Mohamed Massaquoi spent five seasons in the NFL after his collegiate career at Georgia. But many may not know the story that he told through a video released on Monday via The Players’ Tribune.
The former Bulldogs standout had his left hand amputated and replaced with a prosthetic as a result of an ATV incident. It’s unclear whether it occurred before Massaquoi’s NFL career officially had ended, although he said it happened during a free weekend before players returned for training camp.
Massaquoi was with friends when he took a turn on his ATV too sharply and the lost control of the vehicle.
“There’s something that just feels like an explosion just went off in my hand. I’m in shock, so I don’t feel it, but I’m very aware of what’s going on,” Massaquoi said. “I’m thinking I just broke my hand. My friend, on the other hand, thinks that my hand just went through like a meat grinder or something like that.”
Massaquoi was airlifted to the hospital. His hand was put back together in place, but the doctors told him they would have to see whether it would recover over the next several days and weeks.
It never did, and Massaquoi said every so often the doctors would have to remove a finger that wasn’t going to make it. All he eventually had left was his thumb, leading to having a prosthetic device placed around it.
“Losing a hand, which was critical to the job I had to do, critical to getting a scholarship, critical to getting drafted,” Massaquoi said. “To not have that, it’s a part of you that helped me become who I am. So there’s an adjustment there of saying, ‘OK, this part of me is no longer. But there’s a lot of other parts that are still there.'”
Watch the full video of Massaquoi, 31, telling the story, from The Players’ Tribune, below:
Massaquoi played at Georgia from 2005-08. He was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played with the Browns from 2009-12 and was with the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars during training camp in 2013.