The Realests are proud to announce that, after missing three full NFL seasons due to injury, former Michigan tight end Bennie Joppru had the CHANCE to play yesterday in the Houston Texans' opener.
Unfortunately - by the looks of the box score - he didn't. But after missing two years with a sports hernia and one with a torn ACL, standing on the sidelines is a big moral victory for Bennie.
Now if only he could break his 3rd string tie with Mark Bruener, who shouldn't even be in the league right now.
Making his story even more tear-jerking is an article that ran in last week's Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Bennie Joppru was an All-America tight end and captain at the University of Michigan when the Texans drafted him. Then-offensive coordinator Chris Palmer had big plans for him, but Joppru, who never had been hurt at Michigan or as a three-year starter at Minnetonka High School, missed every snap of his first three seasons because of serious injuries.
"Most people, myself included, would have said the heck with this," said Sheldon, a former North Dakota star who played two seasons at tight end for Detroit and Shreveport in the old World Football League in 1974-75.
"But Bennie said to me, `Dad, I don't care if I ever play a down in the NFL. But I'm going to work my butt off so that if I don't make it back, no one can say I didn't work hard enough to make it happen.' "
Hang in there, Bennie!