Duce Staley does not want D’Andre Swift to change his style in fear of injury

SideLion Report

D’Andre Swift adopted a different running style before being injured again, but Lions running backs coach Duce Staley doesn’t want him to change.

In response to Duce Staley’s challenge to play through minor injuries, Lions running back D’Andre Swift showed up to OTAs looking noticeably more muscular. Staley also challenged his lead pupil to finish runs more effectively, and not shy away from contact.

Swift missed three games a rookie in 2020 with a few ailments (notably a concussion), then he missed four more last season with a shoulder sprain. He also had some injury woes in college at Georgia.

Swift suffered an ankle injury in Week 1, and played a second full game with the injury in Week 3. He added a new shoulder injury to the mix against the Vikings, and he’ll miss at least Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. He also may miss Week 5 against the Patriots before the Lions’ Week 6 bye.

Duce Staley does not want D’Andre Swift to fear injury when he’s back

Speaking to reporters this past week, Staley said Swift wanted to keep playing against the Vikings but the coaching staff didn’t let him sway them.

It’s us as coaches that pulled him out. He wanted to go. He wanted to keep going, and if we didn’t pull him out, he’d still be going today,” Staley said. “So that tells me about the energy, the commitment, just the fire the kid has to continue to play.”

Oftentimes, playing cautiously or with hesitation to protect themselves from injury will make a player more susceptible to an injury. Staley wants Swift to keep an aggressive edge when he’s back in action, not “slow down or be cautious” for fear of being injured.

More hurt and harm comes from that than just saying, go,” Staley said. “You never want to put it in their minds that they’ve got to slow down or they’ve got to protect themselves on certain plays. You never want to do that, and I’m not.”

Leaning into his own experience as an NFL running back and how he was coached, Staley has seemingly pressed all the right buttons with Swift this season. Once he is healthy, he’ll hopefully hit the ground running just as he had been.

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