Isaiah Wynn’s rookie season was over before it started.
Despite still having yet to play in an NFL regular-season game, a lot will be expected of Wynn in the 2019 season. Aside from the expectations that come with being a high draft pick, the New England Patriots will need Wynn to step up and fill the void at left tackle after Trent Brown left in free agency.
Wynn, the No. 23 overall pick in last year’s NFL draft, tore his Achilles in the Patriots’ second preseason matchup ahead of the 2018 campaign. The 22-year-old offensive lineman promptly was put on injured reserve and missed the entire season.
A torn Achilles isn’t the easiest injury to come back from, but a former Patriots star sure made it look easy. After tearing his Achilles at the quarter mark of the 2013 season, Vince Wilfork managed to return for training camp in July ahead of the 2014 campaign.
So, what’s the best advice Wilfork could give to Wynn?
“The biggest thing that helped me, and the biggest thing I could tell anyone with an Achilles, was taking the recommended time and maybe even a little more, depending on how the body responds,” Wilfork told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “The last thing you want is to start doing some things and boom! You snap it again and you’re back behind the curve. That was one of the best things I did — I listened and was staying off it.”
Not only did Wilfork recover, he started in all but one game over the course of his final three seasons in the league.
“Some people say it will take you up to a year to feel like your normal self. Honestly, it took me probably a year and a half,” Wilfork said. “But once I got to that point … I felt like I could have played another five, six, seven more (seasons) if I wanted to, but I got to the point where I felt it was time for me to do something different. I left the game healthy and nothing was bothering me.”
The Patriots surely are hoping Wynn will follow Wilfork’s footsteps by making a full recovery and becoming an impact player. Not just for the upcoming campaign, but for years to come.