The first injury could have sidelined him for a longer time. That’s what Florida State running back Chris Thompson worried when he broke his back in 2011. The second injury wasn’t as career-threatening — a torn ACL. Unless, of course, you’re trying to make it to the NFL. And two devastating injuries in consecutive seasons is a difficult thing to put on your football resume.
It didn’t deter Thompson, the Redskins first of two fifth-round picks Saturday.
“I had my injuries, but I was able to battle back and [now] I have a story to tell,” Thompson said, “just show you can come back better from these injuries. My back injury, I learned a whole lot. I was able to love the game and play at a different level because I thought it was over for me. … I know this knee will not be a problem for me and I will come back a whole lot stronger.”
Thompson injured his back two years ago in the fifth game, suffering a compression fracture of his T5 and T6 vertebrae. Thompson said the doctor who saw him after the game made him feel better, telling him he had worked on an NFL player who suffered the same injury.
“I doubted it a little myself,” Thompson said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to go out and chance it again. I know how serious back injuries are.”
Thompson tore his left ACL this past season in the Seminoles’ eighth game of the season. He finished the season with 687 yards on 91 carries — a 7.5-yards per carry average. The 5-foot-7, 192-pound Thompson said trainers have told him he’ll be ready for training camp. When healthy, he said he’s been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.3 seconds.
Thompson returned six kickoffs for 150 yards as a freshman, but that’s his lone experience in that area. He said they ran some of the read option at Florida State, though not as much this past season. When they did do it, it was out of shotgun formation but not the pistol.
“I watched the [Redskins read option] a whole lot,” Thompson said. “I enjoy watching it because I like [Robert Griffin III] as a quarterback. I loved him when he was in college for him to do the things he did at the NFL level his rookie year was amazing…. I’ll feel really comfortable there, being int he gun and doing those things in the read option. It’s real dangerous. With my speed and my abilities, it could be a real great offense.”