Detroit Lions’ D’Andre Swift not sure if he had a concussion; rooting for Derrick Henry

Detroit Free Press

Carlos Monarrez
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift still isn’t sure if he actually had a concussion.

“It was talked about at first,” he said Wednesday during a conference call. “But I don’t know. I know my head was hurting.”

As the NFL and the rest of the world continues to learn more about the difficulty of identifying brain injuries, the Lions worked to ensure Swift’s safety as he went through the league’s concussion protocol after he exhibited symptoms a few days after his best game of the season, Nov. 15 against Washington.

[ Matthew Stafford: ‘I’m not counting myself out’ vs. Tennessee Titans ]

“Yeah, I just wasn’t feeling right and kind of went on from there,” Swift said. “… I didn’t know. That was something new. We thought it was a concussion but the headaches kept happening.”

After two weeks, Swift left the concussion protocol when he was cleared by independent neurological consultant Dec. 3. But he still missed that week’s game against Chicago while he continued to have headaches.

“It’s been a little rough,” Swift said. “Going through concussion, I’m sure y’all know, was something that was new for me with the headaches and everything like that.

“But the training staff and the doctors here did a great job taking me through protocol and doing every test just making sure everything was OK.”

Swift missed three games before he returned Sunday against the Green Bay Packers and had 50 yards from scrimmage. Swift said he feels good now and has no concerns.

“Amazing,” Swift said about returning to the field. “I was just so happy to be out there playing the game I love. I hate missing time with anything. But I just had to do what I had to do to make sure I was OK physically and mentally.

[ Frank Ragnow played through a fractured throat vs. Green Bay Packers ]

“Like I said, the doctors and training staff did a great job of just checking off boxes and making sure I was OK. But I couldn’t wait to get back.”

With quarterback Matthew Stafford’s status uncertain as he deals with a rib-cartilage injury, Swift could play a significant role in the offense Sunday against the host Tennessee Titans. But when he’s not on the field, Swift might be taking a few peeks at the Titans’ offense to check out Derrick Henry.

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Detroit Lions’ D’Andre Swift reflects on finally being able to return to field

Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift speaks to the media on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

Detroit Lions, Wochit

Swift said he’s a fan of the NFL’s rushing leader and he’s rooting for Henry to break the NFL single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards Eric Dickerson set in 1983. Henry has 1,532 yards and needs to average 191 yards in his final three games to tie Dickerson. Two of those games come against teams (including the Lions) with run defenses that rank among the NFL’s four worst.

“Yeah, I would love to see him do that,” Swift said. “Love to see him do that. Great back. I love watching him.”

While some running backs watch their counterparts in order to incorporate something into their own games, Swift said watches Henry purely from an appreciation standpoint.

“Obviously we’re two different backs,” he said. “I just love watching him play. Great overall, well-rounded back.”

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

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