Three Years After Getting Shot In The Head, Former Rams Wideout Stedman Bailey Returned To Football At Marshall's Pro Day
SportingNews- Stedman Bailey has made tremendous strides recovering from a drive-by incident where he was shot in the head and ended up in critical condition. Many thought his football career would end there, however, he's ready to prove his playings days aren't over yet.
Bailey worked out at Marshall's pro day Wednesday hoping to get the attention of some NFL scouts.
“I don’t think the Mountaineers would be happy to see this, but at the same time, those guys and everybody back in Morgantown knows what kind of mission I’m on,” Bailey told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. “This is the first opportunity for me to show scouts what I’ve got and how I’m feeling. I don’t care about the colors. I’m just here to capitalize on the opportunity.”
The 27-year-old said he had surgery in October to insert a plate into his skull, which "changed the game" for his return. The Herald-Dispatch noted the plate is stronger than a skull bone and will be able to protect him against forceful hits he would take playing in the NFL.
“I never had a doubt in my mind that I’d be able to play again,” Bailey said. “It kind of hurt with reports from doctors that I may not be able to walk or I may have trouble speaking again. Me, just being a positive person that I am, I just waved those reports off like, ‘OK, we’ll see.’ I set it in my mind to show them differently."
Seeing as I'm not much of a Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper, giving Stedman Bailey a passing grade on my eye test doesn't say all that much about his chances of completing what would be a hell of an NFL comeback. He looked pretty quick off the line and adjusted well to the off-target ball that he caught against air, but my endorsement isn't the one he's looking for in trying to win back an opportunity that was taken from him by life-threatening circumstances.
That said, I feel pretty confident in saying that someone who went from potentially unable to regain his ability to walk and/or speak to running routes with hopes of impressing professional scouts has already become a fell-good story of perseverance. Obviously he didn't battle all the way back from near death and get a plate surgically inserted in his skull just so he could become a heartwarming sidenote during the NFL offseason, but if that's all it ends up being then he'll have overcome far more than most.
I, for one, hope a team takes a chance on him come training camp. Regardless of whether or not he looks to have the goods to people who have a keener eye for them, there's no telling what type of odds can be defeated by someone with his level of drive and desire.