Kendrick Norton’s NFL career tragically ended before it began after a car accident cost him his left arm on July 4, 2019. Norton was still working on getting to play in his first official NFL game. While a tragedy like this could cause a person to focus on the negative, Norton is handling it about as well as one could. Here’s what he’s learned as he rehabs his body and decides what’s next for his future.
Kendrick Norton’s playing career
Norton never got to step foot on an NFL field, but he had three seasons as a tackle for Miami’s legendary football program. In his three seasons with the Hurricanes, the defensive beast amassed 45 tackles and five sacks — enough for the Carolina Panthers to draft him in the seventh round.
Unfortunately for Norton, his career with the Panthers did not last long. Carolina cut him on September 1, 2018. He quickly signed on to the practice squad before being cut and added again. Norton was signed by the Dolphins late in the season but never saw the field.
According to The Miami Herald, the car accident occurred in the early part of the Fourth of July. It was later confirmed that he had made an improper lane change and clipped the side of a Maserati. His pickup truck flipped and ended up on the other side of the freeway. Neither Norton nor his passenger and girlfriend, Kira Williams, were wearing seatbelts.
Norton and Williams were unharmed during the accident, except for one thing; the former pro footballer’s arm was severed. Fortunately, his medical expenses were covered by NFL insurance despite being off-field injuries. An amputation could be too much to handle for any 22-year-old, but Norton has remained positive as he reflects on everything that happened.
Norton is lucky to be alive
Norton spoke with CBS 4 in Miami about how he was coping with the tragedy. Instead of lamenting about a lost NFL career or talking about his injuries, he expressed how lucky he was to simply be alive.
“One thing keeps me going and that is that I am still able to be here,” explained Norton. “Seeing my family is so important. It is very good that I have this support system. It keeps me strong and it keeps me tall.” He thanked everyone who sent him positive thoughts and prayers.
“I am staying strong because all of the support from all of the fans, all of the teams, my family and everyone,” Norton said. “That is what is pushing me, my faith and the support from my family, my grandparents, my sports agent. Everyone is going above and beyond with nothing in return. Just to see people who have been supporting me is just great.”
His new perspective
While most NFL players in his situation are yearning for a shot at stardom, Norton must rethink things. Everything can change on the field in a second, but sometimes we forget how quickly everything off the field can change as well. With his positive attitude, Norton has used his situation to bring some good to the world through his story.