Panthers cornerback Cockrell talks new opportunities after devastating injuries

Carolina Panthers

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WNCN) — Defensive back Ross Cockrell signed a two-year contract with the Panthers in March 2018. But the former Duke standout has yet to take the field for the team.

“Those first couple days were rough. I went into surgery the day after the injury. I was surrounded by a tremendous amount of love and support,” Cockrell said. From both inside the Panthers organization and my family here in Charlotte.”

DURHAM, NC – NOVEMBER 16: Garrett Patterson #24 and Ross Cockrell #6 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate after making a defensive stop on fourth down late in the fourth quarter of a winover the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 48-30. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Before returning to his hometown Charlotte, Cockrell played for three other organizations, accounting for 157 tackles and five interceptions in his career. But after his devastating injury, the cornerback had to practice a new skill: patience.

“I couldn’t rush a bone healing. I couldn’t rush the tendons and stuff coming back together. I couldn’t rush those things. I wanted to be out there to help the team win, especially during the latter part of the season when things didn’t quite go our way in some of those games and that hurt a lot,” he said.

The road to recovery has been a long one, but now 100 percent, Cockrell is ready to put the injury behind him and get to work. But he definitely does not take the opportunity for granted.

“It was a good thing for me. It was a good thing to sit back and watch and understand that football is really a blessing to be out here, it’s not something that’s given to everybody. It can be gone in a minute. And I’m very fortunate and blessed to be out here again.”

As you can expect, this year has been more than just a physical challenge Cockrell said he had to focus on being there mentally and spiritually for his teammates.

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