As Earl Thomas III has learned lately, to appreciate the highs, you must also experience the lows.

No. 29 was at perhaps an all-time low after a broken tibia ended his season early for the first time in his NFL career. After playing all 16 games in each of his first six seasons—plus 12 playoff appearances in that span—the leg injury took Earl out of the game. He wasn’t used to the feeling, but now, he’s cherishing his time on the field more than ever.

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“It’s a revived Earl Thomas,” said Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard said. “It’s not as if he’s ever taken this game for granted, but, you could just see a guy relieved to be back out there, playing football again, doing what he loves to do.”

For all the latest on the ET III renaissance, check out the links below.

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