There's so much we – the public – don't see and don't think about after a player gets hurt.
But consider this: When Rigoberto Sanchez, the Colts' long-time punter, sustained a torn right Achilles' during a training camp practice last summer, he couldn't drive himself to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center for treatment and rehab work.
When you have an injury to your driving foot – well, you can't drive. File that under things fans rarely see or consider after a player gets hurt.
And long before he could punt a ball with his right foot, Sanchez had to be cleared to drive with his right foot. So his wife, Cynthia, shuttled him to and from the Colts' complex for a couple of months last fall until he was cleared to take the boot off his foot and drive again.
"That was tough," Sanchez said. "I felt like a little kid when that was going on.
"... (My wife) was there and saw every second of it. It was hard on her more — it was hard on me, but it was hard on her because she couldn't really help other than drove me. I had to be the one to fight and I think at the end of the day, that was the battle for me. There was a beauty to that struggle and I've learned so much about myself throughout that. Those drives were kind of nice, honestly. We got to talk a lot more — usually I drive here by myself so it was just bonding really with her and my daughter, she's 18 months now. So spent a lot of time at home. It was a blessing. It's all perspective."
Sanchez possesses a remarkable outlook on his injury given the serious nature of it. He used being sidelined to study other punters, paying attention to things he otherwise wouldn't pick up if he were playing in a game. He picked the brain of veteran Matt Haack, who the Colts signed to fill in for Sanchez last season.
It was challenging, of course, but Sanchez found out some things about himself and unearthed positives from his experience.
"It was probably one of the hardest years last year for me, my family, my career and everything," Sanchez said. "I wouldn't change a thing. I learned so much internally. Depth to me, faith, my family and life. I've always appreciated everything and every single day that I walk in this building, but it's like a new level that I can't express. Honestly, just a new level on everything."
Sanchez has been able to drive for a while now, and he's resumed getting some punting work in during the Colts' offseason program. Having the injury on his kicking foot instead of his plant foot – which bears his weight when he punts – was better than the other way around, Sanchez said, and he feels like he's in a good spot with training camp approaching in about a month and a half.
"I don't really have a timeline right now," Sanchez said. "We're moving slow. But at the same time we're doing really well — we're planting and all that good stuff, we're working out. We're just trying to be ready."