenated. Every time I come back from an injury, I’m better than I was before. It’s like the more I get hurt, the better I get. It’s not like I’m breaking down. I feel like I’m as good as I’ve been as a football player.”

Sharpton likened the injuries to the maintenance of a car. Every time he gets hurt, it’s like he takes the car to the shop, only to have to go back to the shop when another thing goes wrong. He’s been to the shop a lot in three years.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t frustrating,” Sharpton said. “But at the same time, I play for a great team and nobody ever gets down on me or pressures me in a negative manner. It’s just positive reinforcement. And in turn, I’m going to give this team everything I have, my blood, sweat, tears, I’m gonna lay it on the line for this team.”

This year was supposed to be different for Sharpton. He looked great in OTAs but showed up to training camp with a groin injury and suffered a concussion before the last preseason game. During camp, while Sharpton was out with that groin injury, the Texans signed Mays, who has been the starter ever since.

Sharpton said he doesn’t think too much about the starting role he lost when the Texans signed Mays. He hopes to play well when he plays and hopes Mays does well too.

He’s no longer feeling the effects of the concussion that forced him to miss the season opener on Monday. It was the first concussion the 25-year-old has ever had and he said it was a little frustrating just because he didn’t feel like himself. But Sharpton’s back now and will play Sunday. Head coach Kubiak said the team trusts Sharpton and thinks he can still help the team.

“It means the world to me,” Sharpton said about the support from the Texans during his career. “That’s why I always give it my all.”