Story by Aaron Kandell
Photos by Dana Edmunds
The third time his thumb popped out of its socket, the pain brought Chad Owens to his knees. But he gritted his teeth and popped the thumb right back in. Owens was only midway through the 2012 Canadian Football League’s regular season, and with eight more games ahead, he had a plan. For many football players, injuries are a one-way ticket to the bench. But nothing— not a dislocated thumb, not even torn ligaments in his left wrist — was going to stop Owens from achieving his goal: to become the greatest all-purpose yards receiver in the history of pro football.