A high school-aged right-handed adolescent boy presented with a 5-mo history of persistent proximal right arm weakness and numbness after an American football stinger injury without a documented history of a shoulder dislocation or humeral fracture. He developed diffuse deltoid muscle atrophy, persistent shoulder abduction weakness, and reduced pinprick sensation confined to the axillary distribution over 5 mos. Needle electromyography demonstrated dense fibrillation potentials and no voluntary activation in all three deltoid muscle heads, indicating a severe posttraumatic ruptured axillary mononeuropathy. The patient then underwent a complex three-cable sural nerve graft repair for attempted reinnervation of the axillary-innervated muscles. Isolated axillary nerve injuries are usually associated with anterior shoulder dislocations; however, a severe isolated persistent axillary mononeuropathy from a ruptured axillary nerve may occur in trauma patients without a clear history of shoulder dislocation. These patients may present with only mild persistent weakness of shoulder abduction. Electrodiagnostic testing to fully assess axillary nerve function should still be considered to identify patients with high-grade nerve injuries that may benefit from sural nerve grafting. The rapid recovery of our patient’s initial symptoms with persistent severe axillary injury suggests a unique vulnerability of the nerve due to the neuroanatomy and possibly other factors.