Bosa once doubted NFL career after grueling ACL injury


There was one point in his NFL career when 49ers star pass rusher Nick Bosa wasn't certain that he would play again. 

After tearing his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, Bosa went through an emotionally and physically taxing rehab that led him to doubt his future in the league. 

The 2022 Defensive Player of the Year joined former 49ers teammate Richard Sherman on the "Richard Sherman Podcast," where he reflected on his journey over the last two seasons. 

"I think it's been pretty crazy; it's wild to look back just about two years since I was rehabbing and going through all the bumps in the road that come along with rehab," Bosa said. "But I've been through it too many times."

Bosa was riding high after winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2019. However, it all came crashing down after the 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, which led straight into the COVID-19 pandemic and then the aforementioned ACL injury.

Bosa was at such a low point during his rehab that he started to doubt his future in the NFL. 

"Rookie year I got pretty much everything thrown at me and you're on the highest of highs and you just get shot down at the end," Bosa explained. "And then COVID, can't do anything all offseason, it's kind of depressing, weird. You roll into camp, you're going against Trent [Williams], you're feeling the best you've felt and then boom, one play. Questioning your career, questioning football in general.

"I've had multiple injuries and that was the worst one just damage-wise. I was down and I was sitting in Joey [Bosa's] house in California (on) painkillers, whatever you go through. I felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. From then on you realize 'wait, this is what I do, I don't do anything else,' then you just pour all that emotion and everything into the goals that you have."

Having gone through the highs and lows early on in his career, Bosa has a fresh perspective and is focused on one thing and one thing only. 

"You get to the point where I'm at now, and you win the (Defensive Player of the Year) award and you realize yeah that award is great, that's unreal, but there's nothing that can touch the award that we all want and that's the Lombardi (trophy)," Bosa added. "I thought I'd get to that Defensive Player of the Year and be satisfied."

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Personal accolades are great, but what matters most for any athlete is the ultimate prize. 

After one Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Game losses in three of the past four seasons, Bosa and the 49ers will head into the 2023 season hungry for that elusive championship. 

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