Ridley breaks silence, updates injury
Published 12:01 am Friday, February 6, 2015
BOSTON — As the confetti rained down in the University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday, Stevan Ridley basked in the moment, feeling every bit a part of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl 49 victory.
The recovering Ridley watched on as his team defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24, and following the victory, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels embraced the former Trinity Saint running back.
“He came and hugged me with a big smile on his face and made sure I knew I was part of this championship,” said Ridley, who missed most of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL in October. “That was one of the greatest moments of my life. Celebrating that with my teammates, it wasn’t the way I wanted to celebrate the Super Bowl win, but that’s just the plan God gave me.”
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Of course, meeting his favorite rapper Rick Ross at the after party had its perks, as well. Ridley jokingly admitted he had to wait for his parents, Leon and Carolyn Ridley, to leave before he “cut up” with Ross and his teammates.
For Ridley, the moment served as a nice change of pace, after spending the past few months working out and trying to stay out of limelight. During that period, Ridley turned down interviews and wanted to focus on one thing — healing.
“Really, I just got hurt in my contract year and to have the season that I was having and have it all taken away was devastating,” said Ridley on his silence. “I knew as soon as I had the hit (against Buffalo), I knew I tore my ACL. I separated myself from everything and just went to work. I didn’t want to be in the public eye, and I didn’t want to talk to too many people.”
Two-and-a-half months removed since Dr. Brent Bankston performed surgery on his knee on Nov. 18 — for the second time since repairing his torn ACL at LSU in 2009 — Ridley can be seen running on the treadmill at Tom Brady’s TB12 Sports Therapy Center. Ridley said two weeks ago his quad was around 70 percent and his hamstring was at 60 percent full strength, and believed both have grown stronger since. Ridley has been working with Alex Guerrero, who has worked with athletes such as LaDainian Tomlinson in the past. Ridley puts in four hours a day rehabbing with Guerrero.
“At the rate I’m coming back, I can only give thanks to the Lord above,” Ridley said. “This being my second tear, I was worried about how well my body would adjust. But I came in and really worked my butt off, and not even three months out, I have my range and motion back. I just have to stay on my therapy.”
Ridley will enter the 2015 NFL season as a free agent, and though he and his agent have yet to start discussions with New England, Ridley has made it clear that he wants to be a Patriot.
“I love the team, and they love me,” Ridley said. “I’m just going to let my agent handle it. For me, my main concentration right now is on getting this leg back. I can’t do anything else.”
Rest assured, no matter if it’s in a New England uniform or another NFL one, Ridley is fully confident he will make a strong return to the league.
“I’ll be ready for week one,” Ridley said. “I’ll be ready to light somebody up.”