Hall of Famer Curtis Martin reveals he won the 2004 NFL rushing title with a torn MCL

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Oct 28, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) runs the ball against Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Jerome Baker (55) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Concern Level: James Conner

Curtis Martin’s decorated career as an NFL running back earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A five-time Pro Bowler during his time with the New England Patriots and New York Jets, Martin helped the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl a year after winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Two years later, Martin helped the Jets advance to within a game of the Super Bowl.

Perhaps Martin’s most impressive career accomplishment took place in 2004, when at age 31 he became the oldest player in league history to win the rushing title. This week, Martin revealed that he played the majority of that season with a serious MCL tear.

“My MCL had almost a grade 3 tear in it,” Martin told Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It was so loose. I played with it from I believe the sixth or seventh game throughout the rest of the season. At the time, the doctors were telling me that I needed to sit out and let it rest and I may need surgery.”

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