Cody Lane had big plans for his final season of high school football after running for more than 1,100 yards last year as a junior.
The Dundee-Crown senior running back is now contemplating how he can help the Chargers in other ways.
Lane will miss his senior year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee four weeks ago at a helmets and shoulder pads football camp at Northern Illinois. Lane said Wednesday that he suffered the injury during a one-on-one drill when his foot stuck into the ground and he absorbed the weight of the linebacker he was participating in the drill with.
Lane said the knee injury is the first he has sustained in the five years he's been playing football.
"It's extremely hard, but the main thing is that my team needs me more now than ever before," Lane said. "I'm just going to have to be there for my team.
"To work as hard as I did and to see it go all to waste is extremely hard for me."
Lane was one of the area's top running backs last season, running for 1,181 yards and 18 touchdowns for D-C, which finished the year 3-6. The Chargers first win of the season snapped a 26-game losing streak.
Lane said he was optimistic after the injury occurred as he seemed to have full use of his knee. But when the swelling didn't go down in the three days after the camp, he underwent an MRI, when doctors discovered the tear. Lane, who had surgery on June 20, said doctors have estimated he will be cleared for contact sports in late November or early December.
With Lane out with the injury, the Chargers will build their running game around T.J. Moss, who played halfbacklast season, along with Caleb Parson, who served as Lane's primary back-up last season. Parson's older brother, Cordero, also moves into a pivotal role, replacing speedy JT Beasley, who graduated.
Lane is committed to being there for his teammates.
"As long as I'm still considered a teammate along with the other guys, I'm OK with that," Lane said.
But Lane said he's having difficulty considering his senior year without football. He said just watching his teammates practice Tuesday was almost too much to take. Tuesday night, he tweeted, "If you want to talk about being upset or down, try tarring (sic) your acl and not being able to play football your senior year. Not easy."
Lane immediately has received support from other area players, including Jacobs quarterback Bret Mooney, who tweeted, "Hey man heard about ur (sic) injury this summer. From the jacobs football team and myself we wish you the best of luck recovering."