The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Concussions bring Swope’s young NFL career to a halt

Former Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope caught passes at Kyle Field from names like Ryan Tannehill, who is entering his second season as a starting NFL quarterback, and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Unfortunately for Swope, his success as an Aggie won’t translate into immediate professional success despite being drafted in the sixth round by the Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona announced Thursday that Swope would retire from the NFL due to concussion issues just months after being drafted.
The team announced Swope’s retirement through the team website and placed Swope on the reserve/retire list. Being placed on the list means that should Swope decide to return to the NFL, his rights will still be in the hands of the Cardinals.
“We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue,” General Manager Steve Keim said on the Cardinals team website. “But weighing all the elements – the medical information available, the particular position in the draft – it was a decision we were comfortable making.”
The move comes as part of a continued effort by the NFL to crack down on head and brain injuries in the game. The league is currently facing continual lawsuits from deceased former players whose families claim brain trauma contributed to players’
early deaths.
“As it turned out, he had a setback after he got here,” Keim said. “Over the course of the subsequent evaluations, we all decided that Ryan’s long-term well-being was the number one priority and this was the best course to take.”
After suffering four concussions as an Aggie and watching his draft stock fall as a result, Swope took to Arizona’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) where his fifth concussion occurred. It was then he made the decision to retire.
“As a result of a concussion I suffered during OTAs, I was advised by doctors that there were serious risks in returning to play football at this point,” Swope said in a statement, never ruling out a return to pro football. “It has been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL but my long-term health interests outweigh my current goals for football. Because of that, I am electing to retire from the game for now and then reassess my future after this season.”
He served as a team captain in 2012 and was one of the most consistent receivers ever at A&M, setting school records with 252 receptions for 3,117 yards and 15 career 100-yard receiving games. He finished second in school history with 24 career TD receptions.
Swope plans to return to Texas A&M to pursue his degree.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was at the Houston A&M Club Coach’s Night on Friday and said, “I got the feeling he still wants to play.”
Junior biomedical science major Derek Hoefer said he hoped Sumlin was correct and that Swope’s retirement was not permanent.
“It’s frustrating,” Hoefer said upon hearing news of Swope’s retirement. “I was looking forward to watching our all-time reception leader make a name for himself in the NFL. I’m sure it was a difficult decision, but the mature one. Health should be the number one priority for all players.”

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