Injuries can cause more than just a physical setback. They have a way of impacting someone's psyche, as well.
For Bradley Chubb, a partially torn left ACL during Week 4 of last season -- the second such injury of his football career dating back to his junior year of high school -- planted a seed of doubt in his mind regarding his future.
With 12 games and a team-leading 7.5 sacks under his belt this season, the Denver Broncos pass rusher took a moment on Friday to reflect on his rehab, where he is mentally entering Week 14 and what it would mean to notch double-digit sacks again.
"It would be huge for me after last year and what I went through mentally in thinking, 'Maybe I'm done. Maybe I can't do this anymore,'" Chubb told reporters, via the team's website. "It would be good to just erase all those thoughts. Having that goal that I set in the beginning of the season and to finally reach it would be pretty cool. I wouldn't be done there. I'll still continue to try and build on it and do whatever I can to be a better player."
After tallying 12 sacks his rookie season and looking like every bit of the defensive monster he was projected to be, Chubb recorded just one QB takedown before his sophomore campaign was cut short.
Almost immediately, Chubb was forced to pivot and focus on what would be a grueling, nearly year-long road to recovery. The 24-year-old credited those in his corner for helping him pull through.
"During the rehab process there were days where I'd get sore and be like, 'Oh man, I don't know,'" Chubb said. "I'd be sore for long periods of time. Just a whole bunch of stuff comes into your head and stuff like that. Me being out here by myself, I was just thinking in my head a lot. But at the end of the day, when I started talking to my family and people that are close to me -- it brought back out the confidence that I have in myself.
"So, I would fight it every now and then. It would never be a constant thing in my head that I would never be the same player. It was just sometimes I would have that, 'Maybe, what if? What if I'm not?' and stuff like that. But right now, I've been happy and everything. I've been in the right mindset. So, I'm all good."
Even after facing a setback in training camp with his recovering knee, Chubb has demonstrated throughout the 2020 season that he can still be a dominant force.
On Sunday, he'll look to add to his sack totals while facing a rested Carolina Panthers offensive line that better be ready for everything the former first-rounder is going to be bring.