Fitz: Swope missed OTA time with concussion issues

Swope's concussion history could be issue for Cardinals moving forward after missed time at OTAs.

When the Cardinals selected receiver Ryan Swope in the sixth round (174th) overall of April’s NFL Draft, he insisted that the concussions he suffered at Texas A&M were not an issue and never really were.

“I’m 100 percent right now,” he said in a conference call with local media members. “I’ve had just a few head injuries that have been minor. I’ve never missed a college game. I feel great.”

It’s hard to say if Swope misled the Cardinals or not, but teammate Larry Fitzgerald told SiriusXM radio (via ESPN) that Swope has missed practice time during organized team activities (OTAs) while dealing with issues related to the concussions he suffered in college.

Fitzgerald clearly is not a doctor, and the reasons for Swope missing time have not been detailed by team officials, but Fitz’s comments are the first known indication that Swope’s college concussions are still an issue. 

It’s also noteworthy that the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said during the draft that Swope likely would have been a third-round pick if not for his injury history. The Cards drafted Swope in part because of his speed. General manager Steve Keim noted on draft day that Swope consistently ran a 40 in the high 4.3s.

“I know there was a history of some of the medical (issues) in the background,” Keim said at the time, “but at the same time, the one thing I always try to look at is the history. If there is not a significant amount of time missed -- and Ryan hasn’t missed much time in the past three years.

“Going into the (NFL Scouting) Combine, the guy answered every test. His times at Indy were remarkable.”

It’s unclear how many concussions Swope had at Texas A&M. A report in the Dallas Morning News said two were documented in college, but an ESPN report listed the number at four

The Cardinals signed Swope to a four-year rookie deal recently. OTAs and media availability resume June 3 at the club’s Tempe headquarters, so there was no immediate comment from Keim or coach Bruce Arians on Swope’s situation.

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