Mark Herzlich is an NFL player, and before he even takes a regular-season snaps he’s one of the league’s most inspiring stories.
Herzlich overcame a rare bone cancer at Boston College to be signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants and eventually make the 53-man roster. Not that he’s all that impressed by the accomplishment.
“I’ve officially made it for a day,” Herzlich said. “I don’t think anybody tries to make the NFL for a day. So we’ll see how the career goes.”
Many people were watching to see if Herzlich would be able to play in the NFL after all he’s been through. Making the Giants’ roster would seem to be the conclusion of that story arc. But Herzlich doesn’t look at it that way.
“Your story is never over,” Herzlich said. “When you talk about the story, that’s actually my life. Yeah it’s a story … but that’s my life and that’s going to keep on going. Lots of changes are going to happen whether related to football or what.”
Herzlich said it’s ok for Giants fans to boo him if he makes a poor play on the field even though he is a cancer survivor. “I expect them to be p---ed at me if I make a bad play,” he said. “I’ll be p---ed at myself if I make a bad play.”
But now that he’s on the team, Herzlich doesn’t want to be know only as the guy who overcame cancer to play in the NFL.
“I want to try to go from being a feel good story to making an impact on the field,” he said.