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Lions rookie D'Andre Swift feels back to normal after 'rough' few weeks

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

It's been nearly a month since Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift talked with the media, and a lot has happened in those 28 days, not that he had much to say about it. 

Swift's name not only appropriately describes his movement skills, but also his approach to interviews. Not that there's anything wrong with being a man of few words. But there were understandably a lot of questions about the rookie's health, after he missed three consecutive games while dealing with headaches that may or may not been the result of a concussion. 

Lions running back D'Andre Swift returned to action Sunday after missing three games.

"It's been a little rough," Swift said about the past few weeks. "Just going through concussion protocol, I'm sure, as y'all know. Just something that was new for me with the headaches and everything like that. Training staff and the doctors here just did a great job of taking me through the protocol, doing every test and making sure everything was OK." 

And from the sounds of it, everything is OK, even if it was a dicey situation there for a minute. What remains unclear is what was actually going during that three-week stretch. 

After talking to him and confirming the timeline, what we know is he made his first start Sunday, Nov. 15 against Washington. It was a sensational performance, where he racked up 149 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown in the victory

The following Wednesday, Swift met virtually with the media after practice, but the next day he didn't practice and was listed on the injury report as being in concussion protocol.

As he explained this week, he first started experiencing headaches that Wednesday. 

Swift was eventually removed from concussion protocol two weeks later, but the headaches persisted. His injury designation was changed to illness and it caused him to be sidelined one additional week. 

Asked if he was ever actually diagnosed with a concussion, he said, "It was talked about at first, but I don't know," Swift said. "I know my head was hurting." 

It wasn't until late last week that Swift starting feeling normal again, allowing him to return to the lineup Sunday against the Packers. In the loss, he played 36 snaps, carrying the ball seven times for 24 yards and a touchdown, while catching four passes for 26 yards.

Most importantly, the headaches haven't returned. 

"I was just so happy to be out there playing the game I love," he said. "I hate missing time, anything. I mean, I just had to do what I had to do to make sure that I was OK, physically and mentally. As I said, the doctors and the training staff did a great job of just checking all the boxes, making sure I was OK. I couldn't wait to get back." 

Now, after an up-and-down rookie year that has been plagued by a hip injury in training camp to the recent bout with the headaches, the second-round draft pick can focus on finishing his debut season strong. 

"Just brings us into the offseason the right way," he said. "Kinda why I love this team, we just fight week in and week out. We just got to put it all together. I think we're going to finish this season how we want to."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers