NFL Draft 2013: Terron Armstead played with sprained AC joint

USA TODAY Sports

If Armstead hasn't been impressive enough throughout the pre-draft process, reports are now surfacing that he played through a sprained AC joint this season.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead gets plenty of attention for his athleticism. And why shouldn't he? At the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, Armstead ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds at 306 pounds.

But as athletic as Armstead is, his toughness might be his most impressive quality. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Armstead played his entire senior season with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder.

For an offensive tackle, that's quite the injury to play through. Offensive linemen are using their hands each and every play, putting stress on the shoulder at the point of contact, so Armstead was dealing with a significant amount of pain. Matt Ryan suffered the same injury for the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, and C.J. Spiller was limited with a sprained AC joint for the Bills last season as well.

Armstead's biggest question mark is the competition he played against. While he was consistently dominant, he didn't have a chance to display his talent against the best of the best. He did fill in as an injury replacement at the Senior Bowl, where he seized the opportunity. He has aced the pre-draft process in every way possible, and this report only makes all the work he's done all the more impressive.

The athletic offensive tackle has gone from a virtual unknown to a likely top-50 pick in the span of a few months. He's firmly a part of the draft's second tier of tackles, battling it out with the likes of Menelik Watson, Kyle Long and others to come off the board early in the second round.

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