Clemson Grad Overcoming Back Injury to Play in NFL

Rear view of a young man holding his back in pain, isolated on w
After a stellar four years at Clemson University in South Carolina, offensive lineman Kalon Davis is fighting a back injury in order to make it to the National Football League (NFL). reports that the Carolina native graduated from Clemson last December and was considered a top pick for the NFL draft on April 30th. However, soon after graduation, Davis developed intense pain in his back, due to a herniated disc he got during his freshman year.

It didn’t exactly surprise him.

“It’s just kind of one of those things that builds up over time,” Davis said. “There’s nothing that really sets it off, it’s just a build up and [it] eventually hits the breaking point.”

Herniated discs and other back injuries can be treated by a chiropractor. There are about 44,000 chiropractors in the United States today.

The injury kept him off the roaster of Clemson’s “Pro Day,” an open practice composed of 19 former Clemson Tiger football players. Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance for scouting opportunities, including at least three coaches — New England’s Bill Belichick, Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly, and Buffalo’s Rex Ryan. Although Davis was slated to go, he could not do much of anything on the field.

That was March 5th. By April 30th, the date of the NFL draft, Davis’s injury still had not improved. Teams formerly interested in him started to balk at any offers — including during the draft itself, directly.

“During the draft, there were a couple of teams that actually called me and said, “Hey, we don’t know if we’ll pick you just because of your injury. It’s going to be risky and we may not want to make that pick,'” he recalled.

A few teams still expressed interest, however, and he came very close to a deal with the Denver Broncos. He even traveled to their training camp. He was ultimately unsuccessful after he failed a physical.

Despite the setbacks, Davis is hopeful that he can join the NFL fairly soon. He is planning on taking the NFL physical in July. Though not totally certain, he remains confident that he’ll pass it.

“I’m rehabbing now in Clemson,” he said, “and if I pass that, my agent says he is still in contact with about five teams, so I’ll probably be going to camp with one of those teams. I definitely feel like I’m going to be good to go. I’ve done a lot on my own and I’m expecting to be fine come camp time.”

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