Dion Jordan waited a long time for this moment. Nearly three years, in fact.
And in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 22-16 win at Arizona Thursday, years of heartbreak and disappointment, years of hard work and rehab, years of trying to work his way back onto an NFL field, it was all rewarded in a big way.
With the Seahawks protecting a two-score lead late in an important NFC West battle, Jordan lined up across from Cardinals tackle John Wetzel, then after the snap, he simply overpowered Wetzel, walking him all the way back to Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton, allowing Jordan to record his first sack since Dec. 21, 2014. And this wasn’t just Jordan’s first game with the Seahawks, it was his first NFL game since the end of that 2014 season.
“Just a journey,” Jordan said in the Seahawks visitor’s locker room at University of Phoenix Stadium. “It’s just a journey. Another step in my life towards everything that I want as a young man and as a football player. It’s just been a journey. Like I keep saying I just put my head down and I wake up every morning to try to really just be the best version of myself. I work hard, come to work, do what I’m asked.”
That journey Jordan references has seen him go from No. 3 overall pick out of the University of Oregon to a player many labeled a bust to, thanks to a combination of suspension an injuries, a player who did not play a single game for two full seasons.
“So happy for Dion,” defensive end Michael Bennett said. “Dion deserved to get his sack. He’s put in all the hard work. He’s done everything we need him to get back and the best part about it is he’s been humble about it. His story is extraordinary and his work ethic is extraordinary and to see him triumph after everything he’s been through is just a beautiful moment for us as individuals, for him, and then us as a team to watch somebody go through something like that and watch them succeed.”
Jordan, who missed last season with a knee injury, then was released during the offseason by Miami, the team that picked him the first round four years earlier. The Seahawks signed him in April, but a setback in offseason workouts meant more rehab and opening the season on the NFI list. He finally was able to return to practice two weeks ago, then was activated for Thursday’s game, which happened to be played a short drive from his hometown of Chandler. Seahawks.com
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