Six feet five......25o pounds......a rocket of an arm.....a leader on and off the field. Phenomenal college career at Marshall. Meet Mr. Byron Leftwich -- the Atlanta Falcon quarterback. Starting his first game as a Falcon, (taking over for Joey Harrington) Leftwich had people scratching their heads as to why the Jacksonville Jaguars out right cut him earlier this year. He looked sharp. His passes crisp. His deep ball a spiraling missile. The Atlanta Falcons actually led the New Orleans Saints (in the Superdome) at halftime 13-7. But with 9:45 left in the third quarter, Leftwich was sacked by the Saints' Will Smith on a third and long play. He got twisted under the pile and immediately grabbed his right ankle. And just like that...... poof!!!......the air went out of Atlanta's offense. As has happened far to often in his brief NFL career, the scene was a dejected Byron Leftwich , being carted off yet another football field.
Petrino: Leftwich injury 'serious' AJC's Story
Byrons' injury history goes all the way back to college as told by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on April 20, 2003:
FORT WORTH, Texas _ Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich's right arm is fine. It's his left leg that is the concern of some NFL teams.
Leftwich had a stress fracture in his left leg during his junior season. He hurt it again late last season but continued to play on what was described as a hairline fracture above the ankle.
"I caught chicken pox twice, too," Leftwich said. "It's just something you have to go through.
"Injuries happen in football. It was two different injuries. It's like hurting two different fingers, but it's a finger, so ..
Then in November 2004, Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reported the following:
There is still a chance that Leftwich, the centerpiece of the Jacksonville offense, will need surgery on his injured left knee. If that occurs, then there is a chance the Jags' young star could miss the balance of the season.
"It could be, in the end, that he does indeed need surgery," acknowledged Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio.
That admission certainly is counter to earlier reports that a Tuesday examination by noted orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., indicated that surgery was not needed and that Leftwich would likely be sidelined 4-6 weeks, the normal recovery period for a slightly torn lateral collateral ligament.
And last year -- Mr. Leftwich -- missed all but 6 games and lost his starting position to David Garrard, which made him expendable to the Jaguars. Enter the Atlanta Falcons............
Atlanta signs Leftwich to a 2 year 7 million dollar contract. We make the following suggestion to the Falcon front office. Either get the man an offensive line that will protect him or get the man some state of the art ankle braces from McDavid's. The AnkleX.