CHARLOTTE – When Panthers wide receiver Domenik Hixon sat down to discuss his career, he knew the injuries would come up. He's used to that by now.
And while he wishes he didn't have to talk about his medical history as often as he does, he knows it's a part of his NFL journey.
"It's inevitable, you are going to get injured," Hixon said. "There aren't too many guys that have played eight years in the league that haven't been injured or needed some type of surgery."
Hixon's first major injury came during preparations for the 2006 NFL Draft when he broke his left foot during his pro day at Akron.
He was still drafted in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos but spent the entire year on the reserve/non-football injury list.
Hixon played the first four games of his NFL career with the Broncos in 2007 before being waived. He was quickly picked up by the New York Giants and performed as the kick returner for the eventual Super Bowl champions.
Hixon earned a larger role in the offense in 2008, playing in all 16 games with seven starts. He finished with a career-high 43 receptions for a team-leading 596 yards and two touchdowns.
His offensive production dipped in 2009 (15 catches and 187 yards) as he was once again used as the team's kick returner, but Hixon felt poised to break out entering the 2010 season.
I didn't realize he's been in the league for 8 years. I thought he was maybe a 3 or 4 year guy.