TITANS vs LIONS
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020
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(on how it felt to be back on the field)
It was really a blessing. I didn't know when I was going to be able to play. I've just been praying a lot with my parents and my family. That's been the biggest thing, just trying to stay positive. It's been a long journey with the ups and the downs and the highs and the lows. I just stayed patient and the team kept encouraging me, so to finally get out there, it felt good. Just a blessing to be out there with the guys, fly around and have fun and do what I love to do.
(on how he felt he performed today)
I felt like there was a lot of stuff I could have done better even though we had a great team win. I just felt like there are little things I could clear up, whether it's where my feet were or my eyes. Just going to watch film and figuring out what I could have done better in attacking and trying to improve.
(on how long he thinks it will take to have full confidence in his movement and ability)
I felt like I had it today. If I didn't have any confidence I probably wouldn't have been out there. That was one of the biggest things we've been talking about, just building confidence and working to get into the week. At the end of the day, it's just going out there playing and reacting. You can't go out there and think. When you think, bad things will happen, or try to play timid, things may happen. I learned that at a young age. No matter what's going on, just go hard and full speed all the time. That's what I did out there today.
(on what bothered him the most while he was away)
Just not being out there. Knowing that I wanted to be out there so bad, but just trying to listen to my body and not rush anything. I had to understand that everything happens for a reason. Whatever the Lord put me through was for a certain reason and purpose for me just to reevaluate and reset to just get back out there whenever I was ready. For me, I just missed the game and being out there with the guys and having fun. Even when I was finally able to be out there at practice joking around and doing the things that I love, putting smiles on people's faces. I just want people to have fun. That's the biggest thing you miss about it, just being out there with your teammates and coaches.
(on getting fully on the same page and communicate effectively heading into the playoffs)
Just have to keep working on it in practice, to be mentally in-tune throughout the week. Even though I haven't been doing a lot, I've still been trying to stay mentally sharp and understand the lingo for things they were talking about before I came back out there. We always talk about the next man up and don't want to lose a beat, so when I wasn't out there, I made sure I was staying up tempo and in-tune. Each day and each week we will keep getting better and better until we are back in-sync.
(on what made this the week for him to come back in terms of his body and health)
I just think the preparation and the confidence-building of understanding what was going on with my body and what I needed to do to get myself ready. I was praying every night for the Lord to get me going and get me through the week so I could get back out there and compete. I just put it up to God, for real.
(on what it's been like from a patience standpoint)
Patience is a virtue. For me, it was just trying to understand that I didn't want to rush anything that would hurt myself or the team. It's been 13 weeks, that's a hell of a long time. I had to understand that everything takes time and not to get discouraged even though I wasn't out there. I wanted to be uplifting and cheer on the guys who were out there competing and playing because at the end of the day, I wanted to see them do great in everything they were doing.
(on what his teammates' pregame comments to him were)
The funny thing was that I had never been in a circle with the DBs. I'm usually out there with the returners, so they were slapping hands and giving headbutts and that was new to me. It was fun being out there with them and they said they were praying for me and thankful to have me back out there. It just felt good to hear those guys say that and try to uplift me when I was trying to do the same for them. It's a brotherhood we have, and we are going to try and keep it going.
(on what this whole process has been like for him)
It's been a whole process with ups and downs and highs and lows. Just experienced the bottom, I would say. It's the first time I've missed an ample amount of games. I've missed some games before but I was always able to get back out and compete. You go through adversity in life with experiences and emotions, I think that was one thing that hit me. I was able to overcome it and just stayed the course. I knew eventually that I was going to see light at the end of the tunnel.
(on if he knew it would take 13 weeks to return after initially getting injured)
I didn't really know how long it would be. It was just one of those things were something crazy happened and was just fortunate enough that everyone was positive and kept me upbeat. You know when you're hurt and that's one of the worst things to imagine, because you are so used to doing things a certain way and living a certain way. So, not being able to be out there competing with the guys, it hurt. To finally be able to come out with the guys, I'm just thankful.
(on if he was fearful the injury would be season-ending)
I wasn't fearful, I was more positive and optimistic. I never thought it was going to be one of those things that would be season-ending. I always stayed positive in everything they asked me to do on the way to getting back. I did it with a positive attitude and I showed that I am here for the team and to help whatever it might be. I was happy to get back out there today.