Serious Illness Spurs Hartline's Breakout Year

Serious Illness Spurs Hartline's Breakout Year

In a pint-sized bathroom on a two-and-a-half hour flight from Ohio to Florida in early June, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline just wanted to be alone in his misery.

The pain was excruciating, like nothing he'd ever felt, and no timeout would help him here. So he paced between his aisle seat and the bathroom, back and forth, back and forth, as the minutes slogged along like a slow-motion replay.

"My stomach was hurting so bad that I couldn't sit in my seat," said Hartline, detailing his offseason with NFL.com for the first time publicly. "I'd put the tray down on the seat in front of me to bury my head, but I kept ending up in that bathroom just so I could sit by myself."

Maybe that's the best place to call the beginning of these unlikeliest of months, up in the sky, locked in a bathroom, where Hartline believed he was experiencing the worst case of constipation this world has ever felt.

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