Boldin is immobilized and removed on a stretcher. He suffers multiple fractures in his jaw and his sinus cavity. Extensive surgery and facial reconstruction places 7 titanium plates and 40 screws into his head, in order to preserve structural integrity. It is one of the most unique and horrific injuries in the history of the league. His quarterback, Kurt Warner, is so distraught that he talks immediate retirement. Many teammates and fans doubt Boldin ever returns to football.
3 weeks later, Boldin plays and catches 9 balls and 2 touchdown passes. He runs patterns across the middle and blocks linebackers on running plays. The casual observer never knows Boldin is returning from a severe injury. He ignores the timetable of his doctors and bypasses the concerns of teammates, fans, and the front office. He wears no special protection nor alters his reckless style in any way. He makes no concessions to his injury and deflects post-game discussion to his teammates.
Why did he return to the game he loves? How did he return so soon? How did he ignore any psychological baggage of the injury? How did he move past the fear of a recurrence? “I’m a football player,” he said. Boldin was born to play football and nothing stands in the way of his dream. He commits to be his best and recognizes no obstacles in that pursuit. He plays through fear - if he can do it, so can you.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com