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Friday, February 26, 2010
Denver's Stokley mentors injured prospect

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Eric Decker admits he was quite down about his future after he suffered a Lisfranc sprain, which ended his decorated career as a star receiver at Minnesota last fall.

Then, he got a call from Brandon Stokley. Decker’s spirits were immediately lifted.

“I realized that you can come back,” Decker said Friday at the NFL combine.

Stokley, a veteran receiver for Denver, also suffered the injury, which is a tear of the ligament that holds the first two toes in place. Stokley came back from the injury in 2002.

After Decker was injured, Minnesota assistant Jedd Fisch reached out to Stokley to see if he could encourage the young wideout. Fisch coached Stokley in Denver in 2008. Stokley immediately contacted Decker.

“He was there for me and told me the process,” Decker said. “He told me that some days there will be no pain and some days, there will be a lot of pain. He just laid it out for me.”

Decker is still recovering from the injury, but he is still expected to be a high draft pick. He said he will always be indebted to Stokley.

“He helped me out a lot.” Decker said. “We still keep in touch about football stuff. He’s been a mentor.”