Cardinals rookie Swope retires due to concussions
JUL 25, 2013 4:44p ET
The Cardinals convened at University of Phoenix Stadium to open camp with a brief team conditioning test, but Swope was not present. The team later announced that Swope had been placed on the reserve/retired list.
The 22-year-old former Texas A&M star also missed most of the Cardinals' organized team activities earlier this summer due to concussion symptoms related to head injuries suffered in college.
Swope released a statement late Thursday afternoon through Rep 1 Sports, the agency that represents him, revealing in a series of posts on Twitter that he had suffered another concussion during OTAs:
"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. 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. In the meantime, I plan to return to Texas A&M to pursue my degree. I want to thank the Arizona Cardinals organization for the opportunity and their support. I wish the team much success this season."
Reports about how many concussions Swope suffered in college varied, ranging from two to four. But Swope convinced the Cardinals enough in pre-draft workouts that he was healthy enough to draft and sign to a four-year rookie deal.
"We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a press release. "But weighing all the elements -- the medical information available, the particular position in the draft -- it was a decision we were comfortable making.
"As it turned out, he had a setback after he got here. Over the course of the subsequent evaluations, we all decided that Ryan’s long-term well-being was the (top) priority and this was the best course to take."
Swope was one of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel's top targets at Texas A&M last season, finishing his senior season with 72 catches for 913 yards and a team-leading eight touchdowns.