Obviously, if Reid's past injury were a major issue, we would've heard more about it. Although unknown to most, the 49ers have calculated it. Last week, I discussed how the 49ers medical staff goes through every player's medical history and considers even the most insignificant injuries.
So what happened with Reid?
Right above your knee cap and beneath the four quad muscles, there is a tendon that connects the muscle to the bone (kneecap). The quad tendon is one of the more hearty pieces of anatomy. When it pops or tears, it can cause your kneecap to slip. Needless to say, the immediate effect of a partial tear is severe pain and swelling.
To get an idea of an injury to the quad tendon, let me illustrate. First, imagine a thick rope. A rope has enormous strength, but it is basically a collection of tiny strands of fibers braided together. Imagine a rope being stretched to the point where the individual fibers begin to break. This is essentially how a quad tendon (or any ligament) becomes partially torn.
Typically, athletes who suffer partial tears to their quad tendon do not undergo surgery. The tendon recovers in time. Time allows it to heal and immobilization controls the pain.
When Reid suffered the quad tear, he only missed one game. What is more impressive, is that he played through it post-injury. And in 2012, even with a painful flare-up, he didn't miss a beat. Reid started all 13 games. It tells a story from a pain management perspective.
In the NFL, we know guys play through a host of injuries. Working through injuries is part of the job description. Undeniably, Reid has shown he is a tough player and can do the same when he plays in the NFL.