But the boy's family, his school and it's sports program, are bringing him back into the game, and you could say everyone is winning because of it.
On a warm September afternoon in League City, the Creekside Cobras take to the field. Intermediate students make up the team, and it includes Number 35, who is restricted to the sidelines. But 13-year-old Jordan Kinnear has already scored a victory that will last him a lifetime.
"He's a miracle, absolutely," Jordan's father, Erik Kinnear said.
Five years ago, Jordan barely survived a car wreck during a Thanksgiving trip to Georgia that killed his stepmother, injured his baby brother. Diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, doctors told his parents to prepare for the worst but they refused.
"I remember looking at her and she was crying and I stood up and I was like, 'You don't know my son,'" Erik Kinnear said.
Jordan was in a coma for weeks but he survived, learning to walk again, learning to talk. It's the long road of recovery.
"It's still going to this day," his mother Christina Bergeron said.
What you have to understand about Jordan Kinnear is that he loves sports, now as much as before, and he loves football.
"It's been one of my biggest dreams since I was a child," Jordan told us.
Traditional sports can be unforgiving but Clear Creek ISD took a different approach. Renee Bryant is the special education team leader at Creekside. Jordan told her he wanted to be a NFL player or perhaps a coach.
"Deep inside that heart he's an athlete, so I knew we had to find something along the lines with athletics to help him out, make his life happy while he's at school," Bryant said.
So Jordan now leads the Cobras onto the field suited up in Number 35, with his coach's encouragement.
"That's what this sport is all about, just working as a team. He's part of the team, we're all part of the team," Creekside Intermediate coach Cyrus Taye said.
It's a small thing, but it means the world to a young boy still facing obstacles. He has his biggest fans -- his family cheering him on -- and the attitude of an athlete.
And he is teaching us all a lesson.
"Don't ever give up, keep on trying," Jordan said.