When I read about Adrian Wilson's need for surgery because of a torn abductor muscle, I didn't know what to think. Fans, bloggers and media alike killed him for his play in coverage this year. He looked a step slower or half a step out of place. And even still, he still had some big plays, changed at least one game outcome alone and was a Pro Bowler (although he himself said that he played like s--t).
There has been talk and speculation that he is over the hill and that he should be moved to linebacker (an intriguing thought). Then, the sudden revelation that he played the entire season with a muscle tear around his hip that affects flexibility, power and speed. Should I feel relieved or annoyed?
Obviously, there is a part of me that is relieved. It explains some of the subpar play. It allows me to think that next season he will rebound and be the dominating force he has been over the years.
At the same time, I am upset I never heard of this anytime before now. I feel dumb for having bagged on him. I wish I had known so that the sentiment towards him would be so negative. We would have been able to view him as a super tough star who had a good enough year to be named to the Pro Bowl.
I know why he didn't reveal it. He wants to play and make a difference. He is of the same ilk as Anquan Boldin -- guys who play no matter what. He was not on any injury report because he did not lose out on practice time. He wasn't being babied. If he wasn't missing practice time, why bring it up?
Likewise, revealing an injury like that also plays into the hands of their opponents, as they could scheme for Wilson. I discount this a little more because this happened anyway, due to his struggles in pass coverage. Case in point: in one of the 49ers contests, San Francisco had a tackle-eligible run a route forcing Wilson to cover him. Wilson did not take nicely to that.
But still, if I am going to call out one of the players on "my" team, I want it to be an informed criticism.
So, I don't know exactly what I should do with my emotions on this. How are you all reacting?