So the irony isn't lost on him that as he recovers from back surgery, Quinn's growing used to that same position.
"I’m able to walk so I’m all right," Quinn said. "I guess I’ll just look at the stars and relax, myself. [There's] no [current] plan besides rest, just kick my feet up."
Quinn's 2015 season was the first abbreviated one in his five-year NFL career. He played in just eight games, though three of those came after he first started having the injury issues that would ultimately end his season. He finished with 21 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles and his absence as an edge rusher was undoubtedly a big blow to a defense that at one point had a legitimate shot to finish as a top-five unit.
According to Quinn, the variety of ailments he dealt with during the season left him searching for answers as he attempted to play through the pain. His issues were first noticeable during the team's Week 6 bye, when he did not practice. In the weeks that followed, he showed up on the injury report with knee and hip problems before his back eventually got the better of him.
"I didn’t realize what it was until we really figured it out," Quinn said. "I just thought I was getting old or slow or something. After time, I realized that my get-off didn’t seem as fast as it used to be, and of course we had other problems. It’s a frustrating situation that I technically never had [a football injury]. So it’s frustrating, but what can I do besides prepare for another run at it next year?"
And though Quinn wouldn't describe the exact nature of the back injury, he said whatever it was yielded issues in his leg that were immediately solved by the surgery he had a few weeks ago.
"I’m able to get around, sit down more comfortable," Quinn said. "It’s a lot of relief. It sucked the way it ended and just jumped on me, but I’ll deal with it and move on to next year."
As with most back surgeries, it's going to take some recovery time before Quinn is cleared to begin strenuous activities. As of this week, Quinn is still in the rest phase of his rehabilitation, which means no lifting weights or running, and a whole lot of relaxation.
Quinn doesn't know when he will be cleared to do those things again and hinted that he'd miss a chunk of the offseason program, which usually begins in mid-April.
"You have got to talk to the trainers," Quinn said. "I just listen to them. Whatever they tell me to do, I just follow their lead. Whenever they tell me I can go, I guess they’ll cut me loose."