Tyrone Prothro’s Career-Ending Injury

Made famous in 2005 for an amazing play that is referred to as “The Catch,” Tyrone Prothro was a talented college football player with an eye on a spot in the NFL. Despite these goals and the player’s immense talent, his career came to an unexpected and screeching halt just three weeks after his landmark play. While playing for the University of Alabama, Prothro suffered a career-ending leg injury from which he has struggled to recover ever since.

Prothro’s Fateful Game

During a game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators in 2005, Prothro went running down the field with the intent of catching a touchdown goal. As he leapt to make the catch, Florida cornerback Dee Webb tackled him to the ground. When the two players crashed to the field, Webb landed on Prothro’s left leg. The force of the impact and Webb’s weight snapped Prothro’s leg in half, damaging not only the bones of the leg, but the calf muscles as well.

Prothro’s Recovery

Prothro’s injury resulted in a complete fracture of both the tibia and fibula, in addition to extensive tearing of the soft tissues of the calf and lower leg. The college junior underwent several major surgeries—a total of ten procedures in all—and extensive rehabilitation, all with the plan to recover and achieve his dreams of playing for the NFL. Unfortunately, the injuries were so extreme that even following surgery and rehabilitation, Prothro has been unable to continue his football career.  

This article is part of Baxter & Walsh’s Cringe-Worthy Sports Injuries blog series.