It was a moment of pure joy for Brandon Spear.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound linebacker from the Los Angeles Rams was one of the last remaining players to play on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list, but his struggles with the disease he contracted while playing high school football meant he was on the shelf for much of his rookie season.
After the Rams signed him to a five-year, $50 million contract in the offseason, Spear received an injection that sent his body into overdrive.
Within two weeks, he had turned into a superstar.
Spear’s career took off, and he set NFL records for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, eclipsing the 2,500-yard mark and becoming the first NFL player ever to reach 2,000 yards in each of his four seasons.
That was a long time ago.
But now Spear is back.
The Rams have signed Spear to a six-year contract worth $60 million.
It’s the biggest contract of his career.
Spear will earn more than $7 million per season, which is more than he earned in his first four years of NFL career.
And he’ll get paid more money in a few years.
But what Spear didn’t expect was that he would be dealing with the same disease that nearly killed him.
“It was just a freak accident,” Spear told The Associated Press on Thursday.
“I don’t know if it was just something that happened and I wasn’t aware of it or what, but I was playing football.
It wasn’t something that I knew was going to happen.
I just thought I was just going to get back to normal.”
Spear’s journey to recovery has taken him through multiple doctors, including a doctor who used to be his orthopedist, but Spear said he had a difficult time getting through the initial stage of treatment.
“When I first went in to the doctor, I was really worried about my head,” Spear said.
“They were saying, ‘We can’t give you a head CT, but we can do a PET scan.
You should see a doctor today.’
I was like, ‘I don’st know what’s going on.’
And I had my MRI, which showed brain damage.
It was just bad news.
It definitely wasn’t what I expected.
But I’m happy that I had the chance to go to this doctor who was kind enough to give me the chance, and it was kind of a blessing.”
Spear has become a key cog in the Rams’ offense, serving as a veteran presence on the field and helping to keep the defense honest with his quick feet and big play ability.
He also has a knack for finding himself in tight spots, with a knack to get into the backfield with big hits.
“That’s the main thing, being able to stay in the backfield, finding your guys, being a big part of the offense,” Spear added.
“And that’s just been a big thing for me.”