Originally written on Pro Football Zone  |  Last updated 10/19/14
We know that NFL players are considered modern-day gladiators.  Former Dolphin’s defensive end Jason Taylor told the Miami Herald all about the pain and suffering he went through during his NFL career.  He was just a few blessed hours from having his leg amputated. He played games, plural, with a hidden and taped catheter running from his armpit to his heart. His calf was oozing blood for so many months, from September of one year to February of another, that he had to have the equivalent of a drain installed. This is a story of the private pain endured in pursuit of public glory, just one man’s broken body on a battlefield littered with thousands of them. As death and depression and dementia addle football’s mind, persuading some of the gladiators to kill themselves as a solution to end all the pain, and as the media finally shines a light on football’s concussed skull at the very iceberg-top of the problem, we begin the anatomy of Taylor’s story at the very bottom … with his feet. He had torn tissues in the bottom of both of them. But he wanted to play. He always wanted to play. So he went to a private room inside the football stadium. “Like a dungeon,” he says now. “One light bulb swaying back and forth. There was a damp, musty smell. It was like the basement in Pulp Fiction.” The doctors handed him a towel. For his mouth. To keep him from biting his tongue. And to muffle his screaming. “It is the worst ever,” he says. “By far. All the nerve endings in your feet.” That wasn’t the ailment. No, that was the cure. A needle has to go in that foot, and there aren’t a lot of soft, friendly places for a big needle in a foot. That foot pain is there for a reason, of course. It is your body screaming to your brain for help. A warning. The needle mutes the screaming and the warning. “The first shot is ridiculous,” Taylor says. “Ridiculously horrible. Excruciating.” But the first shot to the foot wasn’t even the remedy. The first shot was just to numb the area … in preparation for the second shot, which was worse. “You can’t kill the foot because then it is just a dead nub,” he says. “You’ve got to get the perfect mix [of anesthesia]. I was crying and screaming. I’m sweating just speaking about it now.” Taylor admitted he lied to his doctors throughout his career about injuries and he knows it wasn’t smart and healthy for him to do so.  He even acknowledges that he didn’t care. The big question is whether Taylor would do it all over game. “Would I do it all again? I would,” Taylor says. “If I had to sleep on the steps standing up for 15 years, I would do it.” There’s just something about the game of football where guys are willing to do whatever it takes to play and be great at what they do.  That comes at a cost that some people will always be willing to make and some won’t. Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement('script'); ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; _CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1; document.write(''); script.type = 'text/javascript'; script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/27484?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter; script.async = true; ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref); })(); sr_adspace_id = 1000005525107; sr_adspace_width = 300; sr_adspace_height = 250; sr_ad_new_window = true; sr_adspace_type = "graphic";
PLAYERS: Jason Taylor
TEAMS: Miami Dolphins
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears' locker room after loss

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

LenDale White goes off on USC AD after being escorted out

Dolphins News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

N.J. gov signs sports betting bill into law

WATCH: Tulane QB Nick Montana spikes ball on 4th down

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.