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Vince Wilfork shared his advice for Achilles injuries with Patriots tackle Isaiah Wynn

Take it from a legend, kid.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, so, yes, this happened a couple months ago. We’re gonna talk about it now anyway, though, for the following reasons:

1) You can count the number of real football things there are to talk about right now on one hand, and

2) Beats watching the Red Sox bullpen AM I RIGHT

With the exception of the legendary Patriots career of Jared Veldheer, and a couple Day 2 draft prospects with excellent names, Belichick & Friends seem to have approached the 2019 roster assuming that 2018 first-rounder Isaiah Wynn will be back in action at left tackle after a gross Achilles injury in the preseason last year. This makes sense on pretty much every level - Wynn balled out at left tackle in college, everyone seems to love him already, and people who are far smarter than I am about 300+ pound dudes putting defensive linemen in the ground seem to agree that Wynn being shorter than Marcus Smart won’t be a problem. The only real question now is whether the aforementioned “welp, can’t un-see that” injury from last year is going to linger into the ‘19 season and/or permanently affect Isaiah’s game.

Fortunately, one of the best to ever do it has some advice on how to bounce back from an Achilles tear, and he just so happens to have not only bounced back, but won himself a (second) Super Bowl ring the very next year.

He can also splash 3’s and dunk on people, which really has no relevance to this story whatsoever but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention cool Vince Wilfork facts every chance I get.

What’ve you got for us, Titan of the two-gap, Vincent CentersBane, the man with the strength of many men?

(from ESPN & NBC Sports Boston)

“Achilles is a weird injury. Some people I talked to went through a lot of pain, others had minor pain, but I never had pain even when I did rupture it. I didn’t feel it. The rehab, surgery, coming back, I didn’t have any pain or discomfort. The only thing that was different was that you had to learn to walk all over again. Like a newborn,” Wilfork relayed.

”Stuff you really never paid attention to, you’re wondering, ‘Am I stepping right? Am I doing this right?’ You’re very aware on every little step you take, just to make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to work.”

Sounds like how some of us feel when we get out of bed every morning on the weekends.

“The biggest thing that helped me, and the biggest thing I could tell anyone with an Achilles, was taking the recommended time and maybe even a little more, depending on how the body responds. The last thing you want is to start doing some things and boom! You snap it again and you’re back behind the curve. That was one of the best things I did -- I listened and was staying off it,” Wilfork said.

”Getting scar tissue broken down was also important. I think probably 75-80 percent of my comeback was because of my masseuse. She was probably the biggest difference-maker in coming back the way I did. It wasn’t any rehab. It wasn’t any training. It was my masseuse, 2-3 hours, and just breaking down the scar tissue and getting new blood flow in that area. I did that 3-4 times a week.

”The more you can get in and start now [is good]. It’s going to need some scar tissue for it to grow back, but you don’t need too much where it restricts range of motion. The quicker my masseuse started breaking that down, the healing process became that much faster.”

Man, you get a masseuse out of this too?!

On second thought, massage jokes.....probably still canceled around here for the time being.

Back on topic: Wynn’s gotta be hoping his recovery and comeback shake out just like Big Vince’s, cause after Vince tore his Achilles just 4 weeks into the 2013 season, he started Week 1 in 2014 exactly where he left off. Vince played all 16 games of the ‘14 season, logged 73.58% of the defensive snaps (as a NOSE tackle, mind you), and also took back his special teams duties. Compare that to his 2012 campaign, where Wilfork played a slightly higher % of snaps at 81.30% while also playing in all 16 regular season games and still checking in on ‘teams, and that’s how you bounce back like you never left - at 32 years old when the 2014 season started, at that.

Wynn’s almost 10 years younger than that, and he’s had a couple extra months of recover time since his injury was back in August of 2018, so, basically a lifetime ago.

If there’s reason for optimism here, besides the fact that everybody suddenly now appreciates that Dante Scarneccia could probably make Johnny from Foxboro High a better left tackle than Bill Belichick could make him into a quarterback, Wilfork’s progress at a much older age and Wynn’s head start should carry you through the dog days of summer.

The Sox bullpen, well, we can’t help you there.