When Isaiah Pead lost his left leg during a November 2016 car crash, he also lost whatever remained of his NFL career.
A state-champion track and field star during high school, a Senior Bowl MVP out of Cincinnati and a second-round draft pick of the then-St. Louis Rams, Pead was 26 years old and just a month removed from his last days with the Miami Dolphins when that accident occurred. And after more than a half-dozen surgeries, his future in football was all but gone for good.
But while Pead, who spent most of four years with the Rams before brief stints with Miami and the Pittsburgh Steelers, may have been stripped of his gridiron dream, he also found a new one. As documented by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Columbus, Ohio, native is now vying for a spot in the 2020 Paralympic Games as an impaired sprinter.
Pead, who also started his own trucking company after his injuries, told Fowler one of the reasons is he still wants to be remembered for running. Pead’s mother, LeShawna, meanwhile, ascribed her son’s new focus to some divine assistance.
“It’s the plan God has for you,” she said, per Fowler. “It doesn’t change what is destined.”
Her remarks, perhaps to no surprise, come just a month after Pead himself recalled praying about his fate at the site of his 2016 accident. As explained in his piece “What’s Your Plan Here, God?” for The Players’ Tribune in May:
“I just closed my eyes, took a breath, and had a one-on-one with God.
I was alive. I thanked Him for that. Then I asked Him what this all meant. Like, Show me the meaning of this. Help me understand what I don’t understand. Why did this happen? What’s your plan here, God? What’s your story?”
Paralympics or not, it seem as though Pead’s is still being written.
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