John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver and 2017 University of Washington alum, has been called the “NFL’s fastest man” after running the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL combine history. But he says he might not have made it to professional football without Albert Gee, M.D., Husky Athletics team physician and surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.
Ross grew up in Long Beach, Calif., the first member of his family to go to college. In 2014, he tore the meniscus in his right knee during a Huskies game. After surgery, he still favored the injured leg, and during practice a few months later, he jumped, fell and felt a snap — this time in his left knee. Ross was forced to sit out the entire 2015 UW football season.
With two injured knees, Ross and his coaches feared his football career was over. But Gee was up for the challenge, using interference screws to pull each torn knee joint together. It took months of physical therapy and hard work, but Ross was finally back in the game.
“Dr. Gee was very caring, always available, and he stayed on me to ensure I was going about things the right way,” says Ross.
Not only was Ross off the bench, he was faster than ever. During the 2017 NFL scouting combine, he ran an astonishing 4.22-second 40-yard dash, shattering a decade-old record. It secured his place as an NFL first-round draft pick.
“I owe a lot of the credit for my recovery to Dr. Gee, because of how hands-on and adamant he was about the things I needed to do to get back on the field,” Ross says.
“It was really a team effort,” says Gee of Ross’ recovery. “It’s the same great teamwork that our patients see every day at the UW Medicine Sports Medicine Center.”
Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals.