Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift on dropped TD pass: ‘That’s not me at all’

Detroit Free Press

In the hours that followed his dropped touchdown pass, Detroit Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift heard words of encouragement from more people than he could count.

Coach Matt Patricia, Matthew Stafford and Adrian Peterson were among the teammates there with pick-me-ups, either on their way off the field or right after the game, and Swift said he was inundated with well wishes from friends and family, too.

“Probably everybody in my contact book reached out to me,” he said.

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Four days after the winning pass slipped from his hands, Swift projected an air of confidence as he met with reporters via video conference for the first time since early in training camp.

He battled a hip injury in late August and early September that cost him valuable reps, yet was on the field for the most crucial moments of the Lions’ season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears.

Swift, in his NFL debut, played more snaps than any other Lions running back, including future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson. He scored the Lions’ first touchdown on a 1-yard run just before halftime. And he was Stafford’s go-to receiver on the play that ultimately sealed the team’s 0-1 start.

[ Birkett: Why Lions’ jaw-dropping loss shouldn’t raise alarms about this season ]

On second-and-10 from the 16 with 11 seconds to play, Swift ran a corner route out of the backfield and beat Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan to the front corner of the end zone.

Stafford zipped the ball towards Swift’s back shoulder, and as Swift twisted to catch it, he took his eyes off the ball and looked toward the goal line as it hit him square in his hands.

“I dropped the ball, that’s what happened,” Swift said. “Just me (not) focusing and finishing the play all the way through. Thought I ran a pretty good route. Perfect ball by Stafford. Just got to look it all the way in, got to finish better.”

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A sure-handed pass catcher at Georgia, Swift had two drops Sunday.

He finished with 23 yards from scrimmage on six touches and impressed teammates with both his play and resilience.

“I think first of all he shouldn’t put anything on himself,” left tackle Taylor Decker said. “He’s trying to make a play at the end and he’s a guy that’s going to – I’ve seen it in practice. I know with no preseason not as many people have seen it, but this guy’s going to make a lot of plays for us. Young guy, super talented, he’s going to make a ton of plays for us and we’re all going to rally around him.”

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Stafford said Wednesday he would not hesitate to throw the same pass to Swift if put in the situation again.

“I’d throw it to him 100 times out of 100,” he said. “I trust that kid. He’ll make the play.”

Swift said he thanked Patricia for “trusting me to be out there” in a crucial situation Sunday – “It comes with preparation throughout the week and I think I did a good job of that. Just keep building on that so they can trust me to be out there and more opportunities,” he said – then spent the aftermath of the game with friends and family who were in town for his NFL debut.

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“I just got to do my part, make sure nothing like that happens again,” he said. “Just got finish better. I will.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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