Timing is everything in the NFL.
Quinton Jefferson learned that the hard way when a knee injury short-circuited his rookie season in Seattle in 2016. No sooner was he healthy and getting up to speed this year than he was waived at the end of training camp and claimed by the Rams.
Then – when the Seahawks re-signed him following the injury to Cliff Avril – Jefferson got a reminder that the ‘F’ in NFL certainly does not stand for fairness. He broke his hand within 30 minutes of being back on the practice field for Seattle.
But now, it looks like the timing might finally be breaking in Jefferson’s favor as he had his first NFL sack in Seattle’s game against Washington and could play a larger role on Seattle’s defensive line with the injury to Jarran Reed, who suffered a strained hamstring.
Score one for persistence on the part of Jefferson.
“The NFL is way more mental than it is physical at any level,” Jefferson said. “I’m coming off injuries, as soon as I come back from my knee injury, I get cut. And as soon as I come back from that, I have my hand injury. A normal person might have just threw in the towel. Your mentality is you have to just keep going.”
That’s especially true when you’re a family man at 24, married with three daughters and your wife is expecting your fourth child. That made the month Jefferson spent in Los Angeles even more difficult after he was cut the Seahawks, but it has made this opportunity feel even better.
“That’s one of those, you got to make it work,” Jefferson said. “We found a way. Luckily, I was blessed to come back here, have another opportunity.”