INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Krishawn Hogan’s NFL story didn’t end Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium when his left knee gave out, halting his promising rookie season after just two games and 24 plays.
It simply added another chapter – the one where he must overcome a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee – to what has been a tenacious journey from Marian University wannabe to the first player in the school’s 11-year football history to earn a spot on an NFL active roster.
“This is just another piece to the story that I’m trying to write,’’ Hogan said Monday afternoon.
He stood in front of his cubicle in the Indianapolis Colts locker room. His left knee was encased and protected by a large brace. Crutches were leaned against his locker.
“Yeah,’’ he said, “it’s an ACL. I’m done for the year.’’
It’s believed surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.
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I just want to thank everyone who has supported me along this journey of chasing my dreams. I also want to thank everyone who has reached out and prayed for me since my injury yesterday. I've learned a lot since starting my NFL career, this is a cruel game sometimes is the number one thing I learned above all else. My love for the game and more than anything else the support I have around me will allow me to bounce back stronger than before!
Hogan’s first season as a pro came to a painful halt midway through the third quarter. He had outside containment on kickoff coverage against the San Francisco 49ers. When Victor Bolden made a sharp move to the outside, Hogan reacted by planting his left leg in the turf.
“It just gave out on me,’’ he said, shrugging. “I think I had a guy blocking me, but he didn’t really hit me. It was just the plant.’’
Hogan knew something was wrong, although he didn’t know it was his ACL.
“I didn’t know for sure because I had never had an ACL,’’ he said, “but it kind of felt like you had that ‘big knee’ feeling. I knew it was something (bad).’’
Hogan remained on the ground for a few minutes as trainers tended to him. But deep down, he knew this wasn’t a minor injury.
“Honestly I was just hoping for the best,’’ he said. “But the way it felt, I kind of knew what was happening. I was hoping I could walk off the field on my own, but as I kind of got up on my butt I realized I couldn’t straighten my leg out, can’t really bend it, can’t do anything with it.
“I knew it wasn’t a good situation.’’
Teammates and friends already have reached out to him with words of encouragement, and advice.
Hogan admitted he initially was crushed by the injury – his frustration still was evident Monday – but “people have kept telling me you can bounce back physically, but if you don’t stay locked in mentally you might come back worse.
“I’ll stay positive about it.’’
The injury cut short a trying season for Hogan.
Undrafted, he signed with Arizona and spent the offseason and training camp with the Cardinals. They waived him Sept. 2 when rosters were reduced to 53 and the Colts promptly claimed him and placed him on their practice squad.
After spending the first three weeks on the practice squad, he was added to the active roster prior to the Oct. 1 game at Seattle. Hogan was on the field for 11 plays against the Seahawks – seven on offense, four on special teams where he notched a solo tackle in kickoff coverage – and 13 against the 49ers.
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski had been encouraged by Hogan’s contributions in practice.
“He’s one of those guys, and they always happen . . . where there’s guys that come out of nowhere and end up helping you in some way,’’ Chudzinski said last month. “He’s a guy that was on the practice squad and every couple of days you notice them making a play and saying, ‘Wow, that was a pretty good play.’
“Those guys end up being guys that can help you and end up having chances to be players down the road.’’