Broken foot will cause Hutchins to miss 2008 season

Published 12:11 am Thursday, July 31, 2008

ATLANTA — Everything seemed to be going Von Hutchins’ way.

The former Cathedral and Ole Miss standout parlayed a successful 2007 season with the Houston Texans into signing a four year, $9 million free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason.

Hutchins was slated to be the Falcons starting nickelback.

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However, that’s when everything went awry.

Hutchins suffered a Lisfranc fracture — in which breaks and dislocations are suffered in the front part of the foot — in training camp and had surgery on Monday, which will cause him to miss the entire 2008 NFL season.

The Falcons placed him on injured reserve Tuesday.

Hutchins suffered the injury when his foot was stepped on while he was making a cut in practice.

“It was basically just a freak accident,” Hutchins said. “It’s something that happens that you’ve got to put behind you.”

The team first thought it was a sprain, but after Hutchins saw foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., the fracture was discovered and surgery was required.

“I knew it felt different from anything I had felt before when it happened,” Hutchins said. “From the first X-ray and MRI, it showed a bad sprain. But once it was seen by Dr. Anderson, it was confirmed that it was something that needed to be fixed.”

Hutchins said this is the first time he will miss significant playing time because of an injury in his career.

“I’ve been blessed with being relatively healthy on the field,” Hutchins said. “I had bone spurs removed from my ankles following my rookie year with the (Indianapolis) Colts, but not anything that happened on the field. This is one of the first times I’m going to miss action from a playing injury.”

And the timing of the injury couldn’t be worse for a player who was looking to prove to the Falcons that they made the right decision in bringing him to the team.

“You always want to be able to prove you deserve what you receive,” Hutchins said. “To have Falcons come after me so aggressively in free agent and me not be able to prove myself is disappointing.”

But Hutchins said he will be back next year after rehabilitating his injury.

“I know it’s going to be a pretty long rehab and road back,” Hutchins said. “It will take a couple of months for me to be able to put a lot of weight on the foot and run a full speed. But I understand the nature of this game. I’m just going to come back stronger next year.”