Mark Andrews and the Ravens' medical staff have put a lot of work into getting him back on the field, and hopefully back in action this Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But when Andrews mentioned last week that he used a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in his recovery, that added an intriguing wrinkle.
On Thursday, Andrews elaborated on the backstory of his unique rehab.
"My girlfriend's mom is very into health wellness and they had a hyperbaric oxygen chamber," he said, saying she bought it for around $8,000-$10,000 about eight years ago.
When Andrews suffered the injury on Nov. 16, a bunch of people in Andrews' circle brought up the cracked fibula and ligament damage that Terrell Owens suffered in 2005. Thanks in part to the use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, Owens returned seven weeks later to play in Super Bowl XXXIX, heroically catching nine passes for 122 yards.
Andrews, who compared his own injury to Owens', started doing his own research.
"I was doing more research about bringing oxygen – especially as a diabetic – to your legs, your feet, your ankle – my ankle," Andrews said. "To help speed up that process is huge. That's what healing is all about – extra oxygen, building that up as much as you can."
It was his girlfriend's family's idea to move the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to Andrews' home.
It's a full body chamber that Andrews lies down in. It fills up and pressurizes with 100% oxygen. He said he usually goes in for two-hour sessions and, yes, sometimes does fall asleep.
"Sometimes I'll wake up in a panic like, 'Where am I?!'" he said. "It's really just focusing on your breathing while you're in there."