RICHMOND, Va. - Redskins running back Derrius Guice has had a hard road to where he is now.
“A lot of crying nights. A lot of painful nights. A lot of painful treatments," Guice said about recovery from his ACL injury. "Just everything about it was painful the first few weeks.”
After falling in last year's draft to late in the second round, Guice was selected 59th overall by the Washington Redskins. In last year's first preseason game, an injury to his ACL sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
That year is one that Guice has referred to as the worst year of his life. That statement is significant considering his rough upbringing, which includes losing his father, who was murdered when Guice was just five years old.
“With my dad, I was five so it didn’t really hit me as much as it would hit somebody who grew up and was 18, and their father got killed," Guice said. "Football is my life. It was the one thing I always had that never left my side and I just feel like it left me.”
When Guice had his first shot at having football in his life again, life had other plans.
Once he started healing from his ACL tear, his leg became infected. Once he started healing from the infection, he started having hamstring issues.
“Just couldn’t catch a break," Guice said. "I've never had to overcome that much adversity in that long of a span.”
Luckily, he has support through all the adversity, including fellow 'Skins running back Adrian Peterson, who's been through the same thing.
After Peterson's 2011 ACL tear, the veteran running back bounced back with two thousand-plus rushing yards the next season.
"He's went through multiple injuries. It's just all about the price of the running back position for sure," Guice said. "He just stays on me about taking care of my body."
This Thursday, the two will take the field when the Redskins face the Browns in their first preseason game of the year.