For second-year cornerback Damian Swann, this off-season and the upcoming regular season will be a bit of a balancing act. On one hand, you have the obvious: a player trying to stay healthy after suffering three concussions as a rookie. On the other: a promising young talent trying to maximize on the flashes of potential shown in 2015.
“Anytime that you have to deal with injuries, it’s tough,” says Swann. “When you’re playing at a really good level, that’s when it gets really tough.”
Swann says that physically there’s only so much he can do to prevent any further issues.
“I don’t really think my style of tackling is what’s causing it,” says Swann. “The first two concussions were ground impacted.”
Head Coach Sean Payton says Swann’s even taken classes on concussions while the team also does its part to make sure that he stays as safe as possible on the field.
“This time of the year for him, there’s not a lot of contact,” says Payton. “In the meantime, every step we take a look at strengthening his neck, making sure the head-wear he’s wearing is the newest and best.”
Despite only playing in seven games last season, coach Payton says Swann isn’t having trouble picking up where he left off and learning a new defense.
“He’s doing good,” says Payton. “He’s smart. So he picks up things right away. That’s a big plus for what he’s playing in nickel or outside.”
Meanwhile, Swann says he knows everyone just wants what’s best for him on and off the field.
“A lot of people just want to see me healthy,” says Swann. “A lot of people want to see me do things beyond football and be OK beyond football. Everybody has their concerns. Everybody has their worries.”
At this point, one more concussion would likely mean serious consideration to put his football career on the back burner. But for now, Swann’s healthy and doing whatever he can to help his team, and that’s all that anyone can ask.
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