Lions assistant questioning D’Andre Swift’s toughness?
Nobody is mistaking D’Andre Swift for Iron Man these days, but one Detroit Lions assistant is taking it up a peg.
Lions assistant head coach Duce Staley made some harsh comments about the team’s starting running back Swift this week. Staley, who also serves as Detroit’s running backs coach, appeared to question Swift’s toughness when it comes to fighting through injury.
“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,” said Staley, per Sports Illustrated. “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 of training camp, you’re not going to feel the same,” Staley added. “There will be some things you have to fight through.”
The 23-year-old Swift probably needs to hear that advice. While he is an explosive, versatile back who has carried the Lions offense at times, Swift missed three games as a rookie in 2020 and four games in his second year last season. It was an upper-body injury (a shoulder sprain) that plagued Swift for a good chunk of 2021.
For Staley, who was just hired by the Lions last year, he was an NFL running back himself and is well aware of the bumps and bruises that come with playing the position. But Staley appeared in all 16 games a total of five different times and can now impart his durability tips onto Swift.
On top of the injury issues, Swift has also had some unfortunate moments to start his Detroit career. But there is still plenty of time for Swift to right the ship, and Staley is challenging him to do just that, starting with availability.