As the 2020 NFL season has come to a close, many will look back on this as one of the more unusual seasons in history. For Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle, this season was especially unusual.
The 2015 fifth-rounder’s season came to a screeching halt during a Week 10 loss to the New England Patriots. In the third quarter of a 23-17 defeat, Boyle was tackled low by Patriots linebacker Terez Hall, causing major injuries to his left knee. His PCL, MCL and meniscus were all torn. He also fractured his tibia and his hamstring was ripped off the bone.
Just like that, Boyle’s season was done.
“It was tough,” Boyle said on Glenn Clark Radio Feb. 5. “The pain when I actually got hurt wasn’t too bad compared to the surgery and the weeks following the surgery. I had so many nights where I cried myself to sleep, just because the pain was bad.”
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound tight end was walking with crutches and was in a splint for about a month and half and still faces a long recovery. The first major injury of Boyle’s career came at an inopportune time with his team making a playoff push and the tight end set to enter the final year of his deal.
However, Boyle’s future with team is no longer in question. The Ravens gave him a two-year, $13 million contract extension Jan. 29. The Ravens made the move in part to open up about $2 million in cap room for 2021. Boyle’s cap figure was set to be $7.83 million, the sixth-highest mark on the team.
“Obviously this is the place I love. … That’s why I’m really thankful for the Ravens extending me,” said Boyle, who is expecting a daughter with his wife, Kristina, soon. “The relationship I have with everyone is truly special. And my family has made our home here and this is my home.”
Boyle caught 14 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns before sustaining his injury. He has long been considered to be one of the best blockers in the league at the tight end position. Now with his future set in Baltimore, Boyle made it clear that he feels like he will be ready to go Week 1 of the 2021 season.
“I think I’ll get there,” Boyle said.
Boyle said he has been at the Ravens’ facility with trainers Monday through Friday, and the recovery process has changed his perspective on training during the offseason and rehabbing.
“It’s like a challenge for me now to come back on time from the injury,” Boyle said. “It’s been good, and it’s something just to attack every day.”
It has not been an easy road for Boyle, who explained the struggles that he has gone through mentally during the recovery process.
“When I’m playing, I think I’m a really good player and I think I deserve to be on the team and get paid what I’m getting paid,” Boyle said. “But then again, when you think about your knee injury and coming off a knee injury, this being my first one, it’s [unknown] how you are going to come back. Do I think I’m going to come back great and play well? I do.”
However, through all the hardships Boyle has had to endure throughout the past couple of months, Boyle said he is driven to come back stronger than ever.
Watching the end of the season at home “was tough,” Boyle said, “and that only made feel like I want to come back even more.”
For more from Boyle, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox