Deuce Staley challenges Lions RB D’Andre Swift to stay on field

When the Detroit Lions selected D’Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the hope was that he would come in and be a game-changer for the offense.

In his first two seasons with the Lions, Swift has certainly shown flashes of being that game-changer but he has also shown that injuries can get the best of him.

On Thursday, Lions RB coach Deuce Staley divulged his challenge for Swift as he moves forward with his NFL career.

That challenge is essentially for Swift to understand that there is a difference between being hurt and being injured and that you can play when you are hurt but you can’t play when you are injured.

“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. “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.”

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Deuce Staley knows it begins with the offensive line

Deuce Staley noted that Swift’s success will all start with the Detroit Lions’ offensive line, which will be pretty darn good if they can all remain healthy.

“Not to slight D’Andre, but it starts up front with those linemen,” he said. “I’m equally as excited seeing those five healthy O-linemen as I am seeing him out there on the field.

“But there’s no doubt he makes us better, he’s a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands and we’re going to use him as such.”

Up to this point, though it is still very early, Staley said he is impressed with how Swift has handled himself.

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“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.”

So far Swift has played in 26 of a possible 33 games for the Detroit Lions over his first two seasons in the NFL. Let’s hope he plays in 17 regular-season games in 2022.

One thing is for sure, Deuce Staley will be all over Swift about staying on the field unless he is truly injured.

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