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D'Andre Swift Could Be Dealing with 'Lingering Pain'

Read more on how Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift has answered the bell by playing through pain.
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D'Andre Swift appears to be taking the next step in his NFL career. 

In his third season now as a pro, the Georgia product has emerged as one of the best running backs in the entire league. 

He's already rushed for 200 yards, nearly a third of the yards he accumulated all of last season (617). And, while doing so, he's rushed for a league-best 10 yards per carry, and has averaged 100 yards on the ground a game. 

Additionally, he's contributed another 62 yards as a pass-catcher.

The do-it-all weapon for the Lions has also seemingly learned how to play through injury. 

While playing with a bum ankle a week ago against the Washington Commanders, the 5-foot-9, 211-pound back still managed to accumulate 87 all-purpose yards, including a highly impressive 22-yard touchdown catch.

Swift played through the pain Sunday against Washington, something that Detroit running backs coach Duce Staley challenged the Lions' lead back to do this summer.

"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 told reporters in June. "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.

"There will be some things you have to fight through."

Example A was last Sunday when he played through the sprained ankle, an injury he suffered in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He compiled 56 yards, on five carries, vs. the Commanders, and added another 31 yards and a score as a receiver.

Swift more than answered the bell for Staley and the Lions.

"He was dealing with a lot (last week)," Staley said Friday. "But, for him to be able to block that out and move on, and go out there and make some of those special plays that he did, (it) says a lot about him."

The pain isn't expected to just go away for Swift, either. According to Staley, it could be "lingering."

Remember, Swift was held out of practice Wednesday, and he reportedly looked less than 100 percent while taking part in catching drills Friday.


Despite the nagging injury, the versatile runner continues to take the field, once again a sign that he's beginning to learn to deal with the pain and not let it get the best of him. 

"He responded (to my challenge), and like I said before, he understands," Staley expressed. "He understands that, like I said, his 80 percent, man, is a lot better than other people’s 80 percent. And, once he gets that understanding in his head, he can move forward with some of these little minor injuries."

Through the first two games of the 2022 campaign, Detroit has clearly committed itself to running the football. The team has accumulated 52 carries (the 14th-highest mark in the league) for 372 yards and three touchdowns, which are both the third most in the NFL. The Lions have also amassed a league-best 7.2 yards per rushing attempt.

Staley & Co. surely aren't shying away from the ground attack, and it comes after the organization made a commitment to the run game this offseason. 

"It goes back -- I think we kind of talked about this last week. It goes back to thought process, it goes back to OTAs, training camp, and making a commitment," Staley said. "And, not just the players making a commitment, (but) the coaches also. So, you see (Lions offensive line coach) Hank (Fraley), myself being -- everybody, you make a commitment to run a ball, you just -- you spend a couple extra hours in the office trying to get it right.”

The Lions have gotten it right so far in the ground game, and now they're set to take on the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings Sunday. 

It's the first road contest of the year for Detroit, and Dan Campbell expects it to be "a huge test" for his young team. 

"It’s the first road game, and this is something that we have a lot of urgency about, I feel like this week. This is big," Campbell said Friday. "We need to try and set the tempo for ourselves, and it starts on the road, division game. Of course, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hostile. It shouldn’t be easy. And, those guys are going to (be) ready to go. They’re going to get back to what they do best, and we know that.

"But, man, it goes back to the -- we’ve got to be able (to) handle this pressure on the road. Because that’s really what it comes down to, collectively, when you go on the road. There’s a certain amount of pressure that is applied, and how do we handle that overall? And, that’s something that we’ve been talking about for a long time now. So, we are young, but we’ll see where we’re at.”