Sports Ryan Cummings

By Johnke, Jeremiah | Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), January 10, 2018 | Go to article overview

Sports Ryan Cummings


Johnke, Jeremiah, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


JAJ/bkm WRITTEN WEDNESDAY, DEC. 13; TO RUN SUNDAY, DEC. 16 Head: Captain comeback Subhead: UW senior offensive lineman Ryan Cummings has overcome a lot of adversity this season, including a life-threatening illness Idaho Potato Bowl Game: Wyoming (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (8-4) When: 2 p.m. Friday Where: Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho TV: ESPN Radio: KFBC (1240 AM, 97.5 FM) Tickets: UW athletics ticket office: gowyo.com/tickets; 307-766-7220 By Robert Gagliardi WyoSports LARAMIE - Ryan Cummings has gone though his share of adjustment and adversity this season.

The University of Wyoming senior offensive lineman switched positions from tackle to guard prior to the Cowboys' opener Sept. 2 at Iowa. Cummings started UW's first three games at left guard, but missed the next two after he suffered a concussion Sept. 16 against Oregon.

When Cummings returned, he went back to right tackle for two games due to a knee injury to true freshman starter Alonzo Velazquez.

But all that was nothing compared to what Cummings went through next.

What started as ear and sinus infections turned into bacterial meningitis, an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

This isn't like the flu or a common cold. According to my.clevelandclinic.org, there is a 10 percent death rate from bacterial meningitis if not diagnosed and treated early enough. If treatment is not done immediately, permanent damage such as seizures, mental impairment and paralysis are possible.

Fortunately, Cummings is fine. He played in UW's final two regular season games, and is expected to start at guard in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Friday against Central Michigan at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

Cummings describes his season as "all over the place." "It has definitely been hard to have a senior season like this, but the person I am and my outlook on things, I knew everything was always going be OK," he said. "There's a plan for everything, and everything happens for a reason.

"I'm thankful I am here and able to play. I'm healthy, happy, and it just feels great." Ironically, Cummings' final college game will be at a place where his life-threatening illness came full circle about two months ago.

Playing through it Cummings' first game back from his concussion was Oct. 14 at Utah State. He said he had ear and sinus infections as he played in that game.

"I knew I could play through it," he said.

The next week, UW played at Boise State, and leading up to the game, Cummings was diagnosed with strep throat. Cummings said before the game he had a fever, was throwing up and shaking. He also said he had a hard time getting out of bed.

"I was like, 'Whatever, I'm tough. I can play through this too,'" he said. "But I felt like a 60-year-old man who got hit by a car. My body felt weak." Cummings played, but both he and UW offensive line coach Scott Fuchs said it wasn't his best game, as the Cowboys lost 24-14.

Cummings said when he and the team returned to Laramie, he was still feeling "pretty rough." However, he practiced last Monday and participated in a morning weightlifting session Tuesday.

Cummings said UW's team doctor, Matthew Boyer, kept good tabs on him, and told Cummings after lifting weights to go to the emergency room at Ivinson Memorial Hospital and get his blood tested.

Cummings said tests for the flu and strep throat came back negative, but doctors decided to do a spinal tap to test his spinal fluid. …

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