Allen Hurns’ injury will rank high among some of the more visibly awful in sports history; we’re talking Joe Theismann, baseball player Moises Alou and Louisville Cardinals basketball forward Kevin Ware territory.
Like the horrendous injuries suffered by those men, the injury sustained by the Dallas Cowboys receiver is not one anyone who saw it will ever forget.
If you didn’t see it, and don’t want to see, just know Hurns’ ankle and foot went in a direction God did not intend an ankle and foot to turn. And his is a case of the absolute cold, disposability of pro sports.
Hurns caught a pass in the first quarter of the Cowboy’s 24-22 wildcard win over the Seattle Seahawks and suffered a devasting injury to his left ankle.
Hurns’ left ankle and foot were turned awkwardly, and unnaturally, as he lay on the field in obvious pain.
“I didn’t see it happen but I went over there to try to pick him up and I saw his leg and it was just ... one of those freak injuries,” Cowboys center Joe Looney said. “Definitely praying for him. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It sucks seeing that happen to one of your guys. You never want to see something like that.”
As Hurns lay on the field, even from a distance his distorted ankle and foot were clearly visible on a wide angle shot on the JumboTron over the field. When the severity of the injury became apparent, the JumboTron went to a different image.
Replays showed a horrific injury that is impossible to imagine, and or forget.
Immediately after the injury, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott saw it and then it went in another direction before he dropped to one knee to say a prayer.
With tears streaming from his eyes, Hurns was placed on a cart and players from both sides tried to say something to him and offer words of encouragement.
“That was sad. I didn’t want to look up and see. I could hear the reactions from people and I didn’t want to look up and see exactly what happened,” Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. “It seemed too gruesome to see one of my brothers go through something like that. ... When I heard his leg was twisted I didn’t want to look up.”
Hurns was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery on his ankle. Needless to say he’s not coming back this season.
“It’s devastating. I really feel for him,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “I know he’s crushed because he wants to be out here playing with us. It’s really unfortunate.”
Hurns’ one catch on Saturday came midway through the first quarter on a 3rd-and-7 and went for 14 yards and a first down.
“It’s a challenging situation for players, you’re emotionally ready to play, you’re in the flow of a game and then that happens,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Trust me, the guys on our team care so much about each other and they see their brother on the field like that, that’s not easy. He’s going to come back. He’s going to going to play a lot of football for us in the future.”
No, he’s not.
Hurns, 27, came to the Cowboys in the offseason after he signed a two-year deal to leave Jacksonville. He caught 20 passes for 295 yards with two touchdowns this season.
The trade acquisition of Cooper during the season reduced Hurns’ role to ... well, not much of anything. He had no more than one reception in the last seven games of the regular season.
He was likely going to be released before the injury.
Hurns is another hard, callous case of what can happen in the world of pro sports.
While he never made the impact on the field the Cowboys had hoped, Allen Hurns’ time with the team will never be forgotten.