Underdog Defies Obstacles; Brandon Barnes Rehabs Patella Tendon Knee Injury
THE RUSSELL COUNTY HIGH ALUM HAS PLAYED TIGHT END IN THE NFL AND XFL
Russell County football alum Brandon Barnes is a true underdog, but this past season he proved his worth in the XFL when he scored his first league touchdown in the Los Angeles Wildcats’ week five win over the Tampa Bay Vipers 41-34.
We had joint scrimmages and stuff like that,” said Barnes. “I scored on the same play, so it was just exciting to score in the game.”
The 6’5″, 260 pound tight end was red hot against the Vipers. Barnes had secured 3-of-4 targets for 26 yards and one touchdown. He was hungry for another touchdown grab, but then trouble struck.
“Remember just jumping up and then I kind of felt it,” said Barnes. “I felt my knee kind of buckle and feel kind of weird. I was looking at my knee and was like, ‘Okay, that looks familiar.'”
Barnes tore his left patella tendon. The same injury the tight end suffered on his right knee going into his senior season at Alabama State. Little did he know, that the XFL season would end for everyone after that March 8, 2020 game.
“COVID-19 hit, so they canceled the season. That was kind of rough because I was kind of worried about where I was going to do my rehab at,” said Barnes.
After surgery that was scheduled a week after the injury, the tight end returned to Phenix City, AL, and called up the Hughston Clinic. The same place where he rehabbed his college, high school and middle school injuries. Barnes knew how to overcome this injury, so he decided to put in extra work at home and test his knee.
“Come in and just go all out at the exercises because I know Rob (therapist),” said Barnes. “I trust him, so I know he’s not going to do anything to overwork my knee.”
Overcoming injuries is not the only obstacle Barnes has faced in his football career.
“I mean, I was a walk-on. I went to college as a regular student,” said Barnes. “After my first year I ended up making the team. I mean I’ve always had to work. I went undrafted. You know, it’s just that mindset.”