On Sept. 22 NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and current Jackson State University head coach Deion ‘ Prime Time’ Sanders had foot surgery to repair what one of his doctors described as an “old deformity … from an old football injury.”
Sanders posted an explanation of the somewhat gruesome procedure on his Instagram account. As you’ll see, Sanders balked at Dr. James (Jim) Hurt using the word “deformity,” so he amended his description to say: “Well, it’s not really a deformity, but you’ve got an old claw toe and your second toe is dislocated.”
Dr. Hurt goes on to explain that Sanders’ orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lori Reed, planned “to shorten that second toe a bit by cutting through the bone and kinda re-attaching it and lengthening one of the tendons. And then straightening out that first toe to give you more room for that second toe.”
Sanders’ physician concludes by noting that Prime Time will be in a walking boot for six weeks, but that he will be able to resume his coaching duties with the aid of a scooter. Sanders says he elected to have surgery because he was in “excruciating pain”—pain so bad that he has been coaching barefoot in both practices and games.
Sanders Gave a Motivational Speech from the Operating Room
An hour or so after his first communique from the hospital, Sanders posted to Instagram again, this time from the operating room.
“Let’s do this thing,” he said, “We about to get me walking and talking and striding and providing and encouraging and motivating and getting back to what I do.”
Ultimately, Sanders goes on to encourage observers to bet on how long he can remain awake before succumbing to the anesthesia.
“Now, this is how the game is played,” he said. “There is going to be a countdown. You’re betting on how long I last. The thumbs up means I’m in the game. When you see the thumb fall, I’m out. We are going to start out at ten and count backwards from ten and whoever wins it I’m going to send merchandise….”
Finally, after the surgery was over, Sanders posted a photo from his recovery room, as well as a video revealing how long he was able to stay awake before the anesthesia kicked in.
Deion Sanders a Future Power Five Head Coach?
The foot surgery isn’t the only reason Deion Sanders has been in the media in the past week. His name has already been mentioned in conversations related to Power Five coaching jobs, including that of USC and his alma mater, Florida State.
But on Monday Sanders told HBCU Gameday that he is “focused and locked in on what we’re trying to accomplish here at Jackson State.”
So far he has been getting mostly positive results. This season the Tigers are 2-1, following this past weekend’s 12-7 loss at Louisiana-Monroe. The next game on JSU’s schedule is Sept. 25 against Division II Delta State. After that the team has seven more regular-season contests, culminating with a home game on Nov. 20 vs. Alcorn State.
Sanders, 54, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first-round of the 1989 NFL Draft (No. 5 overall). He starred for Atlanta for five seasons before moving on to play for San Francisco, Dallas and Washington—named a six-time first-team All-Pro along the way. Sanders stepped away from the NFL for three years (2001-03) before returning to play two seasons for the Baltimore Ravens in 2004-05. That return to the game delayed his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame until 2011. By the end of his career he had amassed 53 interceptions and scored 22 touchdowns, six of those coming on punt returns and three on kickoff returns.
In his first season as head coach at Jackson State the Tigers opened with three straight wins before losing three straight. His team finished with a record of 4-3 after a forfeit by Alcorn State, which handed the Tigers a 2-0 win.
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