One of the big breakout players this season has been Bradyn Swinson. In the shortened 2020 season, he recorded three tackles through seven games. In the three games he has played this season, he has four times that mark, totaling 22 tackles and two sacks.
Swinson made a massive difference in the absence of Kayvon Thibodeaux. With Thibodeaux out against Ohio State, Swinson stepped up and helped the Ducks pull off the biggest upset the program has seen in recent years. He recorded five tackles against Ohio State, with one of them being a sack.
The freshman defensive end missed the next three games due to an injury in the Ohio State game, but he somehow found the strength to power through it against the Buckeyes.
“I tore my lateral meniscus. It happened at the beginning of the third quarter,” Swinson said on Monday. “I just played through it. The urgency, the feeling of being in the game, you’re not really worried about that. You’re just trying to go ahead and get your job done for your team.”
This is even more impressive when remembering that the sack that Swinson recorded was actually in the fourth quarter, meaning that he was able to power through the line and get to the quarterback on a torn lateral meniscus.
While he missed the games against Stony Brook, Stanford and Arizona, it seems that he should be good to go for the rest of the season. He underwent a successful minor scope surgery that only kept him out for those weeks. Swinson claimed to be “fully confident” in his knee post injury.
“I feel better than it was before I even hurt it.” Swinson said regarding his knee after surgery. “It just feels better when I’m moving on it. I still got the same movement, every lateral quickness, everything I need to do is still here.”
In his return game against Cal, he added three total tackles and broke up a pass. One of his best plays was when he stopped quarterback Chase Garbers before he could fight his way into the end zone at the end of the game. For Swinson, being able to play again after four weeks was worth the recovery time.
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“It felt great. Being with the guys and just being with the team, Swinson said. “It'd been hard not being able to travel.”
Through the entire season, Swinson has thirteen total tackles and two sacks. Now that he's returning to the roster, there is time for him to improve on those numbers and continue to be a threat, particularly in the pass rush, as he and Thibodeaux look to wreak havoc this weekend in Los Angeles.
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