After missing his entire rookie season due to a severe knee injury, Jaylon Smith is looking good.
The 21-year-old Dallas Cowboys linebacker recently posted a video on Instagram of his training. To say he looks explosive would be an understatement:
In January, Smith told the media he had recently clocked a 4.5 in the 40-Yard Dash. Smith's amazing athleticism is a big reason why the Cowboys decided to draft him with the 34th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft despite concerns about his injury.
Jaylon Smith said he recently ran a 4.5 40-yd dash. "With the pace I'm keeping up you can tell I'm definitely getting my linear speed back."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 6, 2017
While his workout videos are impressive, @thejaylonsmith still has drop-foot condition requiring him to wear brace.
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) February 16, 2017
During the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, Smith suffered a knee injury that included tears to his ACL and MCL as well as significant nerve damage. One of the biggest questions about the injury was whether the damaged nerves would regenerate over time. According to Smith, the nerves are now in the process of regenerating. However, he is still wearing an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) brace to correct his drop foot. Drop foot (or foot drop) refers to a condition in which a person cannot lift the front part of his foot under his own power, causing it to angle or "drop" down. But brace or no brace, Smith's progress is impressive. He feels so good, in fact, that he recently told reporters he believes he could've played at an "elite level" during the playoffs.
Here's hoping we get to see this freak athlete make his NFL debut next season.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock