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Bills legend Thurman Thomas played entire career with torn ACL

Kevin Hoffman, USA Today Sports

When looking at recent medical advances in the sports community, the diagnosis and treatment of torn ACLs don’t necessarily get a lot of play.

Up until just recently, a torn ACL pretty much meant the end of a football player’s career. Said medical advancements over the past two decades has changed this. And now, players can return to the field after less than a full calendar year. Think Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans as the most-recent case study.

This wasn’t the case when former Buffalo Bills running back and Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas was dominating competition at Oklahoma State during the mid 1980s.

Thomas, who retired as the Bills’ all-time leading rusher back in 2000, took to Twitter recently to share a story of a torn ACL he suffered as a member of the Cowboys in 1986.

When pressed about this tweet, Thomas responded that he played his entire NFL career with an ACL that was torn at about an 85 percent clip.

Say what?

Just imagine a player in today’s NFL not only playing with a torn ACL, but having the same success we saw from Thomas. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler, former league MVP and was the 1991 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

There’s expletives to use when describing Thomas’ toughness. But we’re just going to go with a simple “wow.”