Brandon Hardin, the Chicago Bears' third-round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft, is out for the season with a neck injury he suffered during a preseason game on Aug. 18, and although fans will remember him being carted off the field, Hardin says the injury looked much worse than what actually happened. In an interview with Brad Biggs and Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Hardin notes that he sprained his neck on that play and that he was able to "function and move," but that medical protocols demand his dramatic exit on a stretcher.
Hardin is no longer wearing a brace, and he told the Chicago Tribune that he is feeling great from a physical standpoint:
"It's that drama factor of, 'He's getting carted off the field.' It makes it look really bad and it could have been really bad for all they knew," Hardin said in his first interview since the injury. "The (training staff) knew I could function and move, but they weren't about to let me get up and walk off the field. So there was all sorts of protocol they had to follow to ensure my safety."
Hardin is no longer wearing a brace and said "physically, I feel great."
Now the young secondary prospect is on injured reserve and he will be forced to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines, but he is committed to coming back stronger and being ready to contribute from day one next year.