As the Redskins departed for New England on Saturday afternoon, it was announced that nose tackle Terrance Knighton didn't make the trip with the team. He stayed back, isolated in a dark room during the weekend, dealing with cluster headaches.
Check out images of veteran defensive lineman Terrance Knighton during his first few months as a Washington Redskin.
The pain, as he described in an in-depth feature from John Keim on ESPN, was so severe that he didn't want to risk having an episode on the team plane or hotel room.
"On a scale of one to 10, the pain is a 50," Knighton said. "If people research it, they see it's probably the worst pain you can get. There are times I'll get these attacks and I'll be home, curled up in a fetal position and hoping it goes away. My girlfriend, she's starting to see it. Everybody's worried when they come back, and everyone panics and is hoping nothing's wrong with me."
Knighton said he first began to experience the cluster headaches as a teenager in high school and described the pain as relentless. There is no specific treatment, and Knighton said he's seen 20 to 30 doctors over the years to help solve his issues.
The headaches have also prevented Knighton from getting full nights of sleep. He often has to wake up before he submerges into a deep sleep because rapid eye movement can trigger the headaches.
Read more of the article to learn more about Knighton's struggles and the perspective of his mother, who has helped him through his pain.