One of the ways the sport of football has changed through the years is in the way coaches treat injured players, and that dynamic may be playing out between Lions running backs coach Duce Staley and running back D’Andre Swift.
Staley’s NFL playing career started before Swift was born, and Staley revealed in talking about how he has discussed injuries with Swift that Staley has more of an old-school approach.
“Injuries happen, but one of the things Swift and I had a conversation about is you’ve got to be able to play through some of these injuries as a running back,” Staley said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We all know there’s a difference between being injured and hurt. As soon as you step in this building as a running back, Day One training camp, you’re not going to feel the same. There will be some things you have to fight through.”
Staley said he liked the way Swift responded to that talk.
“Super positive and he knows [we need him out there], which is good,” Staley said. “Playing running back, you’re going to take your fair share of hits. You just have to make sure you protect yourself when it’s the time to protect yourself and then there’s going to be time to put it all out there.”
Through two NFL seasons, Swift has played in 26 games, with eight starts, and carried 265 times for 1,138 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Lions would love to see Swift carry a bigger workload in Year 3.