Dan Campbell’s appendix burst on flight to training camp and he said nothing
Long before he became the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Dan Campbell was an NFL tight end for four different organizations. Among his teammates and coaches, Campbell was known as one of the toughest guys in the league.
How tough? Tough enough to have his appendix rupture in the middle of a flight and say nothing about it.
In 2005, Campbell and fellow tight ends Jason Witten and Sean Ryan were headed off on a flight together to a Bill Parcells-led training camp with the Dallas Cowboys. When their plane arrived in California, Campbell was not present at the first meeting for the position group. Tight ends coach Paul Pasqualoni revealed that Campbell had gone to the emergency room for an appendectomy.
As Conor Orr of Around the NFL notes, Campbell’s appendix had burst on the flight from Texas to California. He had to have been in a ton of pain, but he said nothing. The reality of the matter is his life was in danger. Yet, somehow, Campbell returned to practice roughly a week later.
“It was to the point where they were trying to hold him off the field so the stitches would heal,” Ryan told Orr. “He was just itching to get back on the practice field. He’s just a testament to the old-time tough guys.”
Campbell ended up winning the Ed Block Courage that season. Now, just six years removed from his playing career, the 39-year-old is tasked with trying to lead one of the most underachieving teams in football. He has already made some layout changes in the locker room and has vowed to “wake the sleeping giant,” which will be no easy task.
But one thing is for sure — Campbell is going to bring plenty of energy. We can only hope he tries to be a little less tough this time around in the unfortunate event that he should face some sort of life-threatening situation.
Photo: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports