All-Pro Center Travis Frederick returned to the scene of the crime so to speak this past Saturday at Levi’s Stadium. Just a year ago, Frederick felt numbness in his hands and feet after 10 snaps of the opening preseason game against the 49ers. It would later be determined that he was in the beginning stages of a battle with Guillian-Barre Syndrome which ultimately ended his 2018 season.
Of course, when an unexpected injury like this happens the goal is to work your way back into as normal of a routine as possible. After his 9 snaps against San Francisco, the quarterback of the offensive line knows this is a process that takes time.
“It’s sort of a reuniting feeling with the guys,” Frederick said. “When you’re injured or you’re out, you kind of get separated. That’s not on purpose, but it is just what it is. This was an opportunity to kind of rejoin that fraternity. And then personally just getting a chance to prove myself that I can do it, and that I can still play at a high level and be able to contribute this season. I think it was a good step for me.”
Any athlete that suffers this kind of an injury has to get over that first bit of physical contact while also pushing back whatever effects said injury has on him/her mentally. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder in which your immune system attacks your nerves. Tingling throughout your extremities can spread quickly and eventually paralyze your entire body. Not something to easily get over physically, however, the 9 snaps taken Saturday night were a good confidence booster for Frederick.
“There was some thought there, but again, my goal of the whole thing is to try to make it as normal as possible and get it back to normal,” Frederick said. “So for me, having a normal opportunity to go back out there, play that normal amount, nine plays, one series whatever it was, that was good. That was exactly what I wanted and needed emotionally, mentally and physically.”
This is a very small sample size of course but you have to start somewhere. Veteran Joe Looney was more than serviceable in Frederick’s absence in 2018 but you can’t easily replace the best player in the NFL at his position. If this continued progression stays as is the chances of him being on the field week 1 against the New York Giants remain extremely high.