Bob Wojnowski, John Niyo and Justin Rogers preview the Lions-Steelers game on this week's Lions Lowdown.
Allen Park — Some players will never re-watch a play where they suffered an injury, but Lions safety Glover Quin watched the hit where he was concussed against the New Orleans Saints over and over and over.
In the normal course of a football game, the setup was familiar. A running back gets into the second level and Quin comes up to make the stop, while at risk of friendly fire from a defensive lineman chasing the back down from behind.
In the past, he’s typically escaped unscathed, but this time was different. Quin dropped low to tackle Saints running back Alvin Kamara only to take a massive shot across the head from 322-pound defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.
“I’ve played football for a long time and I’ve never had a play like that one,” Quin said. “It was just an unfortunate situation because I’ve had many plays like that, just never had that result. It happens and it’s just part of the game.”
Quin said he couldn’t remember if he lost consciousness during the collision, which suggests he probably did. He lay motionless in the immediate aftermath and was tended to by trainers for several minutes before heading to the locker room.
When describing his reaction, Quin kept coming back to one word.
“It was scary,” he said. “I’m just being honest with you, it was scary. I’ve played football for a long time and I’ve never had a play like that one.”
The good news is Quin is already out of concussion protocol. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be talking to the media. He fully practiced on Wednesday and is in line to start against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, the 122nd consecutive start. It’s the longest active streak at his position.
That might not have been the case had the Lions not been on the bye last week, giving him an extra week for his brain to recover. As he has done in the past, Quin credited divine intervention for the timing.
“God knows what he’s doing,” Quin said. “I don’t question it.”
While that ironman streak is safe, the injury did snap another. Quin had been on the field for 1,499 consecutive defensive snaps. The last time he missed one, coincidentally, was when he suffered another concussion, against the Saints, in 2015.
As he was being helped off the field following the more recent incident, Quin was aware enough to make that connection, and to a degree, admitted it was a small burden being lifted off his shoulders, trying to play through an injury during a game.
“I don’t know, man, it takes a little pressure off,” he said. “Sometimes you have plays in a game where you’re like, ‘Ugh. Golly.’ But then you think about it, ‘Man, I can fight through it. I’ll be OK.’"
Quin takes pride in his durability, but he doesn’t want any personal streak to come before the good of the team. But with a player is as indispensable as he’s been for the Lions, his presence on the field typically goes hand-in-hand with the defense’s success.
“When you’re part of the team and have a vital role, and when you haven’t missed a game, everyone expects you to be there,” he said. “A lot of times, even when things pop up, there’s not even a bat of an eye, he’ll be ready on Sunday. That’s what the expectations become. That’s the expectation I take on for myself.”
And the other thing with Quin is he’s always looking to get better, particularly through film study. That’s why he re-watched the play again and again, to see what he could have done differently.
“I just told (A’Shawn) he made a great play,” Quin said. “You get those plays a lot. I feel like I can play it different, protect myself a little better in that situation.”