RENTON, Wash. – At the age of 30, eight seasons into an accomplished NFL career, Chester Pitts’ knee was a mess.
And after suffering a season-ending injury in the second game of the 2009 season, Pitts kept hearing that the injury could turn into career ending. Doctor after doctor looked at Pitts’ knee, and the fact that he is a 300-plus pound offensive lineman, and told him he wouldn’t make it back.
Pitts didn’t listen, however, until he found a doctor – Dr. Walter Lowe in Houston – who gave him a prognosis he liked.
Fourteen months after having microfracture surgery on his right knee, Pitts made his debut with the Seattle Seahawks last week, playing three quarters in a loss to Oakland. Pitts primarily played left guard in place of Ben Hamilton, who left with a concussion, but also played a few snaps at left tackle with Tyler Polumbus briefly out of the game.
“I was a long road,” Pitts said. “A very, very long road. Almost 14 months. Obviously, I’d have loved the situation to be better and come out with a victory in the game, but just to be able to get out there and perform and play again. I had 10 doctors tell me I’d never play again and one doctor who believed I could come back. He fixed my knee. It’s amazing… For me it’s very positive, it’s very uplifting. All the hard work was worth it.”
Seattle signed Pitts, who before his injury started all 114 games of his career with the Houston Texans, believing he could recover and help turn around a struggling offensive line.
Pitts’ recovery didn’t go quite as quickly as the Seahawks had hoped – week after week coach Pete Carroll said Pitts was close to playing, but he couldn’t quite get over the hump.
With so many injuries, the Seahawks addressed a few needs, signing receiver Ruvell Martin, who was with the team in training camp, defensive end Jay Richardson, a former Oakland Raider, and center Chris White, who started eight games for Houston last season. Seattle also added defensive tackle Frank Okam on Tuesday. … Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck sat out practice as he continues to recover from a concussion.
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