Cliff Avril followed through with plans to reach out to Tony Romo and received an optimistic response from the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who suffered a fractured bone in his back after a hit by the Seattle Seahawks defensive end.
"You take care of the NFC West, we will see yall in the playoffs," Romo texted to Avril, the defensive end told the Star-Telegram on Friday.
Avril said Sunday that he would reach out to Romo after learning the severity of his injury. He told the newspaper that he sent texts and left voicemails for the quarterback.
"I hit him up to see how he was doing and to let him know it wasn't intentional," Avril told the newspaper. "He hit me back saying it was football and it was a freak accident. He started joking and saying, 'You take care of the NFC West and we will see you in the playoffs.'"
Avril has said he was "surprised" at the "crazy tweets" he was receiving from Cowboys fans after the play. He told the newspaper that the furor over his hit only recently quieted down.
"It finally died down the last day or two, but it was a good six straight days," Avril told the newspaper. "I got a couple of hundred mentions, people talking reckless. If they see me in the street, they are going to fight me. A bunch of Twitter thugs."
Romo suffered a compression fracture of the L1 vertebra on the hit from Avril, which took place on the third play of the preseason game between the Cowboys and Seahawks on Aug. 25. Romo does not need surgery but is expected to miss six to 10 weeks with the injury.
Seahawks' Cliff Avril checks on Tony Romo after hit injured Cowboys QB