From the pain he felt, he knew immediately something was wrong … very wrong. The back up middle linebacker was in on a practice scrimmage for a goal line stand when someone hit him in a way he had never before experienced.
He had sustained a major back injury with a cracked vertebrae at the bottom of his spine. Doctors would tell him later it was more like an injury that usually occurs to car accident victims.
As much as a physical blow, it was an emotional blow. After two years of being on and off the roster for the Baltimore Ravens, Josh Bynes appeared to have finally earned a place with the team. Then potential disaster struck.
It was a scary moment for Josh. Any back injury is scary and for a football player, there is always the possibility of never being able to play again.
It looked like Josh’s NFL career might be over just as it was finally beginning.
Despite being Defensive Captain of Auburn’s 2010 National Championship Team, Josh went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.
He was later signed as an undrafted free agent by the Ravens. His first year, he went through being released and being resigned twice.
That was tough enough but after that day in preseason camp, most would have not given him much of a chance to ever play professional football. Yet on October 17th, 2012 long time Ravens star Ray Lewis, was moved to injured reserve. Now just six weeks after sustaining a serious back injury, Bynes was activated.
He was given his first career start on December 16th, against the Broncos and responded with a 13 tackle performance.
It was unbelievable that a guy could come from such an injury to become an NFL starter; especially in the same season. However, overcoming adversity was nothing new to Josh Bynes.
He has always exhibited a tough and tenacious football personality. Those that know him, say he fits the tough ‘mike’ roll of a never say die middle linebacker.
And as most Auburn fans know, Josh went on to make history when he made the final tackle of Super Bowl XLVII, bringing down Ted Ginn Jr. in the final seconds. On that February night, Josh became the only Auburn player to ever be a part of both a BCS National Championship and a Super bowl Championship.
He returned this past weekend to the place where he honed his craft and learned that “Never to Yield” mentality, when he visited his alma mater.
In fielding media questions about his historic achievement, Josh said he was blessed to have been a part of championships at the collegiate and professional levels. However, he said he felt most bless to be an Auburn man.
“This is where it started for me, said Josh. “It makes you realize where you came from. I love, love, love Auburn. It will be in my blood for the rest of my life.”
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In the video below, Josh Bynes speaks about his love for Auburn University and his roller coaster experience on the way to being a part of the Baltimore Ravens’ Superbowl Championship.
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