Mohamed Massaquoi thought he only broke his hand.
He had just endured an ATV accident during an outing with his friends and heard what he described as an "explosion" in his hand. But in the immediate aftermath of the accident, Massaquoi could see the reactions from his friends, and realized the situation was far more serious.
"My friend, on the other hand, thinks my hand just went through a meat grinder, or something like that," Massaquoi said.
Never miss a local story.
Massaquoi detailed this experience in an interview he recorded for The Players' Tribune. Massaquoi recalled taking an ambulance to a hospital, with the medical staff believing saving his hand would be too difficult. They tried anyway, and put the hand back together. But ultimately, his fingers wouldn't hold up. Last April, a decision was made to amputate his left hand.
Massaquoi still has his left thumb but uses the prosthetic for the rest of his hand. In the video he explains how he has grown accustomed to using a prosthetic after spending his athletic career catching passes from quarterbacks. He also explains the mental adjustment he had to make once he realized a part of what made him who he was will no longer be there.
Massaquoi attended Georgia from 2005-08. As a senior in 2008, Massaquoi finished with 920 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. During that season, Massaquoi had a remarkable game on the road against Kentucky, which saw him catch eight passes for 191 yards and a touchdown.
Massaquoi was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. He played four seasons with the Browns, with his best statistical year coming as a rookie. In 2009, Massaquoi caught 34 passes for 624 yards and three touchdowns. Following his four years in Cleveland, Massaquoi was briefly with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.