Published: Sep 07, 2010 9:03 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 08, 2010 4:30 AM EDT

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Washington Redskins safety Reed Doughty is one of the great survivor stories of pro football, having overcome several gut-wrenching setbacks to stay in the NFL.

Doughty has suffered from hearing loss his entire life, making it a challenge to communicate with coaches and teammates. His son Micah was born six weeks prematurely in 2006 and had chronic kidney failure. Micah eventually had a transplant and is now doing fine.

Doughty also had a scary nerve injury in his back in 2008. Surgery was required, and there were some who didn't think he'd play again.

Yet Doughty is now entering his fifth year in the league, and he's expected to be in the starting lineup Sunday night when the Redskins open the season against the Dallas Cowboys.