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Teammates admire Ahmad Bradshaw’s toughness
Question of the Day
INDIANAPOLIS — Ahmad Bradshaw is playing in pain and loving every second of it.
“It’s just the love of the game, man,” he said. “I don’t like missing games for nothing. I have been fighting pain for a long time. No matter what it is, I got that niche, man. I like pain.”
Bradshaw hasn’t put up big numbers this season, but statistics aren’t what he brings to the offense.
The fifth-year pro brings a toughness that teammates respect. His foot hurts so much during the week that he practices only one day.
When he shows up on game day, though, he’s a different player. The pain is blocked out and he bites his lip and runs at, around and through defenses.
“The guy has an unbelievable threshold of pain,” running backs coach Jerald Ingram said. “I’ve had a few guys that were very resilient, but that guy has played with broken bones, cracked this, cracked that. His game is football. That’s what he has been doing all his life. When he gets on the field, he is mean. He takes that pain.”
This isn’t the first time, either. Bradshaw played most of the 2009 season with two bad feet and had surgery three times after the season to insert screws in the fifth metatarsals of both feet and clean up some junk in his right ankle.
Bradshaw broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot again against the Dolphins in late October.
He was X-rayed during the game and returned despite the presence of a fracture.
“He is a junkyard dog that wants to fight on game day,” Ingram said. “He doesn’t care. There was a linebacker who said to him: ‘Why do you run so mean? Why are you so mad?
“‘Because I am mad at you,’ ” Ingram recalled. “That’s just Ahmad. He loves his toughs. He makes everybody tough because you look at him and say: ‘I don’t know if I can do that.’ We stub our toe on a bedpost and want to die. He walks around with it all day long.”
Bradshaw missed four games after being hurt against the Dolphins and returned against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 4. He rushed for 38 yards and caught two passes for 9 yards, but his return seemed to rekindle a running game that had struggled most of the season.
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