ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Cody Ford's time in Buffalo has been anything but easy.
After a rookie season where he and Ty Nsekhe shared reps at right tackle, the second-year player and 2019 2nd round draft pick is coming off a season that ended sooner than he would've liked.
Taking advantage of an injury to Jon Feliciano, Ford started the first six games of the season at guard - at times limited with a groin injury - before leaving the team's game against the Kansas City Chiefs in week 7 with a knee injury. He missed the team's next two games before making his return to the field against the Seattle Seahawks in week 9. But just as he made his return, Ford left the team's game against the Seahawks with an ankle injury that kept him inactive the following week. After getting back to practice, Ford suffered his final injury, a torn meniscus, that ended his season.
"Early on there were definite mental hurdles. Seeing the team go on to win the AFC East and I'm sitting on the couch with a cast on my leg, was not fun," Ford said. "But seeing them do that, is what kept me in good spirits knowing they accomplished the goal that was set out."
Ford says those next few months after surgery were "long". In fact, that time span from December to this summer was the longest rehab stint he's ever had. It was tough not just physically, but mentally.
"I've come back to this Fall camp with a whole new mentality, a whole new mind set," said Ford. "In this whole offseason the one thing that the recovery did allow me to do was it gave me time to think, it gave me time to rediscover myself and figure out what's my why again, why I'm doing this, and what it's gonna take to get the job done."
Ford said he kind of lost sight of why he was playing after losing his grandfather during his college career. He always remembered their discussions about his potential NFL career, but the pressure he felt during his first two years in the league was tough to handle.
It's why he took action and asked for help.
"I started talking to a mental coach. That was the one thing that really helped a lot was to be able to talk to someone other than a coach or a teammate or even just a friend. It was me just getting my feelings out," he said. "As a young man sometimes that's hard, but being in that room in those Zooms and able to go one-on-one with her and express my feelings just really helped out."
And it's helped Ford "reset". He's back at Camp and is feeling good.
"We've [coaches] had discussions about me easing into things and that's what we've done so far, but there's no limitations that I have right now."