“When I saw him go down, I didn’t know what to say,” Staley said.
As far as Cowboy football players are concerned, Staley is the resident expert on the effects of knee injuries. By now, it’s been well documented. In August of 2009, Staley, a converted fullback, tore multiple ligaments and caused severe nerve damage in his right knee during training camp.
His recovery was one part miracle, and one part intense rehab. Three years ago, there were doubts that Staley would walk again. Today, the senior is an integral part of OSU’s short-passing game. In three games this season, he’s recorded 80 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Staley gives the credit for his recovery to his strong faith and the intense rehabilitation sessions he had with strength coach Rob Glass – possibly some of the same rehab sessions Lunt will face.
If the rumored reports are true, that Lunt will miss 2-3 weeks with a dislocated right knee cap, then he will face a quick recovery; nothing like what Staley went through. But Staley said no matter the severity, all athletes with injured knees face the same issues upon return.
“I would definitely say it’s mental,” Staley said. “When I first came back, I was hesitant to run the ball. I was scared to get my knee hit even though I wore a knee brace.”
When Lunt returns, every move he makes will hinge on that knee.
“The main thing is that you have to gain that confidence in yourself, and hopefully your friends and family around you are pushing you to that confidence,” Staley said. “It won’t be the same, but hopefully it will be close at some point.”
By now, Staley has had the opportunity to give Lunt some advice as he embarks on his recovery. Because head coach Mike Gundy won’t announce the details regarding player injuries until Friday, it’s hard to say exactly what Staley has told his freshman quarterback.
But during postgame against Louisiana, Staley said he’d make one thing clear in his pep talk.
“Believe in that treatment,” Staley said. “If you don’t give that treatment 100 percent, you won’t come back even close to 95 or 100 percent. Just keeping his head up, not getting depressed about it. Your teammates care about you, your family cares about you … People say things happen for a reason, maybe this is one, I don’t know what the reason is. Just gotta pray about it every night.”