Bill Romonowski has not missed a single game during his fourteen-year career in the National Football League, and if he has his way about it, this Sunday will be no exception, despite a severely bruised hip suffered during the Arizona Cardinals game last Sunday.
The injury is believed to have happened midway through the second quarter as Broncos defensive back Denard Walker fumbled an intercepted ball out of bounds. In an attempt to recover the fumble, Romonowski was hit from the side during the pileup.
Pain and stiffness forced middle linebacker to sit out the second half, opting to watch from the sidelines as he worked out on an exercise bike.
"When Denard fumbled that ball, I think somebody came in and speared me right in the hip," he said. "I couldn't run at all in the second half."
Not a good sign for someone who has played in 210 consecutive games, fourth best among active NFL players. But then again, this is Romonowski, and nothing short of an amputation will keep the 35-year old from starting against the Ravens this weekend.
"We have the best training staff in the NFL working on it," Romanowski told reporters. "And I have a lot of other outside therapists who will be working around the clock, taking care of me."
While the plans for rehabilitation may seem a bit off the norm for some, for Romonowski they're commonplace.
"I'm heading over to the cellular medicine institute today and getting in a hyperbaric chamber," Romanowski said. "I'll be doing that for a couple hours. I have a guy that I flew in from Austin, Texas, who's a really good therapist. I have another one I'm flying in from Salt Lake City. They're both chiropractors, but they have other specialties that make them really great therapists."
Following Monday's practice session, head coach Mike Shanahan gave his prognosis on Romonowski, remaining confident that the man who has started every game since arriving in Denver in 1996, will still be the man in the middle.
"He was quite sore," Shanahan said. "Were taking it day by day, so we'll see how he is in a couple days. But knowing Bill, he'll be back, ready to go."
Romonowski missing a game against Shannon Sharpe the defending champion Baltimore Ravens?
Not in this lifetime.
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