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Ex-NFL Star Once Battled 180 Minutes for Denver Broncos in a ‘Paralyzed’ State: “I Couldn’t Move”

Published 03/26/2023, 5:43 AM EDT

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Football is a brutal sport, and it doesn’t get any harder than the NFL. Many players have had their careers cut short due to brutal injuries suffered on the field. But not many have returned to the field just two weeks after lying motionless for hours on end. A former NFL star once battled paralysis for 180 minutes and then took the field for the Denver Broncos just two weeks later.

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The former Broncos player won a Super Bowl as a great career high. But he would remember nothing as vividly as the incident that left him unable to move for three straight hours.

Derek Wolfe recalled a terrifying time in his career


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Derek Wolfe recently appeared on the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast for a bare-all interview. And there, the former Broncos defensive lineman opened up about the time that he couldn’t move his body at all. He recalled a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, where he bruised his spinal cord during a play that left him in a paralyzed state for 180 minutes.

“The injuries I had while I was in the NFL were out-of-control. In 2013, I bruised my spinal cord, I was paralyzed for three hours,” Wolfe told Joe Rogan.


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He revealed that his arm felt numb every time someone touched him. Thus, it was difficult for him to play as a defensive lineman, whose job is to take hits every play. “I couldn’t move,” Wolfe added.

Wolfe missed the next preseason game for the Broncos, but returned to the field the following week. The team doctors had cleared him to play. While Wolfe played good football for the Broncos that season, he suffered a seizure just 12 weeks after the incident. And it put him in a 36-hour coma.

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Wolfe did come back to play again and continued to be a pain for the NFL offenses till the end of the 2021 season. But suffering an injury to the spinal cord has to be the most terrifying experience in his life.


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From a mountain of pain to overcoming a mountain lion

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Derek Wolfe endured a lot of pain due to injuries in his NFL career. And that has shaped him into a fearless person, always ready to jump into action whenever required. He showed it when a mountain lion threatened the Super Bowl champion’s neighborhood earlier this year.

When Wolfe heard that a male mountain lion was terrorizing the folks in Grant, Colorado, he took it on himself to put an end to this. And he later detailed his course of action during the hunt in an Instagram post.


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So, from facing a mountain of pain to overcoming a fully grown big cat, Wolfe has seen it all.

Watch this story: Tom Brady Went to The Same High School As This Controversial MLB Hall of Famer Who Was Also A 14x All-Star



Shivam Pratap Singh

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Shivam Pratap Singh originally hails from Punjab, India. After completing his Master's degree from Jamia Millia Islamia, he joined the world of media with a stint at Opoyi. While he was there, he started to follow the NFL.

Edited By: Tony Thomas