PITTSBURGH — It’s been a hard season for Steelers captain Cam Heyward. He missed the entire first half of the season after having groin surgery, but it turns out that groin injury plagued him from the beginning from training camp through the entire season.
On Tuesday, Heyward revealed some explicit details about his injury. First, he stated that he had micro tears dating back to training camp, and they tried to rest it. But when he played against the 49ers, he tore the muscle off the bone, requiring surgery. At some point, while trying to compensate for it, he injured his other groin, too. Heyward should have missed 12 weeks after his surgery, but powered back far quicker than that.
He has a strong desire to return to the field, but after the game, he was not yet confident that he would be able to physically. Largely, he stated the same sentiment on Tuesday.
“In my heart, I want to play,” Heyward said. “But it’s been rough. I need to take the offseason to get healthy again. Battling back through a groin, it’s one thing to just walk off a groin, it’s another to play football. It’s definitely been a season. I just wanted to put my hand in the pile.”
Heyward said that in addition to the groin and core muscle surgeries, he also suffered another groin injury and had a knee issue that kept him from practicing fully throughout almost the entire season after his return.
“I had my groin, then overcompensating with my other groin,” he said. “There was stuff on top of that my knee. It was a grind just to get ready for each game. It wasn’t by choice that I didn’t want to practice. It was ‘get me to the game.’ I don’t like that doing that. I don’t like playing football that way. I don’t ever want to cheat the game. I don’t ever want to think I’m not going to be 100%. But that was the cards I was dealt this year. It was a lot.”
Simply put, Cam Heyward hopes he can play moving forward. He has one year left on his contract and is only getting older. But he had his most productive game of the season against the Bills. And everyone in the locker room is hoping they can get at least one more year out of him.