Danny Amendola helped ease the pain of Wes Welker leaving the Patriots in 2013, but he also won fans over when he pledged to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing just one month after joining the organization.
Now, the superstar who went undrafted ended his second season with the team with his first Super Bowl ring.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. In 2012, Amendola Faced a Potentially Life-Threatening Injury
In 2012, Amendola dislocated his collar bone when reaching out to catch a pass. However, instead of the bone moving to the outer part of the joint, it moved in and was dangerously close to his trachea and heart, according to CBS Sports.
CBS said that shortly after the injury, Amendola underwent a procedure where the doctors pulled the bone away from his trachea and heart to relocated it, and then pushed back on it to make sure it wouldn’t pop out again.
Jay Glazer told CBS that the injury is usually found in fatal or near-fatal car accidents. He also said that there was no record of an NFL player suffering an injury like this before. Because of the rarity, the team’s medical staff was unsure if and when he would be able to return. Luckily, Amendola bounced back from the injury in just three weeks.
2. Amendola Used His Play on the Field to Donate to the Boston Marathon Relief Fund
On April 15, 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, Amendola tweeted that he will donate $100 for every reception and $200 for every dropped pass to “whatever ‘Boston Marathon Relief Fund’ there is.”
Two days later, defensive back Devin McCourty made a similar pledge and gave Amendola credit for the decision.
3. Amendola Signed a 5 Year Contract in 2013
According to Comcast Sportsnet New England, Amendola signed with the Patriots the day before Welker signed with the Broncos, despite the Amendola signing being announced after the Welker signing.
USA Today reported that Amendola’s deal was worth $31 million over 5 years.
4. Amendola Went Undrafted in 2008
After not being drafted in 2008, Amendola signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys. He was cut in August of the same year, and signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers.
In 2009, he signed with the Eagles’ practice squad. Less than a month later, he was signed by the Rams and made two starts with the team. In 2010, started in all 16 games and led the league with 2,364 all-purpose yards.
From then on, he played a major role on the Rams’ offense.
In 2013, he signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent.
5. Amendola Has Been Connected to Model Talor Reazin
According to Player Wives, Amendola is in a relationship with Talor Reazin, an Oklahoma City-based model. Their relationship seems to have started during his time with the Rams, and Reazin quickly showed her support for the Patriots after he signed with them.