More than anything, it was Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams’ warrior mentality that kept him playing through pain last weekend.
“That’s where his mindset was” at halftime of Saturday’s game against Idaho State, Eagles coach Beau Baldwin said Monday, a day after learning that Adams will miss three to six weeks with two broken bones in his right foot.
“He was going to play with some pain … and I think he might have taken a swing at me if I tried to take him out of that football game,” Baldwin said.
In that respect Adams is like almost every other athlete. “He said that it hurt … but you don’t have any college football teams that don’t have a lot of players who are hurting,” Baldwin said.
Likewise, head trainer Brian Norton said Adams “kept telling us he was fine. We kept asking him if we could look at it.”
Even after the Eagles’ 56-53 win over Idaho State, Adams expressed confidence that the injury was merely a sprain.
After getting the news, Baldwin said he “just wanted to be there for Vernon. He wanted to apologize, and I was just shaking my head,” said Baldwin, who believes the team will rally around Adams’ backup, redshirt sophomore Jordan West.
The players didn’t show any emotional letdown when they got the news on Sunday, said Baldwin, whose second-ranked Eagles play at Southern Utah on Saturday.
“You just feel bad for Vernon, but I told him ‘you’ll be stronger for it … you might have a better mindset in four weeks than you had before (the injury),’ ” Baldwin said.
Adams was not available for comment on Monday; he is moving with crutches, and the foot is in a protective boot, Norton said.
“We suspected there could be a fracture, and we were nervous that it could be far worse,” said Norton, who ordered X-rays after the game. The results came back on Sunday: the second and third metatarsal bones are broken close to the toes.
Norton said while broken, the bones are well-aligned “and should heal fairly fast.”
Adams will receive therapy and calcium supplements to promote bone growth.
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