Player Spotlight: S Anderson Russell

USA TODAY Sports

Only 40 more days.

Fun Facts About The Number 40

Negative 40 degrees is the only temperature at which the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are the same.

According to the Bible (Christianity), 40 days and 40 nights of rain flooded the entire Earth. On a side note, many other religions of the world mention a cataclysmic flood in their teachings.

Major League Baseball allows a maximum of 40 players on each team's roster.

Can you believe that I once ran the 40 yard dash in 4.0 seconds flat? Or was it a 30 yard dash? Either way, it's no big deal. What's 30 more feet anyway?

U.S. Route 40 runs all the way from Baltimore, Maryland to Park City, Utah. How many CSR members have driven on this highway?

Can you name the stone that honors the 40th wedding anniversary?

40 is the number of spaces on which popular board game?

The Detroit Pistons retired the number 40 in honor of ?

The Chicago Bears retired the number 40 for which one of their hall of fame players?

The Arizona Cardinals retired the number 40 in honor of ?

The New England Patriots retired the number 40 in honor of ?

S Anderson Russell

Honestly, there isn't a great deal to say about Russell's first three years in the NFL, but here's the cliff notes version of his career.

After graduating from Ohio State, Russell was signed as an undrafted free agent by Washington, where he spent the first half of his rookie season on the practice squad. The former Buckeye then received the chance of a lifetime when he was promoted to the 53 man roster for the Redskins ninth game against Philadelphia. Just as things were beginning to look up, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in only his second NFL game the following week at Tennessee.

Less than a year later (2011), Anderson was signed onto the Dolphin's practice squad, where he remained for the entire season.

He was able to work himself onto Miami's 53 man roster the following season (2012), only to be cut in early December.

Guess who stepped in two days later. You got it. Your Carolina Panthers.

I can confidently tell you that Russell would have been somewhere else had it not been for Haruki Nakamura's placement on injured reserve (groin). Nonetheless, he did come up with a single tackle while covering kicks in the final three games of the season.

Frankly, his chances of making the 53 man roster are in the slim to none range. The practice squad might be attainable, but even that might be a reach.

Perhaps Russell's career trajectory would have continued to move in a more upward direction had it not been for his ACL injury, but such is life in the NFL.

No one is immune to the insidious nature of devastating injuries. From the fringes of the practice squad to the center stage of super stardom, all gridiron athletes are just an accident away from losing a step or being forced to move on from football altogether.

No worries.

ESPN or NFL Network will be calling soon.

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