Joseph Fauria hurt chasing puppy

ByMichael Rothstein ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria finally explained how he sprained his left ankle, and the story is almost too unbelievable to be true.

Fauria said he missed two steps while chasing after his 3-month-old Pomeranian/Husky mix, Lil' Rufio, at his apartment on Wednesday night. While bracing for a fall, he put his 265-pound frame on his left foot and sprained his ankle.

"He was about to pee and I was like, 'Come here you little ... nugget,'" Fauria said Monday at his locker with a boot on his left foot and crutches by his side. "And I was chasing him downstairs. I wasn't running but I was chasing him downstairs and I just misstepped and I reached with my left foot and I just didn't end up well."

He joked about the incident on Twitter.

For his part, Lil' Rufio, who has his own Instagram account, was reported to have barked out to his ailing owner, according to a yet-to-be identified translator: "I dunno Dad, I just don't get why you get to potty inside and I don't."

Fauria soon followed up with another Instagram photo and message to his puppy, saying: "Can I get a massage in peace bro?"

The Lions TE said he called his teammate, Sam Martin, and then Lions trainers following the injury but they didn't answer so some neighbors drove him first to an urgent care facility and then the Beaumont Hospital emergency room in Royal Oak to get the ankle checked out.

The second-year pro said he was wearing socks at the time and where the injury occurred went from carpet to hardwood so he put all his weight on the foot to brace it. "It was kind of agonizing pain," Fauria said.

He dismissed rumors that had been floating around since the injury that he hurt it playing volleyball or that he injured the ankle at a bar. Fauria said he was at a volleyball event earlier that night supporting his friends and that he was warming up with them, but that he did not injure the ankle playing volleyball.

"I heard footgolf, basketball, lewd activities as well," Fauria said. "I'm no stranger to rumors. I did get suspended from a school and I know those rumors were around, too. I'm no stranger to it, but I was there supporting my friends and it happened two hours after."

Fauria, who has three catches for 49 yards this season, said the doctors have given him a timeline for his return but he declined to share it Monday.

In an effort to teach Fauria how to properly train his dog, animal rights organization PETA sent Fauria a letter to inform him they were sending him a house-training guide with suggestions "for gently and kindly teaching puppies to do their business outdoors," according to an email from PETA. They are also sending Fauria a book written by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk called "Let's Have a Dog Party," and some vegan chocolates shaped like a dog for him to eat.

This is the latest in some bizarre injuries the past two seasons for the Lions. Linebacker Stephen Tulloch is out for this season after tearing his ACL while celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers on Sept. 21. Last season, the Lions lost then-receiverNate Burlesonfor sevengames when he broke his left forearm trying to save a sliding pizza box from the front seat of his car.

Tulloch was mentioned on "Saturday Night Live" last week during Weekend Update, while Burleson received a free year's supply of DiGiorno's Pizza after his car crash.

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